If you’re ready to start couponing, the first thing you’ll need to get used to is reading the weekly ads for the stores you wish to shop.
- Where I live, I get the CVS, Walgreens, Target,Walmart, Aldi, Kmart, and Rite Aid ads in my Sunday paper. Those sales last from Sunday through Saturday of that week. The Lowes Foods, Food Lion, and Harris Teeter ads come out in the Wednesday paper, and last from Wednesday through Tuesday.
- Once you are familiar with the cost of things, then you’re ready to start skimming these ads on a weekly basis to find where the best deals are! Good deals and stock-up prices will begin to jump out at you.
Then, you can use your knowledge of sale prices, to stack manufacturer coupons on top of the sale prices.
- You can usually stack manufacturer’s coupons on top of store-specific coupons. For example, you can use a store-specific coupon from the Walgreens weekly ad for $1 off of a certain product, and also cut out a $1 off manufacturer’s coupon from a newspaper coupon insert (such as Red Plum, Proctor and Gamble or SmartSource) or clip a printable coupon, and actually use both of them on the one product – getting a total of $2 off! However, you can’t use two manufacturer’s coupons on one product.
- Read the limits stated on the ads. Most stores have set a limit on the number of one item that you can buy. Sometimes it’s 1, sometimes it’s 4, but sometimes it can be 10 or more. If it isn’t stated in the ad, then you can assume you can buy an unlimited amount. If you have more than one coupon for an item, you can only buy the number allowed.
- Lots of people are into couponing these days. Lots of times you’ll get to the store, and find that someone else has cleared the shelf before you. You can always ask for a rain check on that item (a piece of paper from the manager which allows you to have that price when the item comes back in stock) and try again next week.
- If you can’t get the actual weekly ads from the newspaper, then you can always just check online. Most stores have their weekly ads posted on their websites, and often there’s a pretty nifty feature where you can create a grocery list just by clicking on a product image.
Read all posts in this series.