My BEST Couponing Tip…From A Former Coupon Queen!

coupon-queen
Yes, believe it or not, I once was one of those crazy ladies you see on “Extreme Couponing”. 

Well OK, that’s not entirely true. I like to THINK I was the Queen….but in reality I was more like a Princess…or maybe a maidservant to a Princess. But either way, *I* thought I was pretty good at it. I even have pictures to prove it!

See???
couponing 2

couponing

These are some hauls from Walgreens and Albertson’s from a few years back. I don’t remember particulars but let’s just say there were SERIOUS savings involved!

I’m still a big believer in the money you can save with coupons! There just came a time when I simply didn’t have time to do it anymore. (hmmm…that’s about the same time I started this blog. Go figure!)

Any serious couponer will tell you….it takes a lot of time to work the deals! There’s the clipping of coupons and organizing of coupons and then studying the deals and deciding which ones to go for and which ones to pass on….and that’s just the tip of the couponing iceberg!
Not to mention all the running around to different stores to get the best deal at each.

I don’t want this to come off as a coupon-bashingpost at all….because it’s not! If you are SERIOUS about cutting your food budget…you definitely can save a LOT of money! But like most things in life…there are trade offs.

Even though I don’t do the extreme couponing anymore…there are some things I learned from the experience that I continue to do that really help trim the grocery budget and don’t take a lot of time.

You hear the word “stockpiling” alot when it comes to couponing. Some people have developed some SERIOUS stockpiles through couponing. Here are just a couple I found online.

Benefits of stockpiling: you can basically “shop” at your own “store” for free! You are well-prepared for emergencies. (job loss, food shortages, etc.)

Drawback: you need a lot of SPACE to STORE all that stuff!

So, no, I don’t have a stockpile anywhere near the size of these….but I have started my own mini-version of “stockpiling” and it goes like this:
 

Step One: 

Find a website that matches up store sales with available coupons.

There are lots out there. I happen to use GrocerySmarts.com, but there are others like CouponMom.com; TheGroceryGame.com; TheKrazyCouponLady.com, etc.

Every week they will post a list with the sales available at your store (or whatever store you choose) and the coupons that are “out there” that match up with the deals. This is INVALUABLE!  It would be almost impossible to keep track of this stuff on your own.

GrocerySmarts.com even has a rating system (1 to 5 stars) to show what are the REALLY hot deals. 5 stars means….TIME TO STOCK UP!

So, a quick scan down the list and I find one of our personal favorites on sale….Crest Pro Health Toothpaste! Ever since I brought this home the first time…hubster won’t use anything else. Such a toothpaste snob. ;-)

Anyway, that toothpaste ain’t cheap! UNLESS it’s on sale AND you have a COUPON as well.

 

Step Two: 

Since I don’t personally clip coupons anymore….I head on over to ebay.com to find the people who DO! 

After a quick search for “Crest coupons” and I find this coupon clipper selling 20 – $.75 off 1 Crest toothpaste 4.0 oz or larger coupons for $1.25!

 

The trick here is to check the ad the FIRST DAY IT COMES OUT so you will have time to receive the coupons in the mail before the ad ends!  Not a big deal though. These coupon “sellers” are very aware that these deals are TIME SENSITIVE and will send them out promptly. At least that’s my experience. And if the store happens to “run out” of something while you wait for your coupons to arrive in the mail….you can always get a “raincheck”.

Warning:  I am about to attempt to do math…nobody distract me! This could be dangerous!

  • Regular price of Crest Pro Health Toothpaste (according to ad) $2.69 ea.
  • Sale price $1.69 ea (when you buy 4 or more)
  • Minus your $.75 cent coupon = $ .94 cents each!Now…you paid $1.25 for the coupons so you have to take that into account, but if you use all 20 coupons…that’s a savings of $15.00!
So you could conceivably get 20 tubes of Crest Pro Health toothpaste for $20.05 (if you add back in the cost of the coupons)….a savings of $33.75! AND…you won’t have to buy toothpaste for a very long time. 
And THAT my friends is STOCKPILING! 


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Comments

  1. Diane says

    I too use to run around like a chicken for years clipping, shopping 3-4 stores per week, etc… We have four kids and man can they eat. I saved a ton! I also have a friend that coupons and she and I would trade our coupons each week. I would clip what I wanted, she would clip what she wanted and then we geve each other the leftovers. She and I were/are the perfect coupon partners as we mostly use different products. For example, I buy very little packaged foods (cookies, hamburger helper…) and frozen "quick meals" (pizza, chicken nuggets (what are these things anyway??), hot pockets…). I have switched to mostly organic in recent years and it is harder to find these coupons so I do not coupon as much as I use to, but I still check out sales and decide if it is worth a trip to a store. I think that even if I were to become a millionaire I would still check out the coupons and sales each week. Why not save. Like your toothpaste example, it doesn't go bad and with careful planning I rarely pay more than .25-.50 for it. When I find it for this price I use every coupon I have. Same thing with shampoo. I think teenagers eat toothpaste and shampoo…maybe that is why they are surly sometimes???

    • autumn chambers says

      Just wanted to let you know that toothpaste does have an expiration date. Who knew right!?!? I once read, or saw on tv (can’t remember which) that if you use toothpaste that was expired it could possibly be poisinous! I never researched it but we usually use it long before it expires. I thought since you have 4 children you may want check the dates on yours so you don’t get any sick kiddos! You could always use any old toothpaste to remove crayon marks on the walls.

  2. DerFarm says

    Just a word about pasta products. Check the packaging carefully before you store these things for 3 years. If the packaging is not completely covered one way or another with cellophane the pasta WILL deteriorate. Cardboard just isn't waterproof enough.

    A solution involves using shoebox sized plastic containers and the plastic bags grocery stores use. Fill the plastic containers with pasta and put it inside a plastic grocery bag. Roll the bag up until it is somewhat snug but not really tight against the container. Use a curling iron at the highest setting to seal the thing.

    The pasta, oats, bulgur wheat germ, or whatever other perverted stuff you guys buy will stay good for ever. Further, you can use some and then replace the seal.

    Good luck

    • Roxie says

      You must live in the frozen north. I live in Louisiana where we have 100 degree weather and 100 percent humidity in the summer and if you try to keep pasta, rice, oatmeal, etc. you can bet you will have bugs hatching in all of those within six months unless you freeze it, and last year I even had rice from the freezer that developed bugs even before the freshness date expired, so your claim that you can keep it forever doesn’t apply to the deep south.

  3. Melisa says

    Jill, one other thing about the grocerysmarts.com people…. yep you guessed it, there's an APP for that. Hey have an app for iphones or android phones and it is a DREAM. I still have to go to the web to print any internet linked coupons but it is WAY easy and fun and if your going to the store on a quick trip you usually have your phone with you anyway. I check the store that I heading to and pick up any 4 or 5 * deals at the same time. Good to know your a couponer even if its former.

  4. Jill says

    I went over to grocerysmarts.com to check it out, and it said you need a passport code from someone who already used the site to access some of the features. Is that necessary, and do you have one? It seems like a good place to keep track of coupons. Thanks for the info.

  5. Anonymous says

    Sending your link to a friend that just started couponing. Thanks for the info. Will check One Good Thing more often!

    • Linda says

      I just want to learn to stock pot things like detergent, shampoo , conditioner , cleaning supplies, toilet paper etc. can someone please explain how to do this? Thank you

      Linda

  6. Anonymous says

    I just have to say that your posts are the best thing that ever happened to the internet!! I wait each day for a new one. God Bless You

  7. Linda Davidson says

    Wow what a great blog. Thanks for all the great info for extreme couponing. My daughter and I want to attempt a coupon based shopping trip just to see what is possible.

  8. Melisa says

    Jill if you just type in http://www.grocerysmarts.com then you do need a passport code. If you access the site by way of http://www.utahdealdiva.com, there is a button on the right side a little way down that has the grocery smarts name on it. That's the way I access it. The passport code that you can see on the URL once going through utahdealdiva's site is g84cjw. You can then select your store. Utahdealdiva's site is helpful for local info on couponing and deals at grocery stores and other things happening around town that are family orientated.

    I personally like the "ALL IN ONE" option on the Grocery Smarts site because you can get all stores in one, "start" your list, then click on the RED STAR at the top to have it select just the "stock up items" and then go through and have it highlight things you don't want or need, when your done you use the "shrink" button to condense the list and you can print it from there and take it to the store. One fantastic thing about this is if you use Wal-Mart to price match you have all your info in one spot and its from an independent reporting site not just from memory.

    Many happy shopping days!!!

  9. Me and My Gang says

    This is exactly what I do. I have been doing this for two years now! After about a year of craziness trying to coupon I switched to just concentrate on one or two items per week, saving my budget thousands!

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