See I told you, this would help!
- SC = Store Coupon
- MC = Manufacturer Coupon
- SS = Smart Source
- RMN = Retail Me Not
- PG = Proctor and Gamble
- WYB = When You Buy
- B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
- .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
- .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
- EXP = Expiration Date
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When I am around town I always seem to run into people that come up and say hi, and then guiltily confess that they just can’t figure out the coupon thing. I’ve had others attend numerous workshops and yet come away feeling incredibly overwhelmed. So for the next few days we are going to break this down into bite sized portions that hopefully aren’t overwhelming and are easily tackled.
To get started, the first step in “couponing” actually doesn’t involve a coupon. I need you to buy what is on sale. Easy enough, right? Not really. We were never taught to shop this way. Someone eons ago decided that to go shopping you need to stand in front of your fridge and pantry and make of list of everything you are out of and then buy those things. Sadly, if that is how you make a grocery list you’ll never save anything! Nothing on your list will ever be on sale, you are only buying them because you have to have them not because they are a good price this week.
We have to change the way we shop, and move away from need based shopping to sale based shopping. Before you panic, realize that this takes time. No one can wait till the next sale if they are out of toilet paper… there are things a household must have.
How Do You Know What’s On Sale?
To start making this change for your household, you need to start first on Southern Savers or with your weekly grocery ad. Our goal is to only buy what is on sale, so the first big lesson is that not everything in the ad is actually on sale. Many ads are chock full of high priced deals they hope you will grab only because you saw them in the ad. Don’t fall prey to those classic marketing tactics. Every item in a grocery has a rock bottom low price, and our goal is only buy the item at that price. To make this easy, it is generally at least 40% off of the full price. To help you spot this faster there are three things that you can use:
- Print the Southern Savers Buy Price List and take it with to the store. This will help you know what a good price is for most products, and help you stay away from pretend sales.
- Check Your Weekly Ad. I’ll post tips on reading a weekly ad later today.
- Use Southern Savers.
Yeah, option #3 is pretty easy. That’s my goal. When you look at a list on Southern Savers, it is NOT the entire weekly ad. I only list the items that are at their lowest price. So… everything on the list is a good price (acorns are only there to show you what is free or an amazing price). My hope is that you can trust me, make your shopping list and head to the store and save a ton of money. No stress required.
Keep in mind that we haven’t thrown in coupons yet. For some just getting started you really don’t have a lot of coupons yet. Others live in an area where your insert coupons stink and you could have months worth of papers and still not have half the coupons. That’s okay. Just focus on buying what’s on sale. Whether an item has a coupon or not, if you are at least saving 40% off the regular price that’s a huge hunk right there!
Check back this afternoon for how to read a grocery ad, and tomorrow for the next step in couponing!
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