Clipping coupons to use at the grocery store can help you save a bundle.
Gas prices may finally be on a downward turn, but food prices don’t seem to be following suit. When purchasing enough groceries to feed your family sets you back hundreds of dollars a week, it’s important to find every way possible to save some money at the supermarket. Clipping grocery coupons is one way to save a few bucks every time you shop ? and those dollar amounts add up quickly to big savings.
Grocery coupon sources
There are many places to find coupons, and magazines and newspapers are your biggest source. As you read magazines and newspapers throughout the week, pull out the coupon sections and place them all in one file folder. Purchase several major newspapers ? but only the Sunday editions, because that’s where the coupons are.
Visit web sites like Coupons.com and CoolSavings.com that allow you to print off free coupons and offer other freebies. One word of warning, though, because paper and ink can get costly: only print out coupons for items you are sure you will use. It doesn’t help you save money if you have page after page of coupons printed out that will never be used.
Set aside an hour or so a week to do your clipping. Turn the radio or TV on, or enlist a family member to help and keep you company so you don’t get too bored. Clip all the coupons that you will use; skip the ones for items you would never purchase, unless you have a friend who would like to trade coupons.
You can purchase a coupon organizer, or you can create your own easily with a box of personal size envelopes. If you use envelopes, label one for each category: meats, dairy, produce, condiments, snack food, baking supplies, pet food, breakfast foods, canned food, frozen food, cleaning supplies, health and beauty supplies, baby items, and miscellaneous. It is a good idea to keep a separate envelope for coupons that will be expiring soon, too, so that you don’t forget to use them.
For easier use, cut the top flap off the envelopes, and then place them back into the envelope box, alphabetizing by the category labels. Sort your coupons into the appropriate envelopes so that they are ready for use.
Making your list
As you make your grocery list, check your coupon files to see what items you have coupons for. Try to tailor your list to fit coupons that will be expiring soon. For instance, if you were planning to make spaghetti next week, but you have a coupon for pasta that will expire before then, adjust your menu plans. As you make your list, place an asterisk or check mark next to the items that have a coupon.
Pull out the coupons that you will be using for your shopping trip and place them in an unlabelled envelope, along with your grocery list. That envelope should be placed in your purse or wallet or briefcase, ready for your next trip to the supermarket.
Clipping grocery coupons takes some time and energy, but the savings will add up and make the benefit worth the effort.