Since I started posting my grocery store couponing hauls on Instagram, I’ve been getting a lot of feedback on how great it is and what amazing savings I’m getting, and many people wishing they could do what I do. You can and I’m going to give you some tips!
Yesterday was my latest haul and while it wasn’t my biggest, I still kicked butt. In fact, I saved a lot more than I had expected. Even the cashier and people in line behind me were amazed and in awe.
In fact, I got into a little conversation with the woman behind me about where I get my coupons and just the store’s general coupon policy. She was asking me so many questions and I was trying to answer them all, while at the same time trying to make sure the cashier didn’t skip over any of my coupons (they sometimes stick together), haha. So this inspired me to write a post just giving you some info about how I do my couponing and what I do to prepare for a trip to the grocery store.
Store’s Coupon Policy
Now, I’ll tell you, when I lived in FL I wasn’t as coupon rich as I am now. I still used coupons, but didn’t save nearly as much as I do now living in NJ. The reason is simple. FL stores do not double coupons or at least none of the one’s in my area did. But now that I’ve discovered ShopRite and its amazing coupon policy, I’m able to make my coupons go further. So my first suggestion is to check out the coupon policies for the stores in your general area.
I love ShopRite because they have digital coupons that you electronically add to your shopper card, and many of those coupons are duplicates of the exact same coupons that can be printed online. And for each item you buy you can use both a digital coupon and a printed manufacturer coupon. That alone is double savings.
To make it even sweeter, for any coupon with a face value less than $1.00, ShopRite will double it (given it’s a coupon that allows for doubling and in my experience most of them are). This means if I have a coupon worth $0.75, ShopRite doubles it, saving me $1.50.
THIS, my friends, is how I save the bulk of my money using coupons. It all boils down to the store’s coupon policy.
Now that I know what I’m looking at in terms of the store’s coupon policy, my next task is to browse the store’s weekly sales ad. This is where I start every single week. I look for and simply take note of sales of items that my family enjoys and uses. I find that looking through the sales first makes it a little easier for me to gather what I need to get the savings.
To be coupon rich you have to have coupons, right? I get asked often (even in the grocery store) where I get all my coupons and quite simply, I print them at home. I haven’t gotten a Sunday newspaper, which offers tons of great coupons, in about a year. But if you do get a Sunday newspaper, then you’re more ahead of the couponing game than you think.
Personally, all of my coupons are printed online and the majority are printed from InboxDollars. What I love about InboxDollars is that for each coupon I print and actually redeem, I earn $0.10. That’s not something offered by other coupon sites.
I don’t factor these earnings into my total haul savings when I post them because it takes a little while for these to show up. They aren’t added to your InboxDollars account until the store sends the coupons to the manufacturer for payment and when that’s done varies from store to store. On average it takes about 30 days for me to see these earnings show up in my account.
Aside from coupons, I also save money by submitting my shopping receipts for rebates. I use Ibotta, Saving Star, Checkout 51 and MobiSave the most. The great thing about Saving Star is that just like ShopRite’s digital coupons, Saving Star rebates are sometimes the exact same as the coupons I can print.
For example, yesterday I purchased Dial body wash. I printed a coupon valued at $1.50, ShopRite had the same digital coupon, and Saving Star had the same rebate. That’s $4.50 in savings. How much did the body wash cost? $3.49 – I got it for free plus made an extra $1.01!
The other great thing about Saving Star is that I can link my ShopRite shopper card number and the rebates will automatically be processed within a few days of my purchase. So this is one app I don’t have to manually submit my receipt to, like I have to do with Ibotta, Checkout 51 and MobiSave. But I love them all and use them all the time!
My last step before heading to the store is preparing a shopping list. After browsing the sales ad, seeing what coupons are available for printing and seeing what rebates are available, I can determine which items I can get a great deal on.
My shopping list consists of what the item is, along with its regular or sale price. I then detail where all my savings are coming from, whether a printed coupon, ShopRite digital coupon, or rebate. This helps me figure out what my final price is for each item. I also use it as a tool to ensure I have all the printed and digital coupons ready to go. I mean, I’m doing all this work to save as much as I can and when every penny counts, I have to make sure I’ve got everything I need when I get to the store.
And to be honest, if I didn’t make a list I’d get to the store and forget half of what I wanted to get.
In a nut shell, this is how I coupon and save the money I do. I really only do major couponing like this at ShopRite, but do still coupon at other stores. Other store coupon policies just aren’t as great as ShopRite’s!
Are you ready to get started? Check out InboxDollars and the rebate apps to see what kinds of savings are available and get to it!
Are you ready to be coupon rich?
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