Friday, August 5, 2011

Double Coupons and Other Cool Ways To Save

Ok, you’ve started collecting coupons.  You’ve got an organization method, now what?
First things first, you must get a shopper’s card for every grocery store that you shop at. 
Second, get an ExtraCare Card (CVS) and Wellness Card (RiteAid).  In a later lesson, I’ll show you how to really save at drug stores to get a TON of cheap products.

Now, let’s figure out where and how to shop for our main groceries.

Every Tuesday, you’ll receive your grocery store ads.  You MUST take the time to really study them and compare them to the coupons that you have.

I shop at Ralphs and Vons/Pavilions for the majority of my items.  Here’s why.  Both stores double coupons. Yes, you read that right. They double coupons, but….not all coupons and there are limits.
  • They will double any coupon up to .50
  • They will increase the value of a .51-.99 coupon to 1.00
  • They will ONLY do this for 1 like coupon. 
What does that mean?  Well, you can’t go crazy and clear a shelf of BullsEye BBQ sauce that’s 10/$10 because you have a boatload of .50 off coupons.  It means, you can get one for free ($1 minus the .50 coupon doubled) and all others at .50.  There is no limit on how many coupons you can use. Only on how many they will double.

Albertsons often sends out mailers with Double Coupons that you can pair with your manufacturer coupon.  This will allow a double of one coupon up to a $1, but there is always a restriction on how many “doublers” can be used per transaction.  This month’s restriction is only (1) double coupon per transaction. Bummer….

When looking at store ads, look for in ad coupons.  These store coupons can be “stacked” with a manufacturer coupon for added savings.  Many times, the in store ads allow for multiples at that particular price.  This is great when you have multiple manufacturer coupons or a great coupon that is $1/2.  For example, Pavilions has an in store ad for Ziploc storage bags $1.49 Limit 2.  You pair that with a $1/2 Ziploc bags and you now pay .99 each for brand name bags and not the generics from the .99 only store. 
  • If you use in ad store coupons, hand those to your cashier first.
  • Tell your cashier how many of that product you purchased so they know to scan the coupon more than once.
Next thing to look for in your ads is combined sales, such as “Receive $5 off when you purchase 10 mix and match items.” This is where I save really big at stores like Albertsons, Food 4 Less and Stater Brothers.  This is like having multiple store coupons stacked with manufacturer coupons. 
  • Normally, there is not a limit of how many $5 off you can receive, as long as the items are purchased in the right multiples.
  • Also, not all the included products will be listed in the ad and you may find some great additional products you want to purchase.
  • You must write down every product you buy in the promotion to ensure that you receive the $5 off at checkout.
  • This is important for 2 reasons: 1-just being off by one will keep you from the discount and 2-if you know you bought 20 items and only 1 $5 off is given, you have your list of what you bought to refer back to in the event the cashier did not scan an item by accident. (happens often and it’s usually a Gatorade/vitamin water type product that slips through)
Last, look for checkout offers, such as Catalinas. Catalina offers are coupons that print at the register and are free money that can be used for your next shopping trip.  Examples of Catalinas: Buy (4) Nature Valley granola bars receive $3 Catalina.  Buy (2) General Mills Cereals receive a Catalina for free gallon of milk up to $4.50.  Some stores offer additional promotions.  Albertsons was giving 5% off Summer Rewards Certificates during the 4th of July weekend based on different levels of spending.  Pavilions/Von’s are giving $10 towards your next purchase, if you spend $75 or more.
  • If there is a specific dollar amount attached to the Catalina or Store Reward, it is based on pre-coupon totals.  Yes, PRE-COUPON totals!
  • Usually, there are restrictions of what is purchased to receive the certificates, as well as, what they can be used to purchase.  Those restrictions include, but are not limited to; alcohol, cigarettes, gift certificates and lottery tickets.
Ok, now that you know some of my tricks, let’s get shopping!

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