Yesterday, the the Press ran an article on the upswing of Coupon use since the downswing in the economy. I am pretty sure this wasn’t shocking news to anyone. Back when my babies were babies, I was a pretty skilled clipper. On a good day, I could count on saving about $30 off of my grocery bill. I’m not sure when or how my clipping habit fell away, but I haven’t given coupons much thought in probably 8 or so years.
So, yesterday’s article may not have been shocking news, but it did give me the needed nudge to get back in the savings saddle. I started with a little research on Google and stumbled on a fabulous website called CouponMom.com. You may have seen the founder of Couponmom, Stephanie Nelson, on any number of television shows. She’s made quite a name for herself in the penny pinching department.
To me, the most valuable feature of her website is the “Grocery Deals by State.” This is an incredibly powerful tool because as any competent clipper knows, the way to save real bucks is by using your coupons on items that are also on sale. The only trick is keeping your coupons organized properly so that you can easily match a coupon with a sale item. Trust me, it’s not easy and those little pocket size file folders cannot compare to CouponMom’s System.
The way it works is sheer genius. Save the coupon circulars each week. (No clipping and filing every single coupon half of which you won’t use.) Write the date on the front page of each booklet. Register on Couponmom.com and select your supermarket from the database list. Then the database will tell you that week’s sale items and in what week a coupon appeared in your newspaper. Just locate the circular for that date and clip your coupon. This is heaven. I am going to be one of those women who gets $200 worth of groceries for $45, just wait.
Here’s an example of my savings today. Muir Glen soups are on sale at Shoprite this week for $2.50. In the Sunday circulars there was a coupon for 75 cents off of Muir Glen soups. Shoprite doubles all coupons under $100. So, the final price of the soup was $1.00. Here is what this item looks like when it appears on CouponMom.
02-08 S Muir Glen Soup 18.7-oz. – charity! $1.50 1 $2.50 $1.00 67%
The date at the beginning of the line is the date of the circular you need to locate. The $1.50 is the coupon value, $2.50 sale price, $1.00 final cost and the 67% is the total savings. Pretty cool huh? “Charity” appears next to products that would make good donations to your local food pantry. Love That!!!
My real savings potential will come about 4 weeks from now when I have a healthy library of circulars to draw from. I have a 2 drawer file cabinet in my kitchen which will come in handy for keeping the circulars organized.
Here’s another example of my savings today. Ziploc Freezer Bags are on sale at Shoprite. Originally 2.19. The sale price is $1.79. I had a 40 cent coupon that was doubled. The end price? $. 99. God I love that. Stickin’ it to the Grocery Man.
Today’s total savings was $18.24. Not exactly putting the hurt on the Grocery Man yet, but check back with me next month and we’ll see how Ms. Nelson’s system is working. If you have experience with CouponMom.com or other coupon sites that you recommend, I would love to hear your feedback. I’m still poking around CouponMom. I’m sure there are many more handy tools I have yet to discover.