Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Financial Drama Part: II

Before I run off on a wild tangent about saving money at the grocery store, I figured I should take a little time to explain the coupon process!

Part II: Coupons

Coupons are EXCELLENT tools to insure that you purchase an item at its absolute lowest cost. In general, I do not consider purchasing an item unless it is at least 40% off prior to any coupons; however, there are some exceptions.

  • My first rule of thumb when couponing is to become familiar with the coupon policies put in place at your local retailers and grocery stores. Secondly, follow the rules stated on the coupons, and only use them for the items listed or printed. By doing so, you increase your chances of avoiding Check-Out Drama when there are 20 people in the line behind you, a child in total meltdown, and the already treacherous purse search for your debit card!

Where do you find coupons?

Coupons can be found in many places. Most well-known are the Sunday paper and the Internet. The Sunday papers will vary according to your region and/or the paper you receive. For example, we receive a smaller local Sunday paper, Gwinnett Daily Post, opposed to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Accordingly, our coupons are usually in smaller or edited quantities. There are three main coupon inserts for the Sunday Paper:

SmartSource (SS): Runs Weekly

RedPlum (RP): Runs Weekly

Proctor and Gamble (P&G): Runs Monthly

Outside of the Sunday paper, the next, and perhaps most popular source, for coupons is the internet. There are several reputable sources for internet printable coupons. Again, before you print a stack of coupons, make sure your intended retail or grocery store accepts internet printable coupons. (If you are local and unsure, shoot me an email! I'm pretty familair with most retailers in Georgia. ) Here are the four primary internet sources I use for printing coupons: : Provides downloadable coupons which load to your preferred shopper's card such as a Kroger Plus Card. No Clipping required!)

There are some special rules which apply to printable internet coupons. First, and most important, never ever ever make photocopies or abuse printable coupons. Each coupon prints with a unique bar code or identification number, so they cannot be replicated. Each website sets a print limit on their coupons. (Most allow 2 prints per IP Address.)

Check back in for the next part of the Financial Drama mini-series which will focus on using coupons to get the best deals!


  1. and are awesome too!!

    My best coupon experience so far was at target - $159 in stuff and I paid $56! You can also contact manufacturers of brands you regularly use to see if they will send you coupons too :)

    Great post!!

  2. Awesome job at Target! My best couponing days are at Publix! Man... I love that store!

    Good point about the manufacturers! Nearly every manufacturer webpage will have some sort of special offers tab with goodies.

  3. So my thing is..when I use coupons I usually end up buying things I normally wouldn't. So I feel like I really don't save that much. :( Idk if I'm just bad at it or what. Is there anywhere to find coupons on milk, bread or meat? LOL thats where I need coupons.

  4. Essentials are often excluded from coupons; however, every now and then Publix, Kroger, or other stores will issue coupons for their meat, produce, dairy, and bakery products. When it comes to buying staple items, sometimes you just have pay retail price (makes me cringe).

    In my case, I use coupons to try a lot of products or brands that we normally wouldn't buy. When I can buy an item for $0.10 (for example) that is similar to another product I would regularly buy, then to me, it is worth it to try the alternative. Brand loyalties are something I gave up a long time ago. Nothing wrong with buying a product at full price because you like it, but I'll stick to my coupons. Recently, I got Herbal Essences shampoo for $0.25 a bottle. Normally, I don't use Herbal Essences, but $0.25 compared to the regularly priced shampoos at $4.00+ a bottle is a good deal, and I'm willing to try a new shampoo if it means I save a good bit of money.

  5. In the case of produce; buy what is in season. In season items are priced lower, and if there is a good deal on fruits or veggies, keep in mind that you can always jar or freeze what you want to save for later. Buying what is in season is also a great way to get the kids to try new fruits and veggies!

    Also, buy local! Local farmers markets usually offer great deals (compared to retail stores) on fresh produce. Plus, you're supporting your local agriculture!

  6. I guess I should at least get the paper or something and at least clip the coupons I could use. I will be reading your tips and maybe I can do better :)