Like I said earlier, I get questions all the time in comments on my posts, and I am TERRIBLE at remembering to answer them! I thought this would be a great way to combine them all into one, and it would be easier for everybody to see.
Q: Do you have to drive all over town buying things at different stores in order to stock up on what you need and to take advantage of all of the coupons?
A: No! The best way to do it is to pick 1 or two stores (1 grocery store, 1 drug store) that you concentrate on. That way, you can really get to know their policies, their sale cycles, etc. This also works well for drug stores, since you won’t have to keep up with a MILLION different rewards cards/coupons! My two (right now) are Publix and Walgreens…the drug store changes every once in a while. I also suggest focusing on 1 or 2 coupon websites to use at these stores. Y’all probably know mine are southernsavers.com and iheartpublix.com. I’ll occasionally check other sites, but these are my go-to’s!
Q: How do you meal plan and how do you use what you’ve bought in order to make meals that make sense?
A: This is a tricky one…you have to get creative sometimes! The best way I’ve found to do it is this: separate your meats, carbs (like rice, potatoes, bread), and veggies into categories. I don’t have a specific spreadsheet or organization method or anything like that, I just kind of keep a running record in my head of what I have. When it comes time to plan your menu for the week, pick one meat, one carb, and one veggie…voila! You have a dinner. You usually always have a pretty good stock of all of these if you coupon regularly, so it’s not hard to find ones that go well with each other.
Q: Where do you get the coupons you use?
A: I have two main places I use for coupons – the Sunday paper, and the internet. Here’s what you do – start saving the coupon inserts (there are usually two, sometimes more, sometimes less) from your Sunday paper every week. It takes a month or two to get a decent stock. Then, use a website like the ones I mentioned above to match the sales at the grocery stores every week to what coupons you have. These sites give links to the internet coupons you can get – it couldn’t get easier! Probably 90% of the coupons I use come from the paper or the internet. I also look at the kiosks at the front of the stores for coupon books…sometimes they have some, sometimes they don’t. You can look for “blinkies” (the coupon dispensers in the store) and tearpads in stores too…I’ll do this if I see a product I use, but not very often.
Q: Where did you get the Publix coupons for the Cottonelle?
A: This was one of the coupons I got from the front kiosk in the store. There is a bright blue pamphlet that’s titled “Start Your Year Out With Savings” that has the paper coupons and rebate info! It was a great deal!
Q: Why do your internet coupons double?
A: Different stores have different policies on what coupons double (if any). I know most Publix stores around here double any coupon (including internet) up to 50 cents. So, a 40 cent coupon is actually worth a lot more at Publix than a 55 cent coupon! But check with your particular store for their policy, especially concerning internet printables. I’m pretty sure Wal-Mart won’t even take internet printables around here…it just really depends on the store. That’s why it’s a good idea to get really familiar with one or two stores!
If you have any more questions, send them my way! If I have enough, I’ll make another post for the new questions. 🙂
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