Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Starting on the Grocery Game

Today is part one of how I do the grocery game. I hope to get this all to you in just two days, but I have limited time!

Things You Need

1. Sale papers - Sunday paper and Wednesday Trading Post (For Stephenville this is where you get the HEB and Kroger ads.)

2. Coupon Organizer (Set it up how it works best for you. Mine is by category, I know some who have it alphabetized. You decide this because you will have to refer to your organizer a lot!)

3. Envelopes (Carry your coupons to the store in these. Write coupon details on the outside so you don't have to fish around trying to remember what size item or how many items the coupon is for.)

4. Notebook or folder with pockets (I do this for keeping all my coupon envelopes and other things all in one spot. I have a pocket for all the coupons that aren't in my organizer (department stores, restaurants, etc.) I'm also using it to keep track of monthly spending and saving. Have a pocket for all the week's sales papers.)

5. Calculator (for calculating savings and for figuring the best deals)

6. Color printer with plenty of ink (for online coupons)

7. Kroger Card (for shopping at Kroger, obviously!)

8. Staples Reward Card (cash back on ink purchases and you can get deals with the card sometimes)

Sources of Coupons

1. Sunday paper

2. Internet - both coupon sites and company sites

3. All You magazine

4. Other magazines sometimes have them too, watch as you’re reading

5. On the product - peel off type

6. In store inserts (like HEB, they have a store brand coupon book at the end of the registers right now!)

Things You Need to Know

1. Store price match and coupon policies

WalMart: matches any printed price, including X for $X prices, will accept any valid coupon (Stephenville WM tries to not take printed coupons, take a copy of store policy with you if you need to). For price matching you have to have the insert with you. I'm not sure if they match produce prices. I have yet to find one lower.

Kroger: Triples coupons up to 39 cents and doubles 40 cents to 50 cents

2. Simple math for figuring your percentage saved:

Example: I went to Kroger and spent $35, while saving $45. What percentage did I save?

Here's how: Add savings to spendings to see what the trip would have cost (don't worry about tax). The trip would have cost $80 without my savings. Therefore, I want to know what percentage of $80 I saved.

Divide 45 by 80 and multiply that answer by 100. That's your percentage saved. Did you get 56.25%? That's it! Simple.

Tomorrow I will post some tips for success as well as a list of the sites I use for freebies, coupons and more!

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