Search for Savings

Couponing 101

Here is what I have learned:
1. stock up on ink and paper...worth every penny!! (its always nice to get them on sale, check staples.com and officedepot.com)
2. cut and print EVERY coupon, you never know when you can get something for FREE.
3. Donate what you don't use, someone is always in need (especially in THIS economy!).
4. Buy the Sunday paper and always check your mailbox for those annoying flyers that usually just go in the trash. They usually contain some coupons!!
5. Ask friends and family who do not use coupons for their Sunday coupons. It can come in handy to double or triple up on coupons!
6. Check in on websites everyday for new coupons and deals.
7. Take a minute to write/email your favorite companies for coupons. You will be surprised, most companies do want your business and just by sending a few nice words can go a long way! I wrote Tyson and they sent me coupons for chicken!
8. NEVER copy coupons-this is a HUGE felony! You can print most coupons out twice.

Publix

Ah, Publix my home away from home! :) Here are the very useful tips for Publix:

1. They take manufacturing AND store coupons....when I say store, I mean competitors too! The Publix by my house accepts Kroger and Ingles coupons ONLY. Each store is different, so ask their customer service (they are the only store I know of that takes competitors coupons).
2. Stack coupons with their BOGO, you can stock up on a ton of items!
3. I like to shop on Thursdays if the penny coupon is good. Spend $10 on Thursday and get the penny item. Some stores require you to cut out the coupon from the store while others automatically change the price for you.
4. Publix also doubles their coupons and manufacturing coupons ONLY up to .50 (they do not double competitors coupons).

Kroger

1. They double up on coupons up to $0.50
2. Stack your coupons with their store coupon and a manufacturing coupon.
3. You can go to Kroger.com and load coupons onto your Kroger plus card.
4. They usually let you use their ecoupons and manufacturing coupons together (while some will not let you). So basically you could use an ecoupon, Kroger coupon, AND a manufacturing coupon!
5. Remember you can save 10 cents for every $100 spent, so that's another incentive...especially when gas prices are ridiculously high (I mean, seriously, is it necessary for gas to cost $3.40 a gallon!?)!!
6. Cellfire.com is also teamed up with Kroger to add more coupons (and sometimes win free coupons on an entire purchase)!
7. I have learned to scan the Plus card FIRST and not at the end. I have had problems with the machine not taking off my coupon I loaded and then having to deal with customer service (which can be a pain!).

CVS

1. Oh I how I love CVS too! With CVS you can earn ExtraCare Bucks (like getting cash back).
2. When you first walk into CVS, make sure to scan your extracare card. They will dispense coupons of all kinds....usually really good ones. Hold on to them, sometimes those items will go on sale and you can earn ECB (extracare bucks) from them.
3. They do not double up on coupons. :(
4. You can do multiple transactions to pay next to nothing for your items.
5. When using ECB you cannot use a $5 ECB towards a $5 purchase. You may have to pay for a pack of gum to get the $5 item for free. I think its a scam to get us to buy more! haha
6. Join their Beauty Club and you can earn a $5 ECB coupon for every $50 purchase in the beauty department.
7. CVS Coupon Policy
Rite Aid

1. They are JUST like CVS. Everything I said above can be applied to their Up Rewards program.
2. They do not have a coupon dispenser at any of their stores though.
3. Rite Aid has video value coupons on their site. You have to watch 15 sec-30 sec videos of the products. VERY worth the time since you can use these coupons at some Publix's or you can stack them at Rite Aid as well!
4. Rite Aid also has rebate checks they will send you. They are called Single Rebate Checks on certain items each week and/or month. You can only submit them once a month, so it's worth holding off on submitting for them until the last of the month. I have done this myself and it worked with no problems!

Target

1. You can stack coupons at Target too! Go to Target.com to print out their coupons, some will be manufacturing and some will be store coupons.
2. They do not double coupons either....bummer!
3. Make sure you read their coupon policy!

Walmart

Not too long ago I thought Wal-mart was a terrible place to shop at with coupons. After researching their coupon policy, I have found they are not as bad as I thought. Wal-mart actually accepts competitor coupons!
1. Wal-mart accepts competitor coupons only if there is a specific value amount on the coupon (i.e. $2.99 value).
2. They accept FREE item coupons ONLY if there is a specific value amount.
3. They do NOT accept FREE item coupons if they are printed from the internet.
4. They do NOT accept competitor coupons with a percentage off a purchase (20% off purchase) OR a dollar amount off a purchase (i.e. Publix $3 off $50 purchase coupon).
Now, if only they could manage to open more than 5 lanes at a time. It will always baffle me why they even have 50 check-out lanes and only use 5 of them at a time! LOL

Other tips


1. Always go through that junk mail you get, especially the blue envelope (ValuPak?). There are great coupons for stores and restaurants in them. If you live in Auburn, always check your water bill's flyer...the restaurants in the area usually have a coupon in them.
2. Don't be ashamed to be THAT person who holds up the line. It's always good to be courteious and let the people behind you and the cashier that it will take a few extra minutes. If you are organized (get organized people, its highly embarressing and takes twice as long to get through the store and check-out if you are not organized) it will take no time at all!
3. Again, cut every coupon out. EVERY one, even those Depends coupons. You will be surprised how many times the Depends go on sale and you can get them for free. Yea, you may not use them (although, I am considering them for my dog who keeps peeing on the rugs in the foyer!)...but donate them to a local assisted living facility. Gotta love tax write-offs!
4. Take any coupons you see in the store from the little smartsource machines. You never know when you will need it or could use it on THAT purchase (I had this happen with some Halls cough drops at Publix).
5. CVS, Rite Aid, and Publix gives out rain checks for any items that are out of stock and on sale (I am not sure about Kroger or any other stores...). Take advantage of this and ask for more of the item than you think you need...you never know if you may find another coupon between then and later.
6. If you go to one of the stores who lets you stack coupons (use a store coupon AND manufacturing coupon), put it to good use. There have been a ton of free coupons by different companies circulating recently. If you can, HOLD ON TO THE FREE COUPON until there is a store coupon so you can actually make the item a moneymaker!
7. Use Ibotta to earn cash back on top of coupons!
Sources

While I would love to say I am brilliant and discovered this all on my own...the credit really goes to others.

1. iheartpublx.com2. iheartkroger.com3. iheartsavingmoney.com3. southernsavers.com4. spoofee.com5. coupons.com6. smartsource.com7. redplum.com8. totallytarget.com