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Being Organized to be a Grocery Deal Hunter

I recently found out that September is National Coupon Month.   What a reason to celebrate!  Those who know me realize I LOVE coupons and deals. So, in honor of this holiday, I dedicate today's post.

My love for grocery coupons started about 5 years ago when I started working on advertising for Rubbermaid and was learning how to plan and drop coupons in the Sunday newspaper for our food storage [Fun Fact - Officially, those are called FSIs - Free Standing Inserts].   So, I started to get the paper and look at it on Sunday to learn more about it, and soon became addicted to looking for myself!  It is now something I look forward to on Sundays – a good cup of coffee and my newspaper!

Couponarticle

Just last night, I went to my local Harris Teeter and saved $27 on a $47 purchase.  So, I only paid $20 for my groceries.

I know there are a lot of experts out there (check out Jill Cataldo, she is my new favorite), but wanted to share my personal tips and tricks for how I stay organized to be a grocery deal hunter. 

1) ORGANIZE WHEN YOU CLIP

I have found this helps me to refrain from buying items I don't need.  For instance, I recently had to throw out 3 cartons of broth I had bought with coupons.  However, in the summer, not making soups, they expired and I ended up losing money by being overly coupon zealous.

Couponaccordian

Above is a photo of my organizer which is sorted:

a) By store. 

The front is for grocery

The back is for Target items
like toiletries and cleaning supplies that are most efficiently bought
at Target.   Even with tripling, Harris Teeter can be more expensive
than the every day Target price on these items.  Every time I am going to Target, I take a look to see if I need anything that is in that section soon.

b) By Type of Purchase

Triple Coupons – Within grocery, there is a section for items to only buy when there are triple coupons at Harris Teeter.  For instance, I do not use mayonaise daily. But I sometimes use it for recipes. If there is a $.75 coupon (worth $2.25 on triple coupon times) and mayonaise costs $1.89, I will save it to get it for free in case I need it.

Everyday Shopping – There is also a section by area of the store – so when I plan my shopping list, I can quickly see if I have coupons

2) UTILIZE ONLINE SITES

A few of my favorites are SmartSource and Coupons.com for which you can sign up for weekly emails.  I like it being delivered to me because then I don't have to plan to take time to look for the savings.

3) ALIGN YOUR MEALS WITH STORE SPECIALS

I am so impressed with Harris Teeter.  They have an eVic program that you can sign up for weekly.  Every Wednesday, I receive an email with the items I frequently buy that are on sale and also what is on sale in the entire store.  It also alerts you if it is Triple Coupon Week.  I spend 5 minutes to plan my shopping and meals for the week.  I look for:

a) Things I already buy and have no preference on switching.  For instance, I eat fruit daily and yogurt for breakfast every morning.  When shopping, I switch between blueberries / strawberries / grapes as well as yogurt brands depending on the deal that week.

b) BOGOs.  For instance, this week, London Broil and Turkey Burgers are Buy One Get One Free.  So, I plan to incorporate those into my meals this weekend.

I hope you find my tips beneficial.  Please leave comments with any additional tips you may have for Organizing Coupons and Savings.

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7 Responses to Being Organized to be a Grocery Deal Hunter

  1. Jenny Simpson November 8, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    This is great Lauren! I love saving money at the grocery store too. It’s amazing how many free things you can get if you just pay attention.

  2. Lauren Spahr September 24, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    There was an insert in last Sunday’s paper for $5 off. Hopefully, a friend still has the paper you could use to clip it?

  3. MARVIN HEALEY September 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    HOW DO I GET THE $5.00 COUPON FOR THE RUBBERMAID WET MOP?

  4. MARVIN HEALEY September 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    HOW DO I GET THE $5.00 COUPON FOR THE RUBBER MAID WET MOP?

  5. Szussino August 18, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    Don’t forget, http://www.groceryalerts.ca – we post money saving canadian coupons, and grocery deals to save time.

  6. Hot Deals UK July 27, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    Nice little post…consider me among the converted to online shopping. It’s just too easy, convenient and fun to ignore. And if I may, I recommend users check out http://www.ukhotdeals.com as their de facto price comparison site–I’ve found they have the best selection of varying merchants, meaning better selections and higher probability of saving some money.

  7. Melissa, Multitasking Mama September 28, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    Great advice!! I am a big couponer myself =)

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