How to Get Started Using Grocery Coupons
Just getting started and wondering what’s the best way to save money with grocery coupons?
No problem! We’ve created this handy guide to assist you in maximizing your savings when heading to the supermarket.
Just follow these simple tips and become an ‘extreme couponing’ pro in no time!
Step 1. Find Coupons Before You Go Grocery Shopping!
The most basic question is where you can actually find the best deals when supermarket shopping. If you head to the supermarket without this information, it’s too late. A few minutes of prep time before heading to the grocery store can save you literally hundreds of dollars each year! So it’s worth the effort. Here’s where to find supermarket coupons:
The Newspaper – Yes, the venerable newspaper still has printed grocery offers that can offer you discounts on top-brand items. Be sure to check the Sunday paper in particular for the inserted supermarket circulars.
Online Weekly Ads – Most supermarket chains provide their weekly ads and circulars online. Please visit our Supermarket Weekly Ads – Sales Circulars & Newspaper Ads page to find your local supermarket specials.
Printable Grocery Coupons – Fast, easy, and free. Check out our list of printable grocery coupons here at CouponsLink.com. Just select the coupons you want to use in-store, then print and redeem in-store. Simple!
Magazine Coupons – Some magazines, especially those that focus on health or home & garden, will have coupon ads inside. Top magazines that feature coupons are: Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Garden, Woman’s Day, Shape, Sunset magazine, and many others
Tearpads/Blinkies/Peelies – These are coupons you can find along the supermarket aisles. Many of these coupons are at eye-level, and are hanging on the shelf, etc. Keep a look out
“Catalina” or Receipt Coupons – Always keep your supermarket receipt! Why? Check the back or very bottom of your receipt. Often times there are promotional offers here catered to your purchases. You will sometimes also receive a special separate receipt with special coupons and deals.
eCoupons – This is the latest technology, and not available in all stores. These are electronic coupons are coupons that are loaded into your store loyalty card or smartphone, and reduce costs for items without ever having to use paper, etc.
Step 2. When to use grocery coupons to maximize savings?
Once you have your coupons ready to use, a coupon-savvy shopper often times purchases to get the most bang for the buck. But when should you use grocery coupons? Here are a few tips to try:
Buy items already on sale – Sometimes, this involves waiting for your item to already be on sale before using your coupon. A good rule of thumb is to always print grocery coupons as soon as you see them available. Then check the expiration date to get an idea of how much time you have to wait for a sale.
Learn the sale cycle – Believe it or not, sales for particular items usually fall into a cycle. This sale cycle can be anywhere from 8-10 weeks. So an item you saw on sale last week may not be on sale again for upwards of two months. However, special events and seasonal items will break that cycle as well. (For example, candy will be on sale leading up to Halloween, and so on.) So keep a look out for brand-named products you regularly purchase, and follow the sale cycle! To assist you, check the menus above for weekly ads or circulars for your favorite supermarket.
Step 3. Get the most out of your coupons!
Information is the key! Each store has a different policy on using coupons. Some stores have “double coupon” promotions, and others allow you to even use a competitor’s coupon. It’s important that you go to the Customer Service counter and/or ask the store manager of your favorite supermarket about their coupon policy. You may be throwing money away each week by not simply asking. Ask if your store offers any of the following:
Coupon Stacking – This is where an item is already on sale via a store coupon/promotion, and yet you’re still able “stack on” or combine this offer with a manufacturer’s coupon as well. Savings here can really add up! Most stores do allow you to stack coupons on top of a grocery store’s own coupon or promotion, but it’s important to know the exact store policy on this. Again, knowledge is power…and savings!
Double Coupons – This is where the store literally doubles the value of each coupon you bring in and use. A $0.75 off coupon becomes a full $1.50 off! Are there limits? Is this only available on certain days or times? Ask for the specifics to know your store’s policy.
Competitor Coupons – Does your local supermarket accept coupons from a competing supermarket? Ask. This can be a huge benefit, not only from the standpoint in that you can save a trip to another store, but you can also usually avoid the original store being sold out of a particular item due to their coupon. If the competition has the item and accepts the originals store’s coupon, you win…and save! Again, be sure to ask the Customer Service assistant the exact competitor coupons they will accept, and so on.
Step 4. Stock up and Save $$$!
Okay, when you’ve followed all the steps above and you have your printable grocery coupons in-hand, so what’s next? It’s time to stock up! As you can see in the example above, it’s the perfect time to stock up and save. You’ll need to check each store on maximum quantities, as well as any other potential limitations, but for non-perishable items, this is how you can become an extreme couponer!
The above tips are just a guide to get started and how to maximize savings. However, you don’t need to apply any or all of the steps above to save money. You can always simply browse our selection of printable grocery coupons, and then head to your local supermarket. That’s it! You’ll save money, and the more coupons you print, the more you save. Coupons here are free to print, so be sure to print as many as possible just in case! Happy couponing!