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Because I am accountant... and this is my blog... I get to run the numbers for you. If you figure we save $35 a week on groceries using coupons, a shopper card, and planning our menu around the sale ad...
In a four week month, that is $140
In a year, that is $1820
What could you do with $1820 more a year? That's almost TWO of my house payments.
So, here's what I do.
First, I gather my sales ad, coupon book, paper, and pen.
I go through the sales ad and make a list of everything that we eat/like that's on sale. I also include the price for reference.
Next, I go through my coupons and look for any coupons that match up to what is on sale.
Based on what's on sale matched up with coupons and what else I have coupons for, I make my grocery list.
I send my husband to the grocery, with the coupons we are using, the list, the ad, and the coupon book for anything else he decides to buy.
The goal is to basically create your menu heavily based on what you have on sale at your local grocery AND what you have coupons for-- then, fill in with either what is only on sale or what you have coupons for that you need.
For coupons, I buy the Sunday paper when there are ads (there are never coupon inserts the week of a holiday). You can find a schedule online. I go through these and only cut what I know we will use/eat and recycle the rest. I also go to Red Plum, Coupons.com, and Smart Source online and print coupons from there. Same thing-- only what we will use/eat.
I also frequent Hot Coupon World for tips and coupon swaps. Hot Coupon World has a page on their site that lists all the printable coupon websites-- this is where I usually hit first to get my printable coupons. They also have an email service that will send out updates with the newest coupons and deals.
It takes me about 20 minutes to go through the coupon circulars on Sunday, cut them out and file them in the coupon book. I spend about 30 minutes a week scouring the coupon sites online and printing, cutting them out and filing them. My grocery list/menu planning above takes about 20 minutes. I usually do these during my lunch hours at work for something to do.
So, there you have it. How we coupon.
If you have any tips or ideas to share, please comment below!