If you already have a handle on the basics of couponing, All You is ready with tips to up your game and take you to the next level of saving money on groceries.
You've taken steps toward serious savings. You scan store fliers and newspaper inserts, collect coupons and plan your shopping. But there are more deals out there, and you want them. Combine loyalty-card savings with coupon deals and you'll save about 35 percent off the average monthly grocery bill for a family of four.
- Pick up papers. Newspaper inserts account for more than 90 percent of all coupons issued — and half of what is actually redeemed. If your Sunday paper is a gold mine for you, buy extra copies.
- Befriend your favorite brands. In exchange for your email address, companies including General Mills, Kellogg's, Kraft, and Johnson and Johnson email newsletters with recipes, an occasional "first look" at new products before they hit the shelves and printable online high-value coupons that might not be available elsewhere, such as one for a "buy one, get one free" box of Cheerios.
- Don't be shy. Ask neighbors, friends and co-workers for their unwanted coupons.
- Don't waste time stacking up store deals with your coupons — let someone else do it.
- Go to a national matchup site, like couponmom.com, or find a local one by googling your grocery store and "deals." Bookmark it. The site will compile the weekly sales at local drugstores and grocery stores and match corresponding coupons to those sales for maximum savings. Coupondivas.com and other sites even offer direct links to the exact coupons you want. No need to search around. Just click and print.
- Of course, you already know what you can save through the process of stacking your manufacturer's and store coupons for a product (a lot!). Want to get even more cash back on top of that? Join SavingStar, which partners with companies to offer a payout when you buy any of the products on a given list. Buy the item, swipe your loyalty card at checkout and the value of each SavingStar coupon will be credited to your account. You can choose to receive a PayPal payment, a bank deposit or an Amazon gift card.
- Pull coupon inserts from your Sunday newspaper, mark the date on a top corner of each insert so you can easily flip through and find the one you want. Store them in a container that can hold letter-size documents, with the oldest at the bottom.
- Go to one of the matchup sites to see what's on sale and if there is a corresponding coupon to save even more. That site will tell you which newspaper inserts contain the coupons you want, by publisher (P&G, RedPlum or SmartSource) and the date (RP-6/14 means RedPlum's June 14 insert, for example). Snip the ones you want, and clip them to your shopping list. About every three months, go through the inserts or look on coupontom.com for expiration dates, then toss the obsolete ones.
We love: Bigso Kate Stockholm letter box, $11; at the Container Store.
— Laura Daily
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