Couponing- how easy is it really?

A few posts back I mentioned that I was going to start couponing. I’ve picked up a few things here and there in the two weeks I have been at it. I am by no means an expert like a lot of my friends, but I can share with you what I have figured out.

First, you really need to subscribe to your local news paper. Buying just Sunday’s paper from a news stand is ridiculously expensive compared to the price you get for a weekly paper. Also, some coupons come out mid-week. Like today, we received the flyers for Walgreens, Publix, Albertson’s and a few other local grocers. Don’t cut every single coupon out. You will waste time and you won’t use them all. Once you start clipping, you will want to organize them somehow so you can find them when you need them.  Keep the flyers for the coupons you don’t cut out until they expire.

I purchased a notebook from Walgreens that had plastic page separators and pockets in it. Each page has clipped coupons (that I will probably use) organized by how I shop. For instance, when I make out a grocery list I have it separated by section.

Cold, Meat, Cans, Veggies and Other. 

That is how my coupon book is organized. I have all the cold coupons (yogurt, milk, creamer) etc in one section and so on.

I shop at Publix. I recently found out that Publix accepts coupons from other stores. You will need to find out from your Publix if it’s the same, but mine had a handy little leaflet that listed the stores that they accept coupons from.

I am so glad that I found this out because there are so many great coupons from the other stores. Winn Dixie had a $5 off your total purchase Father’s Day weekend and Albertson’s has one in today’s paper.

Another thing I learned: when a coupon says, “Buy any 3 Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, Cocoa Krispies or Frosted  Krispies 9 oz or larger and get 1 gallon of milk free” there are some things you need to know about that coupon. First, the milk has to be store brand milk. Second, when you grab that jug of milk, write down the price of the milk on your coupon so you have it for the person at the register.  See the coupon above for the meat? I will need to buy all Publix brand meat to use that coupon. Try to pair your coupons with a sale. Publix is really good at putting items on sale that have a coupon to go with them. Pay close attention because in the 2 weeks I have used coupons, their BOGO’s also have coupon matches! You can get a sales price on the first item and get the second one free.

Publix also has a stand full of their own coupons. Usually it’s near the entrance. I usually pick up two when I am in there so I can use them.

In addition to the paper, the coupons on the stand in the store, other store’s coupons, Publix also has those coupon machines located all around the store. They were giving $1.00 creamer coupons last week. My kid’s LOVE grabbing those coupons. Thing 1 and Thing 2 usually grab one a piece and when we get home, they give them all to me. Again, something you may have seen a few dozen times on your grocery trip, but didn’t realize the value in those machines.

Finally, what do the numbers mean on the coupons.

This part, I am still learning about. This website lays it out really nicely with charts so I am going to send you there to learn more. Go to For The Mommas. I would print out those pages and place them with your coupons so you know what you are looking at.

Handy websites that will offer you more printable coupons:

Southern Savers

Smart Source

P&G Everyday Solutions

Coupon Clippers

Carolina Couponer

Coupon Keri

To sum it up, I have learned that it really isn’t all that hard to coupon (for groceries). Shopping at Walgreens for the soap and stuff is an entirely different couponing beast. I hope this helps and if I missed something, please leave your tips in the comments for others and myself!