The best website that I discovered in 2009 was definitely Southern Savers. It’s helped me take my couponing from a casual level up to some significant savings. I now have a serious game plan when it comes to shopping as well as a mountain of coupons. I’m saving anywhere from $75 to $150 a month on groceries.
A few highlights of what I’ve learned from Jenny and the readers at SS:
1. Coupons are available in many more places than just the newspaper. Load coupons on your Kroger Plus card via Cellfire and similar sites. Print coupons online from both coupon sites and product sites. Pick up fliers in stores. Sign up for mailing lists (and opt out when the email gets to be too much).
2. Know the coupon insert schedule for your newspaper and cancel the paper (for a credit) when there won’t be any!
3. Use manufacturer’s and store coupons together for extra savings. Stack with a sale and really rack up.
4. Stock up when the price is right. Yeah, it’s weird that I have 7 tubes of toothpaste, 4 bottles of lotion, 5 body washes, 4 lip balms, 6 boxes of cereal, 9 boxes of Morningstar products, etc, but I got deals on all of those things and they all have a long, long shelf life.
5. Even high-end and organic products have coupons and go on sale. You might not be able to save as much, but you don’t have to compromise your standards to save some money. I have compromised somewhat, but it’s been essential as we cut expenses in preparation for having a baby.
6. Before you buy ANYTHING online (even ordering a pizza) check Retail Me Not for a coupon code. Users share their coupon codes and rate their usefulness. I’ve gotten a killer deal on some Papa John’s pizza and even sites that are not so mainstream have codes. Check this site out!
7. Take advantage of CVS and its Extra Care Bucks offers. You have to invest a little bit at the beginning and you need to be dedicated to using your Bucks before they expire, but CVS kind of gives stuff away if you’re willing to hunt for deals. See here for the Southern Savers guide to CVSing.
8. Triple coupons are real. You just need a Harris Teeter or a Kroger near a Harris Teeter. Watch for in-store signs or notifications on SS.
Once the baby’s here and I’m working less, I’m going to try to step up my game even more–looking more into rebates and such.