How to get the biggest return with Couponing.

Hi everyone!  I get a lot of people saying to me…  “I clip and use coupons but I just don’t feel like I”m saving much.”  I wanted to put out there some good principles to live by with couponing and to let you all know I’m doing a free class in Gorham, ME on Sept 24th 9am and Lifechurch.  EVERYONE is welcome!!! 

 

1) Don’t use a coupon if the price afterwards is still more expensive than another brand or the generic (if the other brands are acceptable)  If you have a coupon for $.25 off 3 cans of hunts tomatoes  and that price is more expensive than Hannaford brand then buy Hannaford brand or WAIT till there is a sale.

2) Don’t buy a full price item because you don’t have it if you don’t NEED it.  If it’s not in the meal plan then you can wait for a coupon and sale.

3) When an item goes on sale and is cheaper than what you can get it at any other stores stock up even if you don’t have the coupons.  Bumblebee Tuna fish went on sale for $.59 this summer, I think at CVS.  I didn’t have coupons and didn’t get any and now I’m kicking myself now because I’m out and not finding many good deals.

4) If an item goes rock bottom price and there are coupons…  order more from clipping services if you can.  ONLY order from reputable sites because coupon fraud is a crime.  I use E but make sure they have been doing it a little while and have a GREAT rating.  Example….  my hubby does triathlons and trains hard and uses a ton of sports drinks.  Powerade a few weeks ago went on sale for $.88 at Shaw’s.  I didn’t have any coupons but ordered 20- $.75 off 2.  Shaw’s doubles that coupon so I was able to get 40 Powerades for  $7.20 or $.18 a bottle (and that INCLUDED the $.05 deposit)  I’m lucky that I live close and drive by often because they’d only double 4 of a like coupon so I had to make 3 trips to do this 2 with my hubby and his Shaw’s card.

3)  When something goes rock bottom price you buy 3 to 6 months.  Why only buy a few if you know you’ll use it.  most items only hit rock bottom 1 time in 3 to 6 months.  My favorite list is HERE.  (Thanks Living Well Spending Less!) 

4) Do meal plans.  IT WORKS…  Go through your fridge, freezer and stockpile and see what you can make with what you already have.  Also I find it helps with the older kids and hubby if they know what is for dinner and they can help prepare if you are out with the other kiddos and running late.

5) Don’t think you HAVE to have certain meals or variety every week.  If chicken is on sale for .89 a pound than guess what…  my family will be having a ton of chicken that week.  Get creative and use online recipes like http://allrecipes.com/.  With chicken legs/thighs that are $.89 a lb you can do: BBQ chicken, chicken pot pie, chicken terriyaki stir fry, chicken alfredo, chicken tacos, rosemary chicken with baked potatoes.

     NOTE: with chicken pieces get a big pot, just cover with water, add a bunch of spices (garlic, salt, rosemary, thyme, sage… whatever you got)  Boil the chicken until it’s cooked.  Let it cool and then pick the meat off the bone and put it into individual freezer bags.  I use 1 lb of meat per bag so I can grab one to cook with later. 

Sorry for the lack of posts,  my family and my husband’s family have needed me for some medical stuff and my sister, her hubby, 3-year-old and 1-year-old twins are up from Tennessee…  I’m feeling like with cheering, soccer, cooking, canning, groceries, my workouts, boy scouts, church, laundry… ugh!  I think all of us are kind of glad when the fall routine starts to get back to some normalcy, but whew!  My normalcy slapped me up side the head.  🙂

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