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Tips from the Coupon Queen


Tips for supermarket shoppers




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Disclaimer:
Jill Cataldo is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

CTW Features
May 17, 2011 | 1,938 views | 1 comment

Recently, we reviewed reasons why shoppers enjoy lower prices and more frequent deals shopping at a supermarket rather than at an “everyday low price” supercenter.

But what if your shopping options are limited? What if you don’t have a large supermarket nearby and you’re limited to a small grocery, a family-owned store, or a supercenter?

The best grocery discounts are found at big, regional, or national supermarket chains. Think of big supermarkets as “high/low” stores, based on the way they cycle prices. On any given day, about half the items in a big supermarket will be priced higher than a midline level. The other half of the products will be priced lower than that midline.

Coupon shoppers wait for lower prices, then use coupons to reduce prices even more. Many of the best coupon shoppers rely on grocery list “matchup” websites that track sale prices for supermarkets around the country, providing a list of the best buys each week and matching up the coupons needed to purchase sale products. (For a list of popular matchup sites go to the Getting Started section of my website, www.SuperCouponing.com.)

Back in the day, people would simply cut all of the coupons out of the newspaper each week, then spend time organizing and sorting hundreds of little, loose pieces of paper. Now, it’s easier. With the system I teach, we keep each week’s entire coupon insert intact and only cut the coupons we need.

Coupon matchup sites refer to coupons by the dates they were distributed in the newspaper and by the names of the insert. So, a reference to “5/2 SS” tells me that the coupon I need is in the May 2 edition of the SmartSource insert. Since I write the date on the front of each coupon insert before I file it, it’s easy to locate the insert and clip the coupon.

If your only local shopping option is a small grocery store, you may not be able to use an online matchup list that spells out exactly the best coupons to use. You’ll need to match coupons to sales on your own. But that’s not as difficult as it sounds and I’ve got a tool that will help. Grab the sales flyer for your store of choice and sit down at your computer.

Visit SuperCouponing.com and click on the “coupon lookup.” This free tool helps shoppers match coupons to sales. Look at your store’s flyer and circle the items that interest you. Then, use the online coupon lookup to find coupons for those products. Enter general categories like soup or cereal, or brand names like Progresso or Kellogg. The lookup will tell you the dates and names of the inserts where you will find coupons for the desired products. Note that location info next to each item you circled in the store flyer. When you’re done making matchups, refer to the flyer and pull the corresponding coupon inserts from your files. Cut out just the coupons you need today, refile the inserts for future use and head to the store.

If your only shopping option is an everyday low price supercenter, you may not enjoy many deals where you take products home free after using coupons. Prices at everyday low price stores typically do not dip low enough to match the dollar amounts of high-value coupons. But, you can still use the online coupon lookup tool. You’ll certainly save much more than you would if you didn’t use coupons at all.

CTW Features

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer, and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at www.supercouponing.com. E-mail your couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com .
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
May 19, 2011 2:37pm
 
Don't miss the coupons for a FREE Frozen Strawberry Lemonade AND $1.00 off any Frappe or Real Fruit Smoothie! These McDonald's coupons are in this week's American Profile magazine.

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