Do any of your husbands wait gleefully for you to return from the grocery store like mine does? Before he even starts looking through the bags and bags of delicious goodies I bring home he asks the typical husband question. “How much did you spend?” Now I have a budget of $100 a week due to the fact my 9 month old is in diapers and uses formula since my milk dried up early. (That is another story for another time). But I try to keep our groceries to $60 a week because that is $40 that can be used to pay down a debt. Some I married into, one is mine and the others occurred during some times of extreme financial hardships. When my husband was laid off a couple years ago, we had to find ways to limit our spending. I had to learn how to bring my grocery costs down and fast! I went through a lot of trial and error as I tried to bring my grocery costs down to approximately $40/ week. But, I have learned ways of saving money in this potential money pit!
There are many ways to stack the savings and I will show you how to do that here
So the best way to utilize your coupons is to pair them with the sales. Watch for the “mega sales” that is the time to stock up on the pantry items.
How do I use the coupons to get the amazing in store savings? Well, let me tell you that amazing and fun side of life. J The important thing is to know what sales are happening at your local store. For instance at my local store (Kroger) we have various mega sales like buy 4 save $4, or buy 6 save $3. How this works is there is a list of items that I can mix and match, but for every group of 4 that I buy off that list I save $4! That is $1 off each item. (Sometimes it is only 50 cents. You have to watch the sales). Now I like to match the coupons with the sales items. For example they had Pampers wipes on sale for $1.99, but with the buy 4 save $4 they were $0.99!!!! BUT I had $0.50/1 (50 cents off 1 package) of wipes coupons (FIVE of them, oh happy day)!!! That brought the cost of the package of wipes to $0.49!
We’ve all heard of coupons, or have seen extreme couponing champions. My biggest question was when I began was WHERE do I get the coupons. I’m horrible about making sure I buy a paper (or 2 or 3) each Sunday. If you are like me and get caught up with life, you will be happy to hear that coupons have entered the digital age!!! (Hallelujah, I LOVE the digital life). is the place to go for those coupons. Unfortunately there may be a couple of coupons that you would miss out on if you had bought the paper, but not enough to freak out if you forget the paper. (Trust me, it’s seems to be my life).
Here you can print TWO copies per COMPUTER (not printer)! So if there are multiple computers in your house, or your neighbors and you can get in on the action and print off 2 copies per computer of the coupon you want. To choose the coupons you need, just “clip” them with a click of the mouse and press the print button. Now I wouldn’t print off ALL the coupons, just the ones that you are most likely to use. Do you have a cat? Great, but if you’re like me and your husband hates cats; then the cat food or litter coupons would be a waste of ink. UNLESS you find a group of people with whom you could trade coupons. For instance, you need diapers, but don’t need coupons for dog food (or other things). You could swap them with someone who wants them.
Right now they have a deal where you get $10 for the first rebate you verify with them (it has to be within the first week of signing up). They also have bonuses you can earn. Then if you verify 5 more rebates in the month, you get an additional $2 bonus on top of the rebates. You can cash out after getting $20 in rebates and they come in the form of either an e-gift card or PayPal/Venom accounts. This is my absolute favorite app!
I personally think it’s the most user-friendly of all the rebate apps. To select rebates you would like, you click the “Find Rebates” search button. Next you will select which store you would like your rebates. I usually check the main stores I shop at but for you online shoppers, they also have online stores like Amazon, etc. When you’re finished shopping, click the redeem button and snap a photo of the receipt using their in app camera. Then you select the items you’re redeeming. Though they recently changed the app that if it has a QR code, it will automatically bring up the matching rebates! Please wait while I impersonate Michael Jackson and his moon walk over here.
I will be honest, I didn’t use this app as much until their recent changes. I used to overlook this app while I was combing through Ibotta and often missed deals. In my defense I felt overwhelmed by the learning curve. But I have learned the benefit of Checkout 21. Each week, their offers are uploaded on Thursday’s at 12:00 AM and are good through the next Wednesday at 11:59 pm. You have to make sure your receipt is uploaded during this time.
I will say the drawback of Checkout 51 is that there are quantities assigned to each rebate. But it’s a reminder to upload your rebate before they’re gone. In the words of the age-old adage, “You snooze, you loose.”
This is another way where savings have entered the digital age! I have a few that are my favorites. They do have a policy that you have to redeem at least 2 rebates the month before to unlock the healthy savings towards fruits or vegetables. To choose which rebates you would like, click the plus sign at the bottom of the offer. Once clicked, the offer will be highlighted and say “Activated”. The nice thing about Savings Star is that they are usually the same monetary value as the paper coupons from the Sunday Paper. Score one for me! It is like having my coupons doubled, even though the majority of stores no longer double coupons.
As much as possible I like to pair my coupons, apps and sales. It doesn’t always work out, but when it does you can bet I’m doing a happy dance!
MobiSave is one that I didn’t use a lot because the offers weren’t that great. But they have changed recently! Now if you watch the offers, you could either get the item for free or make money. That’s right, make money while grocery shopping! What a novel idea.
How this app works, it that you have to highlight the little flag icons next to the offer before you shop. It is imperative that it has to be done before you shop. Then you take a picture of your receipt, select the offers and voila’ you will receive money in approx 24-48 hours.
The Walmart App
If you like to shop at Walmart, then you MUST download this app! After each shopping trip, you hit the account button and select the scan receipts. Once you have scanned the receipt it will look to see if the item was listed for a lower price at another store and issue you a receipt! It definitely takes the leg work out of price matching!
Cartwheels and Store Saving
I will go into depth on this in another post. But the thing to know is that if you shop at target, you really should download the app. They have manufacturer’s coupons in it, but the bigger thing is they have percentage off store coupons! This is amazing because you can STACK the store coupon with the manufacturer’s coupon!!! That deserves some exclamation points!
Come back for more savings information. I will start posting each week the savings with coupons and apps from different stores (Kroger, Meijer, Wal-Mart, Walgreen, and CVS).