I am sure that most of this is common sense, of which I lack sometimes. I called my Coupon Resource (my friend Mary) and asked her for her quick advice regarding my last two posts. Would you like to hear how she never pays more than 50% of store cost EVER and saves over 50% on her grocery bills (from before her new lifestyle of couponing)? Here are her tried and true tricks, 2 years running and still going strong!
First, she never lets a Sunday go by without getting a Sunday paper and scouring the coupons there. She finds the best deals and the coupons have a longer life for use.
She has registered on a website (www.thegrocerygame.com) that uses your zip code and local stores to give you the best choices. It costs $15/8 weeks of couponing. You can cancel any time. She has dedicated herself to tell people about that site because that is how she was able to get money back from Walgreens.
She visits with the Customer Service worker in the stores she frequents and asks them if they do "double coupon" days. Usually it is one time a month, but she marks that on her calendar and is able to get more for her money!
When things are on sale, she buys multiple.
Finally, she buys "the regulars" in bulk: toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissue, toothpaste, laundry detergent, sandwich bags, tinfoil, etc. She has shelving in her basement to keep the bulk items safe and dry and available when she runs low in her main living space.
She wants every one to know that she is not die-hard enough to dumpster dive. She knows people who dive for Sunday paper coupons on Monday or for things that stores throw out (non-perishables) but she doesn't personally have the energy to partake in that activity.
Together we wondered if people who purchased perishables from the original owner/processor would save money. Check with your local butcher/meat lockers for prices on meat, your local farmers markets for produce and local farmers for farm fresh eggs, cheese and milk. Better yet, spice up your life and raise your own chickens (in my sweet rural town chickens can be raised within city limits!), grow your own garden (check out this book: "The Edible Front Yard"), or learn to hunt/skin and process yor own meat (this sweet little town has a ministry set up to show you how).