We’ve all heard about the coupon-savvy shopper who can feed a family of five on $50 a month. What is her secret? She’s perfected the art of couponing. While the examples you see in the media may be the extreme end of the spectrum, regular shoppers can save a lot by learning how to use coupons. I guarantee that if you follow the couponing tips below you will be able to slash dollars from your monthly grocery bill in a way that works for you.
Trade coupons with friends and online. Start a coupon group with women in your area. Let them know which items you need coupons for; and offer to trade with them. I have a friend who uses Pampers diapers, so whenever I see a coupon for that item I give it to her. In turn, she looks out for the items I use. To get started, e-mail 5-10 of your “thrifty” friends to see if they’re interested. Have each friend list 10-20 items that she always uses, and print out the lists. Keep the lists handy when you’re clipping coupons, and then pass on the coupons to your friends.
Organize! Make coupons easy to file and easy to use. I used to have my coupons clumped together in an envelope in my purse. I could never find the coupons I needed, and I ended up throwing out expired coupons I could have used. I use a large plastic index-card box for my coupons now. I have it divided by categories such as: canned goods, baby products, cereal, baking, dairy, etc. After serious couponing for a few months, you will discover which categories work the best for you.