Mastering some simple tips and tricks is key to maximum grocery savings. Here are my top 5:
1. Know your store’s coupon policy. Do they double coupons? Do they accept competitor coupons? Do they accept internet coupons? If so, are there any limits or restrictions? For example, Shaw’s accepts internet coupons. However, they apparently have this policy, which they never actually share with their customers, that you cannot use an internet coupon to get something “free.”
2. Use multiple coupons. This one is so simple, yet it amazes me when people do not realize that you can buy multiple items using multiple coupons. For example, if Progresso soup is on sale for $2.00/can and you have two $1.00 off one coupons, you can buy 2 cans and use both your coupons. Stash your coupons and get big savings – for example Muir Glen pasta sauce was on sale for $2.99 each. I had EIGHT (yes, I did) $1.00/1 coupons. So I bought 8 jars on sale and used my 8 coupons. This method is key to stockpiling things you use all the time.
3. Maximize the Buy 1 Get One (B1G1). These are some of the best deals you can get. Even alone, with no coupons, they tend to be good. However, using coupons on top of the B1G1 is even better and one of the best ways to get thing for free or close to free! When scanning a store circular, I almost always check out the B1G1 deals first and match coupons.
(a) You can typically use 2 coupons for a B1G1 deal. For example, if Quaker Oatmeal is on sale Buy One at $2.50, Get One Free and you have 2 $1.00/1 coupons, use 2 coupons. You will get 2 boxes of oatmeal for .50. This also works for a B1G2 deal – use 3 coupons!
(b) You can use a B1G1 manufacturers coupon on top of the store’s B1G1 deal to get two free products! This one is somewhat rare, but it’s so great when you get it. For example, Price Chopper had Oust Spray B1G1. I had a B1G1 manufacturers coupon. So I got 2 products FREE. You tend to see a lot of manufacturers B1G1 coupons for cosmetics. Clip them, get as many as you can, and wait for some store to have a B1G1 sale.
(c) You can almost always use a $1.00/1 coupon with a B1G1 deal. For example, Pam Cooking Spray is on sale Buy One for $3, Get One Free. Use a $1.00/2 coupon and get 2 products for $2.00 or $1.00/each.
4. Stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons. This is another way to get free or almost free stuff. Lots of stores have in-ad coupons in their weekly circular. Many stores, like Shaws, offer weekly internet coupons. So long as they are store coupons, you can use (or stack) a manufacturers coupon on top of it. For example, Shaw’s has Culinary Circle crackers on sale for $2. They have a $1.00/1 in-ad coupon, and you have a $1.00/1 manufacturers coupon. Use them both to get the product for free! Note that this does not work if the in-ad or store coupon is a “manufacturers” coupon so be careful.
5. Take Advantage of competitor coupons. Don’t waste your time going to multiple stores. If Stop & Shop has an in-ad coupon, use it Shaw’s or Price Chopper or wherever. For example, Stop & Shop has an in-ad coupon for free milk. Competitor stores will most likely accept it. If, for example Price Chopper has an in-ad coupon doubling any coupons up to $3, most competitors will accept it. So scan the ads for those in-ad coupons and use them wisely!
These are some great tips and tricks that can maximize your savings significantly. Enjoy!