Coupon Queen: “I Saved $211!”
How to become coupon-savvy and save a bundle every week
-Susan Samtur, Select Coupon Program
In my last column I loved telling you about my shopping trip at Waldbaums, where I saved $138. But just last week, I topped that savings in a suburb of Philadelphia that I did for a segment for the local ABC-TV station. During that super shopping trip, I saved $211.28 from an original $211.70. The final amount I forked over? Forty-two cents!
While this was an excellent example of the best use of coupons, I have to admit, it is a bit unusual (even for me!) to save that much, but with careful planning, organization and proper use of coupons, I typically–and easily–save 50 percent on my weekly grocery bill.
Five quick money savings tips to help you save big at the supermarket, too:
• Make a list. List all the items by category and be sure to include the size, sale price and quantity. This prevents you from choosing a non-sale size and acts as an in-store timesaving reference guide.
• Save for Sales. Apply coupons to sale-priced items, and you’ll really win big at the checkout.
• Use caution while couponing. Just because an item is on sale, or you have a coupon for it, doesn’t mean you need it. Don’t overbuy just to cash in coupons, or they’ll cost you money rather than saving it.
• Check unit prices. The unit price is the price per ounce (or other unit of measure) that is posted on the shelf below the product. Coupons are generally most valuable when applied to the smallest size or trial size of an item.
• Never pay full price for cereal. Cereal is always heavily couponed, so it’s foolish to pay top dollar. Unopened boxes keep well, so watch for sales and stock up. This week General Mills Cereal is on sale: 4 boxes for $6, or $1.50 each. Combine with my coupon doubled, I’ll get $1 off each box. My total cost is $2 for 4 boxes or $.50 per box. (You can use this same idea with detergents, cleaners, health and beauty aids and other packaged goods.)
By the way, below are just some of the items I bought during my forty-two-cent shopping trip. As you’ll see, they range from fresh to frozen to brand-name grocery. So, if you use my five tips above, you’ll find you don’t have to shop exclusively generic or store-brand to save:
Bumble Bee Tuna
2 packages of fresh chicken
Tropicana orange juice
Charmin toilet tissue
3 quarts of milk
1 dozen eggs
Green Giant frozen corn on the cob
Printable Coupons of the Day:
You can print out (4) coupons for Del Monte Fruit in a Cup….in Bowl….or in Jar. These are manufacturer’s coupons…good until 4/09.
For more great grocery savings tips and a coupon or refund offer of the day, check back each week for my column!
Susan J. Samtur is Editor and Chief and Publisher of Refundle Bundle Magazine started in 1973, and founder of Select Coupon Program, a grocery coupons site. Susan is nationally recognized as the “Coupon Queen” and has been featured on Live with Regis, Today, CNN, Fox & Friends, and Good Morning America. She is the author of the best-selling book, Cashing In at the Checkout – a million-copy seller, as well as two other books. She has contributed to Family Circle magazine for over twenty-five years and has been featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines articles.