Have you ever seen the TV show “Extreme Couponers” and wished you had the time (or the energy) to get those kind of savings?
Or maybe you leave the grocery store thinking, “I just blew my monthly grocery budget….and it’s only the first week.”
That used to be me. No matter how hard I tried, I just kept overspending on groceries.
Until a friend introduced me to couponing.
Now, before you run away and bury your head in a pillow at the thought of couponing, let me reassure you that this is not your mother’s couponing!
You may have memories of your mom spending hours cutting out coupons from the Sunday paper each week, then spending hours pouring over grocery store ads to see the sales, and then spend more hours going to several different grocery stores, probably hauling along three or four kids. (Although in those days, you could leave the kids in the car with the windows down.)
It makes me want to take a nap just thinking about it.
BUT there is good news! The invention of a little thing called the internet has made it so that someone else (like Phillip and me) do all the work for you! All you need to do is spend maybe an extra 20-30 minutes in prepping, and you’re good to go!
Let me explain what you need to do:
First, pick a grocery store.
If you’ve never used a coupon before, just stick with one store. Otherwise, it’s going to quickly spiral out of control. Take a couple of minutes and download the app for that store.
Stores like Kroger, Safeway, and others have digital coupons on their apps. You just sign in, load the coupons to your rewards card, and they’ll come off automatically at checkout!
Two, get some more apps
There are three apps that we really want you download for your phone.
Flipp – this app has a scan of every single weekly ad that comes out! If you need to get milk at the store, you can search Flipp and it will tell you all of the local stores that have milk in their ads! If you’re a person that already shops at multiple stores, this is a great tool. (If the idea of going to more than one store has you weeping in the corner in terror, then you can skip using Flipp.)
Favado – this app is the holy grail of couponing. It contains coupon matchups for pretty much every single store in existence. What are coupon matchups? They’re what your mom used to do for hours each week, only someone else has already done it for you! Some blogger (like us!) has gone through the store’s ad, and matched every single item in the ad with any available coupons!
Ibotta – this is a rebate app. When you purchase any item listed on the app, you can scan your receipt and they will give you a rebate (we cash it out to Paypal) for that item! (Bonus: if you download it here, you can get an extra $10 when you redeem your first rebate!)
Third, get a Sunday paper
The majority of coupons still come in the Sunday paper. If you can afford it, sign up for a Sunday newspaper subscription to be delivered to your doorstep! We recommend signing up HERE, because you can get discounted newspapers (save up to 92%!).
In each paper are booklets with coupons in them, called inserts. Just pull out these inserts and write the date with a Sharpie on the front. Keep them in a filing cabinet (or even a stack in the corner) for future use. I’ll explain what to do with them later.
Fourth, look at the coupon matchups to make your list
Now it’s time to make your shopping list! Open your Favado app and look at your store’s “matchup” for the week. You can scroll through the list of the top 10 deals for that store, and add any items you want to your shopping list.
A matchup is when someone has gone through the store’s new ad and written down every single available coupon that goes with the items in the ads. If it’s a coupon from an insert (from the Sunday paper), then it will tell you which week the insert came out! You can go to your stack of inserts in the corner and just cut out the one you need. If it’s a printable coupon, it will give you the link to where you can print it from!
Even cooler, if you make an account, then you can email this list to yourself! You can also head over to our website to look at the full matchup (instead of just the top deals), and it will sync any items you choose there, as well.
You now have a shopping list that you can access on your phone, email to yourself, and even print out! All with exactly which coupons go along with those items! Isn’t that so much easier than scouring the ads?
Fifth, look for coupons for all items on your list
What if your grocery list has items on it that aren’t in the ad?
The good news is no, you do not have to go through every single insert in the corner, looking for a coupon that may or may not exist. Instead, you can use this coupon database that we have on our website!
For example, let’s say you’re out of cereal and need to buy some more. Just search “cereal” in the database, and it will list all of the current available coupons, as well as where you can find them!
Now, if you’ve followed all these steps, you’re going to eventually realize that there are a ton more ways to save with coupons! If you get to that point and want to learn more, we have a FREE ebook on our website that will take you in-depth into couponing. Or feel free to email us from our website – we love to reach out and help people individually!
About the Author
Tiffany Thomas is a former math teacher and SAHM who loves finding good deals! She and her husband, who is an engineer, work together on The Crazy Shopping Cart. They enjoy spending time with their family, geeking out over sci-fi together, and saving money.