Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My coupon system!

So remember how I was having all that anxiety over saving money on groceries? Well, I got a lot of help from online friends, and signed up for a coupon class by Grocery Smarts! SO many people swear by this system, it's worth a peek!

First thing to do is to get the Sunday paper {because it has coupons in it}. I signed up for 2 each Sunday, then any other spare paper I can get from family, neighbors, etc.
Each paper has a RED PLUM magazine and a SMART SOURCE magazine. When you get them, simply WRITE THE DATE ON THE FRONT and FILE THEM AWAY.
NO IMMEDIATE CLIPPING!!! Isn't that so awesome?
I will explain more later. First things first.

We learned about organizing in the class.
Here is my coupon book in all it's glory.

I labeled 5 dividers. (They recommend keep all coupons for 5 months) So they are labeled by month with a pencil so I can erase it when I put down a new month. Another reason for sectioning by date is so you can gauge about when the expiration date will be on those coupons(usually about 1 month later).
So under the July section...
I inserted some plastic page protectors. The first is where I hold the receipts so I can show my hubby how much I have saved. {wink}

Behind that, I have a sheet of business card holders, labeled. These are for any extra coupons NOT in the Red Plum or Smart Source. Any coupons I find online or other adds that I get in the mail are what I use these for. The labels I used are: pharmacy, cleaning, dairy, snacks/junk, breakfast, cooking needs, frozen meals, kids/baby/diapers, crafts, and other.

Here's what it looks like WITH the coupons in them.

Behind that is the page protector that I put the DATED Red Plum and Smart Source into.

Smart Source goes in back.
Remember, it's good to get a different page protector for EACH WEEK of the month for both magazines.

Then 1 more page protector for the extra 'magazines' stores sometimes send. In this case, Walgreens, and the Hometown Values.

Ooh Ooh! And here's my little mini filing system for my purse!
Labels are: Gift cards, Punch cards, Club cards, Out to eat coupons, Photography, and Automotive.
Now for the fun part! GROCERY SMARTS is where it's happenin'.

*****NOTE Lists at Grocery Smarts are only created for Utah, Idaho, Washington, and California.

Here's the main page. I have circled below the area to type in the passport code. (The code is free, just email me if you want it. )

After typing in the code, you will come to this screen. There is a drop menu where you can select which grocery store you want to go to. Here, I have chosen Albertsons.
It will then take you to this page. I have circled 2 buttons, 'start' and 'shrink.'
When you click the 'start' button, it highlights all the items. You then select which items you want, and they turn white.

1)When you have finished selecting the items, click 'shrink' and VOILA! Your list is reduced and it is now your grocery list!

2)There are links in this column that lead to online coupons that you can print right there at home. Some are right there on Grocery Smarts (they let you print each TWICE!), some are on other websites just a few clicks away. Our teacher recommended getting an email set up just for spam because some require an email address.

3)This is where the actual coupon from the PAPER is circled. This one says .50/2{meaning you save $0.50 on 2 items} (8/17/09) {this is the expiration date} SS 5/17 {this means you find your coupon in the Smart Source magazine you collected on May 17th.}

4) This is a blank area to write other items you need at the store that you are not listed {after you print out the sheet}.

5) This is the area you should write how many of the item you are going to purchase. If the coupon requires you to buy 2 for the discount, you should get 4 because you have 2 coupons, or more if you have duplicate coupons.

Clear as mud?

Now about #2 above. It happens to be a link to a Grocery Smarts coupon list, or 'Group A.' When you click it, you come to this page.

1)From the corner, you can also go to Group B and Group C.

2)You select the coupons you want, click print, and remember to print them twice!!!

So you want to hear MY success story? I have gone grocery shopping 3 times (before I started getting the paper) and saved $51 the first trip (valued at about $130, so spent about $79) and saved about $60 on the second trip, and saved $122 (valued at $280, so spent about $150) on the third! That's just using grocerysmarts.com, wait till I start using my coupons from the paper!

Please email me at sjbringhurst@yahoo.com if you need clarification or want the code.

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