Sunday, April 3, 2011

Coupon Questions Answered!

Leisl asked: "What $5 off competitor coupon does Publix let you use?"

This varies from store to store.  My particular store has a Food World, Brunos, and Target nearby...so I get to use those competitor coupons.  But that's different for everybody.  The best thing to do is to call or drop by your customer service desk and ask.  Just know though...if you have to use a reward card at another store in order to use that coupon, you can't use it at Publix.  Just read the fine print of your coupon!

If you're somewhat local, this book is a great source for grocery coupons!  If you're not from Tuscaloosa, you can click on "buy a book" at the top to find your city and see if they have the coupons.  My school sold these for a fundraiser at the beginning of the school year, but you can buy them from this website too.  There was even a Groupon (it might have been Living Social, I can't remember) for these a few weeks ago, so be on the lookout!

Casey asked: "How do you know when the item is going on sale to know what coupons to order? How long does it take to receive the coupons? I'm new at the couponing thing and feel like it takes hours to find the deals and then match the coupons. How can I maximize my time? Help please."

The whole thing can be overwhelming at first, but don't let it overwhelm you!  Just start out slow.  You can go here to see how I do everything.  It's really easy if you just take it slow and build up. 

I usually get the Publix ad from iheartpublix.com on the Monday before the sale starts.  That gives me plenty of time to order the coupons from those sites I mentioned a few days ago.   If you don't have a Publix, southernsavers.com has just about every other ad you could want.  If you want the other ads super early, slickdeals.net has a forum area that puts the ads up like Saturday or Sunday usually!  I don't always order coupons, just when I see something I would really use or that makes you money.  It takes about as long to receive the coupons as anything else you'd order online - usually 3 or 4 days.  That sometimes means I don't get to shop on the first day of the sale, but that's ok if the deal is good enough! 

I normally spend about an hour a week organizing coupons and making my lists.  If it takes more than 2 or 3 hours a week, just try to cut back some...it can become consuming if you let it!  Don't let it take you over, it's just something fun to do to save a little money.  And like I said earlier...start slow.  If you try to jump in head first, you're going to get burned out and drop it.  Try to get a deal or two the first week, then add a couple more deals every week.

Stacey asked: "I live in a very small town and we dont have a Publix or CVS. I do my grocery/houshold needs at Wal Mart , Dollar General or Save a lot. All of thoses stores are in a near by town, in my local town we have just a locally owned grocery store that doesnt do coupons. What do you suggest so I get my best deals for a very small budget?"

This can make it tricky.  I've heard that Wal-Mart has just changed their policy to make it easier to use coupons.  That's probably the main reason I haven't been shopping at Wal-Mart...it used to be VERY difficult to use coupons there, as opposed to other stores.  But you might want to check this site: http://www.iheartthemart.com/.  They are supposed to be a great resource for couponing at Wal-Mart.

You can also find $5/25 coupons pretty regularly to Dollar General.  I'm not sure about their coupon policy, but just search for it on Google and you should be able to find it.  If they do accept coupons, look on Hot Coupon World and Southern Savers...they have great coupon databases.  So if you find something on sale, you can look on those sites to see if there is a coupon to match with it.  Yes, this is more complicated, but it is doable! 

Keep the questions coming...I love helping people get better at this!  And don't forget to check out a few fun giveaways going right now:

$100 Visa Gift Card from BlogHer (ends April 11th)