Jun 8, 2011

Tip #6: Learn How To Do Coupon Match-ups {Surviving The Stores Through Couponing}

Jun
8
2011
Wednesday

#Couponing Tip - Learn how to do your own coupon match-ups!  Lots of great tips on saving at least 50% off when you shop!


Tip #6: Learn How To Do Coupon Match-ups

We’ve got our menu planning down, we know where to find coupons, and we now know to SAVE those coupons for a good sale instead of just using them immediately.

Today, we’re going to talk about doing your OWN Coupon Match-ups!

Coupon Match-up: Pairing a particular coupon for an item with a store sale to get maximum savings!  You literally “match” the coupon “up” with the store sale.

Why would you want to do your own coupon match-ups? Here are a few possible reasons why you might want to:

1.  Because you can’t find blogs that do match-ups for your local stores. Some smaller grocery chains aren’t covered by bloggers (yet!) and if you have one in your area, you might want to figure out what the best deals are there.

2.  Because you can’t find coupon match-ups for products that you want to buy. Yes, your store might be covered somewhere, but there are products that you see in your local ad, or products that you need to buy, that aren’t on your favorite grocery blogger’s match-up list.

3.   Because (gasp!) I might miss some deals sometimes! I know, I know, I should be able to post every deal all the time, right?  But there are definitely times where you will see an item in your drug store or grocery store ad and think to yourself, “I know this is a good price and I know there’s gotta be a coupon out there for it, why didn’t Rachel list it?”  I can give you an answer… are you ready?  I make mistakes…. I miss deals…. I miss things in the ad.  It happens.  I try my best to not miss things that would be a good deal, but I’m human. :)

If you fall into one of those categories, then this post is for you!  Honestly, coupon match-ups are pretty easy, they just take a little bit of time.

I’m going to share with you what I’ve found to be the best way for me to do coupon match-ups, but definitely don’t feel like it has to be done this way… do whatever works best for you!

Step 1: Get your weekly ad (or print it out from the store’s online site) and glance through the entire ad. First go through and circle the deals that are exceptional prices.  You will usually find these on the front page and back page of the ad (although there will likely be some inside the ad too).  Then, go through the ad again and look for any special sales like “Buy 10, Get $5 off instantly” type sales.  Circle the products that are listed under those special sale sections.  Next, go through a third time and circle the items that you either were planning on buying anyway, or that look like they are at least a decent price.

Step 2: Pull up the Coupon Database on your computer and search for each item that you circled.  If there is a coupon available for the item you searched for, then write down either on a separate piece of paper, or on the ad itself, where that coupon is found.  If it is a printable coupon and you haven’t printed it yet, then you can click on the link in the database to print the coupon immediately.

Step 3: Subtract the amount of the coupon from the price in the ad and voila!  You have your final price!  If it’s a price that you feel comfortable paying and it’s a product you need then go for it. :)  Clip the coupons that you need and paper clip them to the ad. Remember, don’t just buy it because it has a coupon!

Then you’re done (well, except for the whole going to the store part)!!  It definitely gets easier with practice and you start to learn which products likely have coupons out and how much that brand typically releases coupons for.  It will take much longer when you are first starting out than it will after you get some practice.

Again, don’t feel like you have to do it exactly how I’ve lined it out here.  This is the way that works best for me, but you find the way that works best for you!

Real quick, I know this post is getting pretty long, but there’s one more thing you need to know:  how to read the coupon wording on the database.

So in the example above I searched for “Seventh Generation” in the Coupon Database.  The columns tell you the description of the coupon, the value of the coupon, the expiration date of the coupons, where to find the coupons and any limitations on the coupons.  Most of it is pretty self explanatory, but the one thing that I wanted to point out to those of you who are new to couponing is in the “Source” column where it says “RP 01/10/10″. All that means is that the coupon came from the January 10, 2010 Red Plum coupon insert that came in the paper.  Sometimes it will say “SS” (which means the Smart Source insert) and sometimes it will say P&G (which means the Proctor & Gamble insert).

WHEW!!  That was a lot to cover in one post, huh?  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.  I really hope that you are able to find the Coupon Database feature useful while you survive the stores!

<< Tip #5: Match Coupons With Store Sales Tip #7: Learn The Grocery Store Sales Cycles >>
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Thanks Rachel! I am so happy to have found your website a few weeks ago. This is the first one I have found where the blogger is in the state of Texas! Yay! I started seriously couponing about 2 months ago and have so much fun seeing all my savings. Thanks for posting this info, looking forward to more!

  2. Great post! Very easy for beginners to understand and to help all those shoppers who may fall though the cracks of all the blogs out there.

  3. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you’ve put into making me a better smarter shopper :-) I’m having fun doing saving money on name brand foods & products. Thank you 100x

  4. Renee Martin says:

    Thank you so much for this! Exactly what I needed – new to couponing and wanting to learn without being overwhelmed so this is perfect!!!

  5. where do u fine the Coupon Database?

  6. Brandy UT says:

    Thanks so much for the information, this is perfect, I really didn’t understand how it works but, I’ll definitely take your advice.. Thanks so much got your help…

  7. Enjoyed this article.

  8. Glad I found this post. Didn’t really know how to find out if a product had a coupon, and even harder since most blogs didnt’ list everything in the ads, and I found only one that had one of my favorite stores. Using your method I was able to make my first Martin’s Match-up on my Blog. Thanks for the helpful advice.

  9. know your coupons- memorize them- it makes it so much easier when you scan the ads looking for things you need/want.

  10. 1) Use express lane if your store has it 2) Always look for deals on the outsides of the paper usually highlighted in brighter colors and edges of paper 3) Look for meal deals that you can match coupons to….ohhhh there’s a lot! lol

  11. meal deals and meal plan
    know your coupons and inserts ( I have a spread sheet.. hubby is geek and set it up)
    know the cycles of when things are on sale and match them.. then stock up

  12. The cycles us what I am trying to figure out. I am afraid to order cat food coupons because I don’t know what cycle the brands are on.

  13. Very informative. I have only been doing this for a short time. There are allot of coupons for things that don’t serve my family. I have 5 children. Youngest is 6 years old.

  14. Get to know the various coupon policies at different stores, this will help keep your planned transactions going smoothly.

  15. Camille says:

    Question: how/where do you the learn the cycle?

  16. Time.. lots of TIME haha.

  17. email your favorite companies 4 coupons and Extreme Couponing show (my opinion) is way to hyped up, unless u mostly want free “crap” in boxes in your basement. Focus only on the products you use in your house. If someone wants, give them the coupons you don’t use but are great value like BOGO, etc. Shop Safeway and Albertsons also. I have $10 off on coup. for Gen. Mills cereal (I have to buy 10 boxes) and doesn’t count whatever cereal is on sale/double coups. also

  18. Make friends with cashiers and management. they are one of the most important tools is your shopping trips! my rite aid management goes ovver and beyond for me because they know im a loyal customer and its a guranteed sale! they save me coupons and let me know about unadvertised specials. plus they place orders especially for me so they have enough for me to stock up!

  19. gennie talia says:

    Sounds exciting. Just started couponing and I have one questions. What does it mean when it says on the coupon..”Limited 4 per purchase”?

    • Great question! When a coupon says “Limit 4 per purchase” it typically means that you can use four of that particular coupon per transaction. Along the same lines, when it says “Limit 1 per customer”, each time you go into the store you are a new customer, so you should be able to use one of those coupons each time you go into the store.

      I hope that helps!

  20. Awesome issues here. I am very glad to look your post.
    Thanks so much and I’m taking a look ahead to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a mail?

  21. Very helpful!!!

  22. I have always wondered how to do this. This really helps.

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