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!
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