All you new to couponing out there I have a huge tip for you. The first site you need to check out is The Grocery Game (GG). It was the first site I found out about from my dear friend and it is largely responsible for the couponing monster it created in me.
The site breaks everything down, so even if you have never used a coupon before in your life, you can do it. I noticed significant deals every week from the moment I first started my subscription with them. It took me about 3 months to build a large enough stockpile until I saw drastic cuts in my groceries budget. For our family of 3, I used to spend around $650 a month (and that was shopping Wal-Mart, Aldi and sales) for food, health and beauty aids, cleaning products and paper products. Now I spend less than $250 a month, in fact this month I have decided to cut it to $200 as I keep having money left over from the $250 budget. I met a lady (the one I referred to in another post, with the briefcase full of coupons) who has a family of four that has a budget of $100. I'm not that good, but aspiring!
GG is perfect for Moms that have busy schedules or that work, because all the hard research is done for you. They provide a list (it's even color coded so the best deals pop out easily) that details what is on sale:
They tell you what the item is, what the regular price is, the sale price, the store coupon, the manufacturer coupon and where to find it, what the final cost is and what the savings for the item is. You can check the items you want to purchase, get your coupons together, print out your list and head to the store with your list and coupons in hand. The main thing you need to remember is that the lists come out for the grocery stores on Sunday @8am, which means you only have a few days to get to the store before the sale ends on Tuesday. The other stores (drug stores) come out on Monday at 8am and you have until Saturday to make it there.
Of course there is a charge for their service. Since I work, I justified the cost involved as I ended up saving enough for the thing to pay for itself. My advice to you is to start collecting insert coupons for about 3 weeks before you sign up for your trial membership. Once you have a good
base of coupons saved up, sign up for the trial membership at GG. At the time I write this it's only $1 and you can access as many stores as you want. Use that trial period to see which stores work best for you and then before your trial subscription expires, go back in and select the stores you want to keep, as after the trial they will charge you for EACH store and to have all the stores, it can be quite pricey. Those of you that have subscriptions, which stores did you see you used the most? I would have to say for me it was HT, CVS, Bi-Lo and Lowes Foods and probably in that order. It will probably be different for each person, so I am curious to see.
You will probably get good enough to feel as if you don't need GG anymore. I finally cancelled my membership since we had to start cutting back on expenses. Truth is I can do this on my own, it just takes time. As soon as I did, I qualified based on referrals for several more weeks free. The Lord is so good! Truthfully I was not looking forward to letting it go as it's such a nice resource to have and with school starting back, my time will be limited.
See you at the sales!