I have been asked a couple of times recently about couponing and saving money. Saving money is one of my hobbies; and I love it! I am always so excited when I can get things for free! I thought I would just write a quick post about just a couple of things I use to save money. I use several other means, so maybe I’ll write another post about them another time. These are the things I use to save the most though. This will get you the most bang for your time.
First, and probably the easiest, is an app for your phone called Ibotta. There is zero work before you go shopping! When you get home, check the app. If you bought something that is on the app, all you do is scan the item and take a picture of your receipt. They give you a credit and once you get $20, you can cash out! They even have savings on produce and dairy products! I have been using the app for just over a year and have saved just over $100 with it!
Second, and just as easy, is another app for those of you who shop at Walmart. It is not my go to store, but when I do shop there I am sure to use this app. Download the Savings Catcher app to your phone. After you shop, scan the QR code at the bottom. They then compare the prices you paid to other stores in your area. If there is a store that has the item for cheaper than you paid, they give you a credit. You can use your credit at anytime. (You don’t have to wait for it to build it up to a certain amount.) I have been using this app for a couple of years and have been given back close to $20 in credit. (I really don’t shop there very often either!)
Third, before I go shopping I check a website called grocerysmarts.com. You select your state and the store you are planning on going to. This website lists all the items that are on sale that week for each store. On the left side of the column there are stars. Anything with 5 stars is an awesome price and if it is a product you like/use, you should stock up! In the middle columns it will tell you what the sale price is, what coupons you need to clip, and what your final price will be. There is a little bit of lingo you need to know to be able to coupon though. First of all, there are three different coupon circulars that come out. SS (SmartSource) and PG (Proctor and Gamble) both come in the Sunday paper. (I don’t get the Sunday paper and to be honest, I don’t really miss out on that many deals. If I had a bigger family it might be worth it though.) Then there is the RP (Red Plum) which comes in the mail; mine comes on Tuesday. I save ALL coupon circulars until all the coupons in them are expired. On the outside seam of the coupon book is printed the date. So if you need a coupon from RP 10/9, I would need to find the Red Plum that came in the mail on April 2, find the coupon I need, and clip it! Some of the coupons on the website are printable coupons as well.
Fourth, another website I use before I go shopping is thekrazycouponlady.com. The website always has a few really good deals at the top everyday from various stores. This is how I most frequently get stuff for free. Another feature I really like though is their coupon database. Once I’ve got my grocery list made and have gotten all my coupons figured out, I check the coupon database for items I do not have coupons for yet. So let’s say I need to buy some deodorant, my husband is a brand snob, so he will only use Degree, degree was not listed on grocerysmarts.com as being on sale this week. So, I will go to thekrazycouponlady.com and go to the database and type in degree. This week there is a coupon available for it for $0.50 off in the RP from 10/9. So I would clip that and at least not have to pay full price for that item!
One more trick that has really helped me frequently save money is keeping a plastic envelope in my purse. I always check all circulars that come and clip coupons I know I will use. I also keep coupons for stores I frequently shop at such as Carter’s, Baby’s R Us, Joann’s, etc… so that if I am out and shopping I always have them with me.
I know couponing can seem overwhelming and confusing at first. If you have questions please feel free to let me know in the comments! I hope you find this post helpful!