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Frugality at its Finest: Finding Ways to Save at the Grocery Story
2/25/2013 8:37:40 AM
"It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you are starting out,” says LeBleu. "The first step is to figure out a system that works for you. Clip your coupons and file them in one location. Whether it be a binder with plastic sleeves or a plastic, tabbed envelope, it is important to be organized.”

Once you’ve got your coupons sorted and filed, the next thing to do is look at how you can match them with store coupons and promotions. This may sound complicated, but thanks to the internet, it’s not."There are a ton of websites out there providing weekly updates on coupon matches,” adds LeBleu. "These matches are created by taking the weekly sales circular for your favorite stores and using your coupons to buy items that are on sale that week.”

Some stores will even allow you to load coupons directly to your loyalty card from their website."Definitely look into the rewards programs offered by retailers. If they offer a free loyalty card program, sign up for it,” LeBleu says. "Most of these stores allow you to create a free account on their website and load coupons straight to your card. When you are ready to check out, the cashier will simply swipe your card and your discounts will be applied.”

Another benefit to loyalty card programs is that some allow you to earn valuable rewards to put towards your next shopping trip."For example, with an Extra Care Card from CVS, you can earn Extra Bucks on certain items each week,” LeBleu adds. "You also earn Extra Bucks once a quarter based on how much you’ve spent. These Extra Bucks add up quick and you can find yourself with anywhere from a dollar and up off your next purchase.”

Another way to score additional savings is to get online. There are several search aggregators like couponmom.com and couponnetwork.com, whichcompile discounts from across the internet.

"Be sure to find your favorite brand’s page on Facebook and like it,” says LeBleu. "A lot of companies will post special ‘fan only’ offers that you can print directly from their page.”In addition, Facebook pages like Couponing101, Coupon Divas and Coupons Make It Free,pass on the latest savings to their fans."

LeBleu’s own fan page, Frugal Coupon Queens, shares the latest deals not only from online stores, but also from local brick-and-mortar stores through out the day.

"You can also e-mail or write to the manufacturer directly,” adds LeBleu. "Tell them what you like about their products and ask them if they have any coupons they can send you. A lot of times these are higher in value and they may even send you some free samples if they are about to launch a new product.”

Finally, since the bulk of your coupons will come from your Sunday newspaper, ask your neighbors for their coupon inserts if they aren’t using them. It is worth the effort considering the weekly inserts from SmartSource, RedPlum and Procter and Gamble can save you anywhere from$10 to $15 a week. By taking about 45 minutes a week to clip,organize and search online for coupons, you can set yourself up to save thousands of dollars a year.

"A few cents off a product may not seem like much, but if you can combine it with in-store savings and coupons on other items you are going to buy anyway, you can really have an impact on your final total,” LeBleu says. "After all, a few cents here and a dollar or two there can add up very quickly.”

For more tips and information on the latest deals and steals, visit frugalcouponqueens.com.


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