Recently I wrote about couponmom.com and her fantastic coupon database system.
There seems to be one drawback though. What if she doesn’t have your local store?
We have two grocery stores in my town. One of them is a fairly local chain that isn’t listed with coupon mom. The other is Wal-Mart.
There are also two or three dollar stores in town who run their own weekly sales and coupons.
Coupon Mom suggests asking your store several questions about their coupon policy. Very detailed research like “When a sale is buy one get one free, is the first item charged full price and the second item free, or are both things half price?” (It’s actually not that complicated when you read it.)
I usually shop at Wal-Mart because they have the best prices on the things I buy most frequently. So here’s what I learned about Wal-Mart.
First of all, I know they never offer double-coupon days. The employee I spoke with wasn’t even sure what that meant. Also, they do not match competitors buy-one-get-one sales. However, they do match all competitors advertised prices.
So, when my circular ads come around, I go through with a big marker and circle the things at each store that I think are a good deal. Then, I make a list of the things I actually need and the competitor’s price if applicable. You’re not going to save money if you buy things you don’t need.
Then I check the coupon database under the Wal-Mart section. Then, I can look at my coupon circulars—which I am getting for free from a relative who pays for the Sunday paper!
Now, I can go to Wal-Mart, with my little darlings along, and shop with a fairly clear head. I’ll just shop from my list.
When I go to check out, I hand the cashier my coupons, and watch him/her ring up the items. When he gets to one of my sale things, I’ll just say, “Fred’s has Oreos for two dollars.” and he quickly rings it up for two dollars. No questions asked. (I still feel better having the Fred’s ad in hand just in case they do ask.)
I should say that I’m still getting the hang of the couponmom thing. Last time I went to the store, I ended up buying some things on sale “to stock up” at the good price. I’ve got pain reliever to last two years I think, but it’s made it more difficult to buy the things I actually need this week. Getting the greatest price takes a little start-up capital.