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Coupon Clutch: Once a Year 15% Off Sale!

 

A couple of times a year Coupon Clutch offers their biggest discount – 15% off – and just in time for Valentine’s Day they’ve even extended the sale to cover everything including the Coupon Clutch binder covers in addition to their 3, 4, 6 and 9 pocket pages, tabbed dividers and coupon organization kits. Simply use the promo code VALENTINE to take 15% off any order through midnight on February 14th.  I love my Coupon Clutch and click here if you want to read my Extreme Couponing 101 – Get Organized post.

Extreme Couponing 101 – Maximize Coupon Savings

How and When to use coupons to get the BEST deal?  There are 3 key “secrets” to Maximum Coupon Savings!

Coupons

  • One BIG “Secret” is Matching Coupons With Great Sales and Promotions!
    For example, If you go to Walmart to use your $1 off 1 box of Kellog’s Cereal Coupon, it may end up being cheaper to just buy the generic box.
    IF, however, you use the coupon when Kellog’s Cereal is at a rock bottom price – or if you match it with a promotion at your local grocery store you end up with cheap cereal {and a smile on your face}!

How do we find those great sales?  It’s important to realize that groceries go on sale. They all have a “rock bottom lowest price”, and we want to maximize savings and only buying groceries when they are at that rock bottom price (at least that’s the goal).  Don’t worry it’s not too hard, in most areas they follow a cycle roughly 6 weeks long.  That means if you see a rock bottom price this week then you should buy enough of that item to last your family 6 weeks. That way you can avoid having to go back and pay the full retail price in between.  How to spot a rock bottom price?  It takes a little time to find the lowest prices in your area so be patient and work on developing your price list and soon you’ll be able to spot rock bottom prices without the use of the list.

  • Stacking Coupons *My favorite coupon secret*!
    Stacking  means that you will use 1 Manufacturer Coupon and 1 Store Coupon on 1 Item!
    Albertson’s, Kroger, Rite Aid, Safeway, Target, and Walgreens stores (just to name a few) all have store coupons and allow them to be stacked with a manufacturer coupon! (You can never, ever use 2 manufacturer coupon on 1 item but most stores will allow you to use 1 store and 1 manufacturer coupon on the same item.  Be sure to check each store’s coupon policy just to be sure.)
  • Double Coupons
    Some stores will double coupons up to a certain value.  This means that one $0.50 off coupon will become $1.00 off, etc.  Awesome, right?  Here are some stores, who we’ve heard that double coupons:

    • Albertsons:  Northwest Albertsons (Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Montana, Wyoming & North Dakota & sometimes Southern CA) distributes “Twice the Value” coupons in their weekly ads. These twice the value coupons double any coupon up to $1.00 in value when you shop with your Albertsons Preferred Card.
    • Harris Teeter: Stores double coupons up to $0.99 every day.  Occasionally they will advertise triple coupons up to $0.99 or double coupons $0.99-$1.98.
    • Kmart:  Stores will occasionally double coupons.  They may or may not advertise the doubling publicly, but as soon as I hear the details I share them with you!
    • Kroger: Stores will double up to $.50 everyday with your Kroger Plus Card. Some regions will double up to $.55 or more.
    • Lowe’s Food:  Stores will double 20 coupons with a face value of $0.99 or less every day.
    • Safeway:  Stores in the Pacific NW (Oregon & Southern WA) distribute double coupons in their weekly ad.  There are usually 3-4 of them and they double coupons up to $0.50 in value.  Safeway affiliate stores Randalls and Tom Thumb (Texas) automatically triple coupons $0.39 and under and double coupons up to $0.50. Colorado & Wyoming double coupons up to $0.50 and they round $0.51-$0.99 coupons to $1.00.   It has been reported that other Safeway locations (including CA) do not double coupons.

Some restrictions usually apply, as to how many coupons you can double, etc. so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your local coupon policies.

Here at EmbracingBeauty.com we want to show you exactly where to find the best coupons and help you with when and where to use them.   We are reporting regularly on a few national grocery and drug store ad match up deals (Walmart, Walgreens, Lowes Food, CVS, & occasionally Rite Aid) but hopefully soon we’ll be able to expand and report on even more national stores.  *If you are interested in helping me with this drop me an email*  Most national stores operate on a Sunday-Saturday sale cycle so we will post a big match up for each store at the beginning of each cycle (usually Sunday or Monday). While we don’t currently report on these, Albertson’s, Safeway and a few other regional grocery stores operate on a Wednesday-Tuesday sale cycle.

If you are new to couponing remember that it will take time to figure out when something is a good deal or not.  Don’t stress about it! Anything you are saving now is money in your pocket that you weren’t saving before.  Take time to slowly develop your price list and you’ll be a pro before you know it!

View other lessons in this Extreme Couponing series:

Lesson 1:  Change the Way You Shop & Coupon Vocabulary

Lesson 2:  10 Coupon Myths Debunked

Lesson 3:  Where to Find Coupons

Lesson 4: Get Organized

Lesson 5: Creating Your Price-List

Lesson 6: How to Maximize Coupon Savings

Extreme Couponing 101 – Creating Your Price List

In order to stock-up on items while  they are at their ROCK BOTTOM price you’ll have to know when an item is at it’s lowest price.

Stockpiling with your price list means that you:

  • won’t stock-up on “good deals” but will wait till they are great!
  • won’t be  running to the store last minute when you are out of something!
  • WILL SAVE MONEY by cutting out those impulse buys.

Several of you have asked for a list of my stock-up prices or my “Price List” (the price I try to pay for all items I purchase).  I’m hesitant to do this because I’m afraid that it might discourage some of you because prices vary so much by area.  Not to mention that prices seem to be rising by the day lately!  So, whatever you do please promise me that you’ll look glance over my price list and then focus on creating a price list of your own that works for you in your area.  Capeesh?

Make your own price list with this blank printable PDF:

Please not that the prices listed below are the prices I try never to pay more than (of course free or free plus overage is always best!).  These are the prices I get by combining a coupon with a sale and are not the typical shelf prices.

In our area we have an Sam’s Club, Aldi, Food Lion, Lowes Food, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, Target, and a Dollar Store.  I’m looking forward to exploring our local Farmer’s Market here soon!

Baby Items

Baby Food — I don’t buy baby food unless I can get it for free. Otherwise, I make my own or just use a baby food grinder at the table.
Diaper Rash Ointment — free
Diapers — I personally don’t pay for diapers because I get them free with drug store deal scenarios (drug stores will be covered next in this coupon series).  Amazon also has amazing diaper deals to watch out for that you can buy for free if you use your earned Swagbucks.  Generally $5 per package or less would be a good price to stock up on.  Anything less than $0.10 per diaper is usually considered a good deal and less than $0.08 per diaper is usually a great deal!
Wipes — $1 per 64 wipes or less

Toiletries/Personal Care

Band Aids — $0.50 per 30-count box or less
Bar Soap — $0.50 per 2-pack or less
Cough Drops — $0.25 per bag or less
Deodorant — $0.50 per full-size stick or less
Floss — $0.25 per package or less
Liquid Soap — $0.30 per hand soap pump or less
Lotion — $2 or less (good lotion is a priority for me)
Mouthwash — free
Pain Reliever — (brand name) $1 per bottle or less
Razors — disposable $1 per package or less, cartridges $2 per package or less
Shampoo/Conditioner — $1 per bottle for name brand, $0.50 per bottle for off brands.  What I love to do is to look for super good deals on salon brands (Matrix is my favorite) and pair with a coupon.  Per oz these can often be cheaper than those sold at drug stores and I personally just like them better.
Shaving Cream — $0.50 per bottle or less
Sunblock — free
Toothbrushes — $0.30 per toothbrush or less
Toothpaste — free

Refrigerated Items

Butter — $1.69 per pound or less (If you have room stock up on a few pounds and freeze them.)
Cheese — $1.69 per 8 oz. or less
Cream Cheese — $0.50 per package or less (Another great item to stock-up on and freeze.)
Eggs — $2 per dozen for farm-fresh, free-range eggs.  Non-free-range eggs, $1.29 per dozen or less. (Even when eggs go below $0.99 I don’t buy more than 4 weeks’ worth at a time but maybe your family would go through them faster than mine.)
Milk — $2.50 per gallon. Milk can be frozen but until I get the deep freezer I’ve been dreaming of I only buy a few at a time no matter the price.
Sour Cream — $0.99 per 16-oz. carton or less
Yogurt — $0.25 per 6oz. or less (This will probably be changing as prices are hiking up.)

Produce

Bananas — $0.39 at Walmart to $0.44 per pound at Aldi but as of last week I can’t find them below $0.55 anywhere
Fresh Fruit — $1 per pound or less
Grapes — $1 per pound or less
Salad — $1.99 per 16-ounce tub/bag or less.  Head of lettuce for $1.60 per head or less.
Salad Dressing — $0.99 per 16 ounces or less
Strawberries — $2 per carton or less
Tomatoes — $0.99 per pound or less
Watermelon — $2.99 per seedless watermelon (medium to large size)
Carrots — $0.99 per small bag of baby carrots or $0.99 per large bag of whole carrots

Frozen

Frozen Dinners — We rarely buy these unless they are free or almost-free.
Frozen Pizza — DiGiorno $3 or less, Tony’s $0.25 or less
Frozen Vegetables — $1 per bag or less, steamer bags are usually $0.50 or less
Ice Cream — We rotate between Turkey Hill, Blue Bunny, & Breyer’s and aim for $2.50 per tub or less.

Meat

Beef, Ground — 93% lean beef when it is on sale for $3.69 per pound or less, 85% (best for hamburgers) when it is on sale for $2 per pound or less
Chicken, Boneless Skinless Breast — $6 per 3-lb. bag or less
Chicken, Whole — $5 We always buy the cooked chicken from the deli, it’s the same cost and a lot less work.
Roast — $3 per pound or less
Pork — $2 per pound or less depending on size, slicing, and if it’s marinated.

We buy steak maybe twice a year so I’m not really sure on a good price.

Dry/Canned Goods

Bread — $1.50 per loaf or less (for the nicer, high-quality brands)
Brownie Mix — $0.39 to free
Cake Mix — $0.50 to free
Canned Tuna — White meat in water is usually $0.25 per pack of cans.  You can often get the more expensive pouches for almost-free so we usually stock up on those.
Cereal — $1 per box or less.  I’m a cereal lover and if I’m low in my stock pile I’ll pay $1.50 for my favorite “healthy” cereals.
Chocolate Chips — $1.69 per package at Aldi or $2 per package of Nestle.
Cookies — I’ll occasionally purchase the rolled holiday sugar cookies when they are free.
Crackers — $1.50 per box or less.
Flour — $0.50 per pound for unbleached bread, wheat, self-rising, and all-purpose flour.
Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns — $1.50 per package or less (Sara Lee is our favorite when we can’t find a reduced organic brand)
Honey — Sam’s Club has the best price in our area but I’ll often buy a jar from a local bread shop to support our community.
Jelly/Jam — This is another thing I purchase locally and pay more to support my community.
Ketchup — $0.75 per bottle of Heinz or less
Mayonnaise — $1.50 per jar of Duke’s
Mustard — free
Oats — $1.75 per canister or less
Pasta — $0.50 per box or less
Peanut Butter — $0.75 per jar or less for Jiff’s natural line.
Soup — $0.25 or less per can for the larger, heartier soups.
Spaghetti Sauce — $1.75 per jar or less.  I guess we are spaghetti sauce snobs because we usually only buy one brand of organic sauce, Newman’s Own is our second choice.
Sugar — $1.34 per pound for raw sugar.  White sugar is usually cheapest at Aldi although I don’t have a price per pound because it’s been so long since I’ve bought any.
Syrup — $0.75 per bottle or less.
Tomato Paste — $0.15 or less per can
Tomato Sauce — $0.15 or less per can
Tortillas — $0.99 per package
Vanilla — Sam’s Club is cheapest by far!  The last time I checked it was one pint for $6.88.

Cleaning Supplies/Paper Products

This is a category I love to stock up on because the prices are LOW and the items won’t go bad!

Aluminum Foil — $0.50 or less for a 20-foot box.
Dishwasher Detergent — $1.50 or less per box of the dual tabs.
Dishwashing Soap — $0.25 or free
Laundry Detergent — $0.99 per 32-load bottle (Buying the smaller, concentrated bottles with a sale and coupon is always the best way to save)
Toilet Paper — $0.25 per roll or less
Kitchen Trash Bags — I know that $3 for 32 bags is a good deal but I usually just buy one huge container of Force Flex from Sam’s Club for $12 and it lasts me a year.  Ssshhh, don’t tell but sometimes I would rather spend a little more for the convenience.                                                                                                                                  Window Cleaner  — $0.75 or less
Zipper Bags — $1 per box or less

Are you ready to get started on your own price list? Here are my suggestions to get you started:

  • Make a list of all stores in your area.
  1. Big box – Walmart, Target
  2. Grocery – Lowes Food, Kroger
  3. Drug store – Walgreens, CVS
  4. Overstock stores – Big Lots
  5. Warehouse stores – Sam’s Club, Costco, BJ’s
  6. Dollar stores
  7. Farmer’s markets
  8. Health food stores
  9. Scratch and dent stores
  10. Discount gocery – Aldi, Save-a-Lot
  • Visit your area stores and record the prices of 20 items you buy regularly
  1. Don’t let this be overwhelming, just begin with 2-3 stores that you already shop at.  There will be plenty of time to branch out to other stores.  I don’t want you to get burnt out before you get started.
  • Find our those store’s coupon policies (many of these are found online) & discount days (this is the day they mark down the meat, bread, etc and any manager can tell you this).
  • Determine which stores generally have the lowest prices

After filling out the price book forms and finding out your local stores’ coupon policies and discount days, you will have a pretty good idea of which stores are best to shop at on a regular basis.  Most stores run their sales cycles every twelve weeks or so, with a few incredible sales thrown in on occasion. To get a more accurate picture, I’d recommend tracking the sales at a few stores for three months.

This does not mean that you need to go to five different stores each week and fill our a price list form but I would recommend scanning the sales fliers each week and visiting each store at least once a month.

I hope that you find this information and price list useful.  I know how overwhelming grocery shopping and couponing can be but I hope that by arming you with the right information and tools you can easily and dramatically reduce your grocery budget!

I would love for you to share this post with anyone you think could benefit from it.  However if you are going to share it on your blog, Facebook or any other media, I ask that you link directly to this post and not to the list itself.

View other lessons in this Extreme Couponing series:

Lesson 1:  Change the Way You Shop & Coupon Vocabulary

Lesson 2:  10 Coupon Myths Debunked

Lesson 3:  Where to Find Coupons

Lesson 4: Get Organized

Lesson 5: Creating Your Price-List

Lesson 6: How to Maximize Coupon Savings

Extreme Couponing 101 – Get Organized

Get Organized

Having a clear strategy is key in getting maximum savings with minimal effort!

 

This is my favorite method and I hope it will help you to organize your thoughts and coupons. 🙂  The binder method is composed of a 2” 3 ring’ binder with clear plastic binder pockets that act as mini-folders for each of your coupons.  This is a great way to see and grab coupons as you need them!  One option is to separate your coupons by category within store.  I usually make the same trip through my local grocery store so I put them in that order.   You can also have sections in the back for each store’s weekly coupons.  This way if you don’t redeem all of your weekly coupons in time you can easily weed them out and add new ones.  I also keep various coupons in the very back of my binder for storage even though I’ll never take my binder to those stores (Hallmark, Victoria’s Secret, Lowes, etc.)  Clipping and organizing coupons this way is the easiest I’ve found!

Coupon Clutch

Coupon Clutch

This is my Coupon Clutch

I want to share with you the Coupon Clutch.  It makes couponing easy and even fashionable!  If the thought of lugging a big binder into Harris Teeter mortifies you, you are not alone.  I hated the thought but luckily I bought a Coupon Clutch before I ever had to.  With the Coupon Clutch your binder will travel in style and incognito.  It looks like a purse until you open it up at your shopping cart.

The Coupon Clutch is handmade in the USA.  It features a soft, padded outer cover and two interior pockets.  These pockets are great for storing pens, calculators, and my favorite…for storing the coupons I’m using that shopping trip.  Once I have the matching item in my cart I slip the coupon into the small pocket in the front until I reach the checkout.

The Coupon Clutch retails for $29.95.  However there are different purchase options available, you can purchase just the Coupon Clutch, or the Coupon Clutch along with a variety of different size pages for organizing.  I highly recommend buying the plastic binder sheets from here as well.  They are much thicker than sheets I’ve purchased elsewhere and for nearly the same cost.  If you are a talented and crafty person you could buy the pattern to make your own Coupon Clutch.

No matter which coupon organization method you use it’s important to do what works best for you.  Once you find that system couponing will become even more enjoyable!

If you have any questions about the binder method or the Coupon Clutch just let me know through the comments or my contact button and I’ll try to respond as soon as I can.  Feel free to share ways you’ve found to be helpful in organizing your coupons!

View other lessons in this Extreme Couponing series:

 

Lesson 1:  Change the Way You Shop & Coupon Vocabulary

Lesson 2:  10 Coupon Myths Debunked

Lesson 3:  Where to Find Coupons

Lesson 4: Get Organized

Lesson 5: Creating Your Price-List

Lesson 6: How to Maximize Coupon Savings

Extreme Couponing 101 – Where to Find Coupons

Extreme Couponing 101

Where to Find Coupons

 

There are many ways to get coupons and several of them are free!  Remember as a couponer, you’ll want to get between 4-6 copies of your favorite coupons.  this is so when you head to the store to get FREE toothpaste, you’ll be able to get 4-6 tubes instead of 1.

 

Sunday Paper

Tucked neatly inside each Sunday paper are “Coupon Inserts” which will contain Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP) or Proctor & Gamble (PG).  Before you order a subscription to your paper ask them two questions- Do they offer a Sunday or weekly only subscriptions?  and Do they offer a discount if you buy multiple copies of Sunday’s paper?  Remember, it’s a huge benefit to have multiple copies of coupons!Coupons

 

Other stockpiling Sunday paper options:

  • Pick them up at the dollar store for an even $1.
  • Ask local coffee shops if you have have theirs (maybe offer to recycle papers for them as a trade).
  • Have friends and family save them for you.  Most people won’t mind helping out.
  • Go to recycling centers and get them (before to ask the attendant if this is allowed before you start “dumpster diving”).
  • Get to know the newspaper carriers, they may be willing to give you inserts from papers that they don’t sell, also ask the convenience store clerks too…the store only has to turn in the top portion of the first page of the paper for credit.
  • See if your work subscribes to a Sunday paper and ask if you can have the insert.

Embracing Beauty Coupon Databases

Grocery Coupon Database

Retail Coupon Database

 

Printable Coupons

Coupons.com

SmartSource.com

RedPlum.com

CouponNetwork.com

 

eCoupons

These are coupons that you can load directly onto your store card.

shortcuts.com
cellfire.com
pgesaver.com
upromise.com

 

Organic Coupons

Some of these will be mailed, some printed, and some loaded to your store card.

Kashi

Muir Glen

Earth’s Best

Organic Valley

Knudsen Juice

Simply Organic

Mambo Sprouts

Cascadian Farm

Delicious Living

Horizon Organic

Applegate Farms

Brown Cow Farm

Barbara’s Bakery

Stonyfield Farms

Earthbound Farm

Dreamfields Pasta

Seventh Generation

Morning Star Farms

Back to Nature Foods

Newman’s Own Organic

 

All You Magazine

$100+ worth of coupons each month, plus frugal articles, recipes & more!  Sold at Walmart or you can click here to buy All You at a discount!

 

Blinkies

The little machines in the grocery isle with a red blinking light that hands out coupons.

 

Catalina Coupons

You know those extra strips of paper you get with each receipt? Those are Catalina Coupons and can be very valuable.

 

Peelies

Found sticking to the product itself.

 

Grocery Store Websites

More and more grocery websites are offering printable and downloadable coupons directly from their site.

 

View other lessons in this Extreme Couponing series:

Lesson 1:  Change the Way You Shop & Coupon Vocabulary

Lesson 2:  10 Coupon Myths Debunked

Lesson 3:  Where to Find Coupons

Lesson 4: Get Organized

Lesson 5: Creating Your Price-List

Lesson 6: How to Maximize Coupon Savings



 

Extreme Couponing Class 101 – Lesson 1

“…Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” -Luke 12:22-24 NIV

My financial goals:

Honor God with my finances.

Encourage & equip others to be good stewards.

Discover new & creative ways to save more, spend less, & increase giving.

Balance this exciting journey with my marriage & my family.

It is my hope that by the end of this class I will have all of you- nervous, overwhelmed and dedicated fence-sitters converted to the ways of frugal living!

Grocery List

First step to becoming a Coupon Queen is to CHANGE THE WAY YOU SHOP!!!

How do you do that?

Throw everything you know about grocery shopping out the window.

-No more stopping by the store after work to grab a few things.

-No more running to the store at 4:00pm everyday to buy what you need for dinner.

-No more making one list every week to buy the meals you are going to prepare-regardless of the price.

-No more HUGE monthly shopping trips where you spend your entire month’s grocery budget.

-No more running to the store because you are out of toothpaste and deodorant.

Say Goodbye to those days!

And Say Hello to the COUPON QUEEN WAY!

Here’s what you need to know…

  • You will be going to the store a lot, and you will most likely have a very intimate relationship with certain stores and the checkers who are employed there (this is a good reminder to Always be friendly).
  • You will have a Year Supply of toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, disinfectant wipes (among others) before you can blink!!!  Enjoy the added security.
  • Before you know it you will be saving between 50-90% at the grocery store!
  • It’s all about shopping with coupons while a product is on sale- and STOCKING UP so you don’t have to buy something when it’s not cheap or free.

Vocabulary to Learn (or at least familiarize yourself with)

AR: After rebate, the cost of an item after you receive your rebate.

Blinky: Grocery or drugstore coupon dispensers with blinking lights.

BOGO: Buy One Get One

B1G1F: Buy 1 Get 1 Free

BTFE: Box Tops For Education

Cat/Catalina: Catalina coupon, a machine near the cash register that prints coupons when your receipt prints.

CRT: Cash Register Tape – Coupons that print with the receipt

DH: Darling Husband.  Not exactly a couponing term but one I’ve been asked a lot about. : )

DND: Do Not Double, sometimes found on manufacturer coupons.

ECB: Extra Care Bucks from the CVS’ loyalty rewards program.

ESRs: EasySaver Rebates, Walgreens monthly rebates program

FAR: Free After Rebate.

IVC : Instant Value Coupon – Walgreens’ store coupons found in ads

MFR: Manufacturer

MIR: Mail-in rebate

MIR: Mail-In Rebate

NAZ: Name Address and Zip Code

NED: No Expiration Date – I like those!

OOP: Out Of Pocket. Meaning the actual cash you pay after any discounts & coupons have been redeemed.

OOS: Out Of Stock

OYNO: On your next order

P&G: Proctor & Gamble Company or sometimes referring to P&G’s Sunday insert

Peelie: Coupons on the product packaging that you peel off.

POP: Proof of Purchase

PP: Purchase Price

PSA: Prices starting at

RC: Rain Check

RP: Red Plum – Sunday Newspaper Insert (fabulous coupons!)

RR: Register Reward – Walgreen’s name for their Catalina’s.

SMP: Specially Marked Package

SCR: Single Check Rebate, Rite Aid monthly rebates program

SS: Smart Source – Sunday Newspaper Insert (more fabulous coupons!)

TMF: Try Me Free, some products have a mail-in rebate that refunds the total money you spent to purchase the item, so you can “Try It Out” for free. (I won’t use this abbreviation)

UPC: Universal Product Code, bar code on a product

V: Valassis – Sunday Newspaper Insert

WYB: When You Buy

YMMV : Your mileage (or manager) may vary, some stores may allow you to score a deal, some may not.

So, how are you feeling? Are you ready to commit?

View other lessons in this Extreme Couponing series:

Lesson 1:  Change the Way You Shop & Coupon Vocabulary

Lesson 2:  10 Coupon Myths Debunked

Lesson 3:  Where to Find Coupons

Lesson 4: Get Organized

Lesson 5: Creating Your Price-List

Lesson 6: How to Maximize Coupon Savings