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Couponing 101: Finding the Deals

finding coupon deals

This is Part 4 of our Couponing 101 blog series. Check out Part 1 or continue on to Part 5.

Our last post talked about finding a coupon matchup site. If you’ve done that, you’re almost ready to start shopping. But first I’m going to show you how to find deals. We’ll use my favorite matchup site, Southern Savers, as an example, with Harris Teeter as our example store. I’m going to this post in the Harris Teeter section, the most recent sales as of the time I’m writing this blog. Browse this post for a moment to see if it makes sense to you.

It might look a bit confusing. What are the numbers in parenthesis? What do all those abbreviations mean? Which coupon do I use?

The numbers in parenthesis represent the price of one item for Buy One, Get One deals. At Harris Teeter, you don’t have to buy two to get the “BOGO” price – if an item is BOGO, each rings up half price. But at some stores, you do have to buy both items to get the BOGO price. (Another reason why you should know store policies!)

The coupons currently available for the item are listed under the item title. Printable coupons are denoted with a link to the coupon; sometimes print limits have been reached and coupons are no longer available. (It’s a good idea to print high-value coupons you know you’ll use right away so you have them.) If the coupon is from an insert, it will say RP (RedPlum), SS (SmartSource), or PG (Proctor & Gamble) with the date of the insert. See why we labeled each insert? You can easily flip through your stack of RedPlums to find, say, the October 7 insert. There may be several coupons listed under a product, but the website should recommend which one to use to get the best price. Note that it may not be the highest value coupon depending on whether or not your store doubles. If your store doubles coupons up to 99 cents, a 75 cents off coupon would be more valuable than a $1.00 off coupon because it would double to $1.50 off – and the $1.00 off coupon would not double. Flip through the insert to find the coupon recommended to get the best deal, then clip it.

Occasionally, you may not find a coupon that’s supposed to be in a particular insert. Coupons vary by region, so that coupon may have been available in the region the blogger lives in but not where you’re at. So you may find that you miss a few good deals, but don’t worry – you’ll catch them at some point.

This week at HT, Smart Balance butter is on sale, BOGO for $2.69. Remember, at HT that means each item rings up at half price, $1.34. I have a coupon for 75 cents off, which doubles to $1.50 off – that means I get free butter! If you have more than one coupon, you could get more than one pack of butter for free. I do this when it’s free, since butter freezes.

Go through the list to find the items you’re interested in and clip those coupons. See why we didn’t clip them at first? It’s easier to leave them in the insert, since the matchup site will tell you exactly where to find them. Most sites will let you print a list of only the items you want, or you can write down your own list.

Now we’re ready to hit the store, but wait until you read the next post before you go!

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