Trying to insert coupons at random into your grocery routine won't end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. You have to be intentional about using coupons on a regular basis, making sure they don't expire, and matching them up with the specials in the flyers. Creating a system to keep everything organized is a great way to ensure that you're getting the best deal possible on your weekly grocery trip.
Start by gathering flyers. You can get these from your Sunday paper (and occasionally some of the weekly ones), your mailbox (the ads that usually arrive on Wednesdays), your email inbox (sign up for weekly specials from your local stores' Web sites), and your friends and neighbors. In the case of the latter, ask around to see if people get flyers besides the ones you do -- or, if there are good coupons, if they're willing to give you their copy.
Before you begin trying to match anything, make sure your coupons are sorted in some sort of comprehensive way. You may prefer to put them in categories of type, brand name (alphabetically), or some other system that suits you and your general lifestyle. You can use a coupon storage system -- either a store-bought organizer or a hand-made book -- to keep them in place while you match and shop.
Now it's time to make a list. Browse the ads until you find items that pique your interest. List only items that you would buy even if you didn't have a coupon -- items that you need to operate your household on a daily basis (whether that's cheese and bread, vegetables, hot dogs, or toilet paper). Then, go back through the list and use your coupon-organizing system to match up coupons with those products. You can make changes if necessary; for example, let's say there are two kinds of bread on sale at the store down the street. You normally buy one for the slightly better taste, but you have a coupon for the other one. For the sake of a low grocery bill, you may opt for the second one.
Occasionally, you may spot an extra special treat that is both on sale and has a coupon; in those cases, you can splurge and enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner or a delicious dessert. Don't be a tightwad -- live a little!
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