January 7, 2010

Coupon Preview 1/10

BS01178_1The biggest complaint that I hear from people who do not coupon regularly is that they find very few coupons for items that they normally use in the weekly paper.  Frankly, this is one of the reasons I do NOT advocate for people to sign up for a Sunday paper subscription.  There are a few weeks per year when we do not receive inserts, and there are some weeks that the inserts are pretty slim pickings.  The exclusion to this rule is if you live in a rural area and it saves you money to have the paper delivered instead of traveling out to buy one.

After reviewing the preview list, I’m better able to determine

1) If I want to buy a paper for our family given what is expected to be included in the circulars (Will it be worth our money to invest in the paper?)

2) If I want to buy MORE than one paper. 

Last week, I bought 5 newspapers for our family.  The week before last, I didn’t buy any.  In full disclosure, I have a few friends and relatives who pass on their extra coupons to me.  This helps me to not be completely at a loss if a moneymaker is uncovered or a great deal found.  I also coupon for our church, so if there are items that we can buy for free or cheap for one of our outreach programs I’ll have the church coupons to use.

I thought that you might like to see the list below to get a better idea of how I use the coupon preview to plan our purchases.  Go here to Southern Savers to review the coupons expected in this Sunday’s paper. 

What will I be watching for?

  • $1 off Celestial seasonings tea (exp 4/10)—these tend to be regional coupons.  I’m hoping to see it in our paper, as it will make for some inexpensive tea when matched to a sale.
  • $2 off GE energy smart compact fluorescent bulb package (exp 2/28) * Target coupon
    $1.50 GE light bulb package (exp 2/28) * Target coupon—While I have an abundance of CFLs store, I’m still happy to see this coupon in hopes that it can help others score some for cheap.
  • $1.50 Genteal (exp 5/31)—sometimes these are in the travel section at Target.  With the coupon these will be free and are good additions to the care packages that our church sends to soldiers overseas.
  • $2/2 Kotex pads (exp 3/7)—When matched with a sale and loadable coupon, I can usually snag some inexpensive or free maxis.  Don’t use them?  These are great to donate to a women’s shelter.
  • $2 off Ecotrin—Not that we need anymore of these, but they were such a great moneymaker last month that they are worth cutting out. 
  • .35/1 Purex Liquid laundry Detergent—I like the pure and natural version of their detergent.  Matched with a sale at Kroger, these can cost between $1-2.
  • $1 off Select Seventh Generation Products—every so often you can find a store coupon to stack with this manufacturer coupon.  I’ve also found them at closeout pricing at a few different stores (Target and Walgreens), which can make for some inexpensive eco-friendly cleaner.

How many papers will I purchase for our family? 

I’ll probably only pick up one newspaper this week.  There are enough included on the list for me to buy one, but since I do not need many of the products listed in the preview, it isn’t worth buying more than one. 

6 comments:

  1. I've been enjoying your blog and couponing lately. However, yesterday I shopped at Walmart and their store brand products -- many of which I have found to be of high quality -- seemed like better deals in many instances. We do not have a Kroger in our commumity, but I've been loading the digital coupons just in case we are near one. As one who likes to use minimally processed foods, I wish there were more coupons for vegetables without additives and of course, for the produce section. Thanks especially for posting the Earth Fare, food coop, and Ingles deals..

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  2. It is true, there are some items that you'll find at Walmart for a reduced rate as compared to other stores. I choose not to post Walmart deals for a few reasons. The main issue being that people tend to go into Walmart and spend more than they had planned. I've found that their coupon policies are not as great as other stores. Target, for instance, offers many store brand coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons. The third reason I don't post about Walmart very often is that I personally do not like many of their business practices. I still shop there about 2 times a year, and I'm not against others shopping there. It is just a personal preference. I will note that Walmart is the largest purchaser of organics, and the fact that they have helped to reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides being spread is a plus.

    I agree with you about there being very few options for vegetable coupons. I suspect that the reason for this is that many vegetables are not "branded" yet. Factory farming in the last 20 years has put names and companies behind foods. When I was a kid, the eggs were eggs. Now, they are Eggland's Best eggs, etc. Putting a company behind the food means that there will more likely be a manufacturer coupon available, and I'm not convinced that is a good thing.

    Kroger and Target stores do tend to offer more coupons for vegetables than other stores. Target, for instance, in the last year has had some for broccoli and apples. Kroger sends their Kroger Plus Customers coupon magazines that often contain coupons for salads, organic vegetables, etc. I grew up in an area where we had to drive 20-30 minutes to the nearest big grocery store--I can empathize with how frustrating it can be to be away from more options for shopping.

    I'm glad to see that you are shopping at Ingles. In the winter months, I like to shop there to find organic produce at a great price. I was in the store this week and bought organic potatoes and apples on sale. Since both keep for a while, I bought extra. (Now, of course, I'm wishing I had bought even more). ;)

    Our family copes with the desire to serve healthier options and the need to balance the budget by--growing a garden in the spring/summer/fall, buying extra produce at the farmers markets in the summer and preserving it, using moneymakers at stores like Walgreens to save money in our overall budget, and reducing expenditures in other areas. When we see a good deal at a grocery store on a healthier option, we buy extra.

    I hope this helps! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate it when readers take the time to ask questions and offer feedback that can also be helpful to others.

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  3. I couldn't disagree more with not getting a Sunday paper deliverd to your home. When you buy papers at gas stations, supermarkets you may not get all the coupon inserts since those papers get the leftovers. To ensure you get all the coupon inserts you must subscribe to the paper. Well, worth the $2 for the weekend subscrption.

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  4. Good point Sally! When I am purchasing them at a drugstore or gas station, I always make sure to check the circulars to see if they are all included. Since I check the coupon preview, I know how many to look for. You are correct, sometimes they are left out of the papers. By checking before you buy, this helps to solve that problem.

    Everyone has a different opinion about whether or not to subscribe or not to the Sunday paper. Ultimately, you have to do what works for your family. Not subscribing to it works for my family. For many who are new to couponing, they quickly become overwhelmed with the idea of buying multiple papers and cutting from them. Since many complain about the papers not including coupons that they like, this is a way for those folks to avoid paying for the coupons that they may never use. However, there are many others who like getting the paper regularly and enjoy cutting their coupons early on Sunday mornings. Again, do what works best for you, your budget, and your schedule. ;)

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll include the feedback about the circulars in next week's coupon preview.

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  5. In addition to maybe I can't use the coups in this weeks paper but may next week. I like to keep them in my coupon binder to use for the future.

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  6. ;) Thanks for that tip Sally. I'll remind folks to do this. I like to write in big lettering the date on the front so that I can more easily keep up with what circulars belong to what week. Since I work with over 10 papers a week (I coupon for our church. Search "coupon ministry" if you'd like more info on that.), I don't cut every coupon. I keep them in file folders for each week and often refer back to them. While I don't completely go clipless, I only cut a fraction of them upon first review of the coupon circulars.

    Sally, I'd love it if you wrote a guest post on your coupon strategies. Since everyone has a different viewpoint and plan on how to approach couponing, readers might benefit from a different perspective on this topic. Please shoot me an e-mail if you are interested. couponingincriticaltimes@gmail.com

    Once again, thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it more than you know!

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