Elisabeth Leamy, consumer correspondent for "Good Morning America," identifies the areas where people spend the most money and shows how they can save more by tackling large expenses. In "Save Big," Leamy shows how to cut spending on houses, cars, groceries, health care, credit cards and more.
Click here to learn where you can find a copy of "Save Big" by Elisabeth Leamy, ABC News Consumer Correspondent.
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Chapter 24: Creative Couponing
Every word in the grocery section has been leading to this one: coupons. Price matching and stockpiling get even better with coupons. That's why Creative Couponing is Guerilla Grocery Shopping weapon number three. The key to creative couponing is never to use a coupon by itself. Always layer it with some other strategy. The other key is to use online tools to make couponing easy --and lucrative. The old fashioned way of clipping coupons in advance is too time consuming.
I used to make fun of couponers. It seemed like the ultimate example of Small Stuff Savings, but then GMA sent me to interview some women who have cut their grocery bills in half by using and abusing coupons in the most creative ways. The savings cannot be ignored. Guerilla Grocery shoppers who take advantage of creative couponing save as much as 80-percent and even get some groceries for free.
In this chapter, learn to SAVE BIG by:
Using a website that makes it possible for you to use coupons without really clipping coupons.
Waiting to use coupons instead of using them right when they come out.
Combining coupons with other offers.
Looking up Target coupons after Target has stopped providing them.
Clicking not Clipping
Is your scissor finger breaking out in hives just from the thought of clipping coupons? Don't worry. I'm going to show you how to use coupons without really clipping coupons. I define "clipping" coupons as spending Sundays poring over coupon circulars, painstakingly cutting out coupons in advance that you might be able to use. I don't do that and you shouldn't either. The key is to click not clip.
Thanks to Stephanie Nelson, aka "The Coupon Mom," you can still use coupons from the Sunday circulars, but you'll only have to spend five minutes cutting them right before you shop. You'll cut instead of clip. Here's how it works. The CouponMom website tracks every coupon in most every Sunday circular. Instead of blindly clipping coupons and hoping you will be able to use them, you just save all the circulars without cutting them. Then, when you need something, you search for the product on CouponMom.com and the site tells you if there is a coupon for it in a recent circular.
CouponMom.com has flipped the entire process over so that it is easy and productive. First the need, then the coupon instead of vice versa. It makes so much more sense. Here's a step by step tutorial on the simple, money-saving process:
1. Know the Main Circulars. You can see the names of the circulars on the front or in tiny print on the binding. Couponers refer to them by their initials. They are:
Red Plum (RP)
Smart Source (SS)
General Mills (GM)
Procter & Gamble (PG)