Friday, March 28, 2014

Realistic Couponing - The Weekly Flyer, Your Second Best Friend

Who's your first best friend? Your G.D. coupons that's who! But we're not there yet. Oh no. You can't jump into the pool without taking your clothes off first, or in this case, without making a grocery list.

Remember last week's post? You are no longer brand loyal. You are loyal to cheap products, and you find cheap products in your weekly flyer.

Your weekly flyer is your instruction manual. If the shit you want is not in it, or you don't have a coupon for it, then you're not buying it. Understand? As a couponer you NEVER pay full price for ANYTHING! That's for suckers.

Now, how I like to start is by grabbing a pen and just taking a first pass at the ad. I circle products that I like. I circle products that are a super good deal, things I'm running low on, and things I'm pretty sure I have a coupon for. Once I have all of my items circled, I go through my coupons and start matching things up. The goal is to find what I call the trifecta.

1. Product is a favorite
2. Product is on sale

When that happens, you've struck savings gold. When you have a trifecta, you buy as many of that item as you can.

Here's where the naysayers say, "I don't have time for that shit."

Yes, you do.

Admittedly, going through the weekly ad and making my list is where I spend the bulk of my couponing time. I would say this takes roughly an hour to an hour and a half a week. But let me tell you where it saves time.

Let's go back, to when I was a full-price paying fool. I used to go to the store, 2 maybe 3 times a week to pick things up because I was buying them on-demand, as in I bought things as we needed them. Not only was I paying more for these items, but every time I went to the store, I was buying extra impulse items.

From America's Cheapest Family:

"Shoppers making a ‘quick trip' to the store to pick up a few specific items usually purchase 54 percent more than they planned."

"Forty-seven percent of shoppers go to the store three or four times each week."

"Consumers graze at the grocery store, with impulse buys making up between 50.8 and 67.7 percent of total purchase."

As a marketer, I rub my hands together and make a cruel evil laugh. This is exactly what we want. We spend tons of money to get you into stores as much as possible so you will buy more of our frivolous things. And it works! Muwahahaha.

Because you think it's easier and quicker to just run by the store and pick up a few things, but it isn't.

Trust me. I live in the tiniest state in the union, where everything is literally 2 minutes away, and I would say by the time I get in my car, drive to the store, get out of the car, go into the store, wander around buying extra stuff I don't need, pay for it, get back into the car, drive home...I've spent 30 minutes. 30 minutes, 3 times a week is an hour and a half. Compared to the one hour a week I spend at the store now, I'm saving 30 minutes a week, and yes, I still make impulse purchases, but I only do it once.

Here's another time saver. Meal planning. The worst thing about cooking meals is figuring out what the hell to cook. Now it's easy. I look through the ad, I see asparagus is on sale, I circle it, and then I go online and find a recipe that uses asparagus. I make sure the recipe has other ingredients on sale or thing from my wares, and then it's decided. That's what we're having this week.

And for those of you who say, "You can't eat healthy when you coupon." That's B.S. I'm a vegetarian. My family eats tons of fresh vegetables and organic foods. I probably eat healthier than some of the non-couponers out there and still pay less.

So next week, get ready to talk about the gold. The coupons!

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