Saturday, March 1, 2008

Teri's Coupon Shopping 101

The Grocery game is by no means the only resource to use in order to save at the grocery store. is also one of my favorite free coupon site. However, the $1 trial at grocery game, and the simplicity of the site, gave me the confidence as a new couponer to stick with couponing. Organizing all of those little pieces of paper, and figuring out how to use them all can be very overwhelming! Grocery game made it really simple. As a full time working single mom (at the time) this was a life saver, as I didn't have the time to search the web for different deals.

Anyways, the choice is yours. I no longer need to pay the grocery game to help me organize my shopping, but I do reccommend it to any new couponer who wants to find out what couponing is all about! It is a very small investment into potentially HUGE savings!

Top 10 Grocery Saving Tips

We call it a game, because “couponing” can be
fun, and very productive when you know “how, when, where, and what” to buy. The
exhilaration of “winning” at the register has often been compared to a “Trip to

These tips may surprise you, because they actually contradict
what many “coupon Queens and Kings” have advocated for decades. Nonetheless,
this is what works for thousands of members at While this is
only part of what is offered to members of THE GROCERY GAME, these “Top 10 Tips”
should turn your thinking around, as well as your grocery budget! Each tip, on
it’s own, doesn’t amount to much. But when you add them all up, you have a
conceptual understanding of “THE GROCERY GAME”. You should become a winner at
the market! So let’s
with paradigm shift #1…

1. "Stockpiling" vs. "Need Shopping" – Buy MORE
than you “need” to save the most! Crazy? Certainly not! Every item you buy at
the market falls into one of these two categories: “Stockpiling” or “Need
Shopping”. Even though you don’t yet “need” it, if it is an item that is at a
“Rock Bottom Sale”, and you have a “good” coupon to go along with it, and it is
something your family may use, you will “Stockpile” it; you will buy it NOW,
even though you don’t yet “need” it. On the other hand, if you don’t have it in
your “Stockpile”, and you need it today, you may buy it as a “need” item. Your
“need” list gets shorter as your “Stockpile” grows.

2. Two Different
Supermarkets – Determine which market is good for “Stockpiling” and which one is
good for “Need Shopping”. If you have a market that doubles
that market will be your “Stockpiling Market”. Whether or not you have a market
that doubles coupons, your “Stockpiling” market will most likely be a market
with higher over-all prices. Surprised? Yes, we usually “Stockpile” at the
market with the highest over-all prices. That’s because they will probably
bottom out lower than the other markets, when they hit their “Rock Bottom
Sales”. We are not buying their regularly priced items, but we are benefiting
from their “Rock Bottom Sales” combined with a coupon, which will beat
Supercenters and club stores. As for “Need Shopping”... we go to what I call the
“cardboard box” market; a market with no frills, just the lowest prices. And
that market typically will not double coupons. Some may not even accept coupons.
You can shop at more than 2 stores, but keeping in mind what you are shopping
for... "need shopping" or "stockpiling".

3. “The Grocery Hopper” – You
could run to a number of different markets each week. But it's not required.
Each major supermarket in your area will run most of the same sales on the same
items, only a few weeks apart from one another. You can choose one market for
your “Stockpiling”, based on what is discussed in tip #2… the market with the
lowest “Rock Bottom Sales”. Save on gas and time and be patient when building
your “Stockpile”. If you choose the right market for your “Stockpiling”, all the
best deals should come to you in one weekly stop.

4. "Rock Bottom Sales"
and “Sales Cycles” – Just because an item is on sale and you have a coupon,
doesn’t mean it is time to use the coupon. Nearly every item runs through
several levels of sales before it reaches a “Rock Bottom Sale”. This is where
knowing “when” to “Stockpile’ with that coupon can save you loads of
at the check out! Begin to keep track of how often each item cycles through its
“Rock Bottom Sales”. How much is that item when it is at “Rock bottom”? There
are a number of ways to track sales cycles. The most obvious way is just to have
a “conceptual awareness” of the cycles. Another way is to build an actual
database. At, members access Teri’s List, which takes care of
all that database research on a weekly basis.

5. Categorical Sales
Trends – Did you ever notice themes with-in supermarket sales campaigns? Such
as… This week they are featuring paper goods and deli products… Next week, sales
are on frozen foods, and toiletries, and nothing else. That’s because “Sales
trends” run in categories in the supermarkets. Outside of “Stockpiling”, you are
never going to get everything you need at a great price in any given week. The
categorical sales trends typically cycle through all the categories with-in a
12-week period. So… “Stockpile” more than you “need” while the price is right.

6. The Coupon file – Less is more! It's not about having a lot of
coupons. It's about knowing what coupons are best, and when to use them. I use a
regular purse size cancelled check file, for my own coupon file. No big file
boxes for me! Start by getting your coupons from the Sunday paper. I recommend
one paper for a family of 4, 2 papers for 6, and 3 papers for 8. Also, as of
this year, the internet is now offering coupons of good value. This is due to
new software that is in place, that facilitates limits as to how many coupons
may be printed. As a result, manufacturers are offering more coupon value.

7. Coupon Redemption – Be careful to read everything on the coupon. You
don’t want surprises at the check out. Also, look for words like “good on any…”
especially when a specific item is featured in the picture. Often times, you may
use the coupon on “any” of that manufacturer’s products, not just the pictured
item. 8. Shopping Days and 72-hour sales - Shop on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday
for most markets. Most markets’ sales weeks begin on Wednesday and end on
Tuesday. But since you get new coupons to go with the current week’s sales on
Sunday, wait until then to shop. Also, from time to time, most markets run
special 72-hour sales. And most often those sales are Sunday through Tuesday.
For sales weeks that begin on Sunday and end on Saturday, you have even more
time to shop!

9. Smaller Package = Better Value – Do the math. Most
often when a smaller package and a larger package of the same name brand product
are both on sale, the better deal is the smaller package, if you have a coupon
to go with it. Yes, that’s right! More often than not, a coupon has more impact
against a smaller package. Get your calculator to prove it!

Warehouse Club Stores – If you have a market that has great “rock bottom sales”
(and most do), you should easily be able to beat “Warehouse Club Store” prices
by using your coupons at your “stockpiling” market with a “Rock Bottom Sale”

Happy shopping!

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