Posted by: spaghettipie | October 31, 2007

WFMW: Couponing


Okay, so I know the backwards WFMW was a couple weeks ago (agh! I just read we’re doing backwards day again next week. Oh, well. I’m early), but here’s a topic I want to work-for-me, I’m just not sure where to begin. Lately, I’ve been reading all about coupons, coupon databases, coupon programs and games, etc. This approach to saving money really seems to make a huge difference – not just save a few pennies – so I’m interested. But I don’t even know where to begin. A friend (whom I trust) sent me a link to The Grocery Game, which charges a small fee but promises me ease of use and big savings. I’ve visited Coupon Mom before, but I’m not really sure where to begin. I’ve perused a few blogs like Sense to Save and Money Saving Mom but I feel a little in over-my-head, like I’m in a foreign land. Can anyone out there offer advice on how to start and what sites are the best and easiest to use? I want this to work for me!

As always, more helpful tips can be found at Rocks in My Dryer.



  1. I have 3 posts about how to use The Coupon Mom site. As you probably realize it is a free site. A few key points.
    1. Maximize your savings by purchasing items on sale with coupons.
    2. At the very least, use the “Grocery Deals by State” to determine the sale prices in your area grocery stores. Buy about a month – 6 weeks worth of these items at one time while they are on sale.
    3. When you pull the coupon circulars out of your papers, do not clip. Simply write the date on the front of the circular and store all the circulars together in a folder or rubbermaid box.
    4. Use the coupon codes to find your coupons (which show up when you select the items to purchase from grocery deals by state) to know which specific coupons you need to clip for your shopping trip.
    Read my posts for better details and explanations. If you still have questions let me know and I will help you out. Here is the link to the first post:

  2. Hi dearie! Thanks for the mention. I definitely don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. This is supposed to be fun, ya know?

    Start slow. That’s my advice.

    I actually wrote a post yesterday about how to approach being frugal when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

    Perhaps you can tell me more about the stores in your area and your overall goals, and maybe I can give you a few specific pointers.

  3. Money Saving Mom is it! Crystal is awesome! I have been at it (saving) for a month now. My house is stocked and I have extra money in my wallet. It is funny how now I cannot even use a coupon UNLESS the item is already on sale!

    Don’t pay for Grocery Game – CouponMom has all the same things for free. Also I do not have a color printer and could never get the “Blue” items to print…

    Once I get the ads, I sit down at home, look at the prices, pull out the right coupon and then make my list before I hit the store. CVS and RiteAid have been a huge savings! You have to pay more out-of-pocket at Walgreens but it has been great also.
    Go look at her site today about the free tampons, oralB toothbrush (I NEVER buy anything my family will not use! If it is Free, I have considered it for donations or AnySoldier) Start small (Out of pocket money). Now I am competative with myself – I have to beat my savings from last week! Good Luck

  4. I tried the free trial of THe Grocery Game just so I could understand this whole couponing thing. Now that my trial is done, I can do coupon mom! It was worth $1 to figure it out!

  5. I did the Grocery Game for about 9 months (over a year ago).

    I loved it and I didn’t.

    I will start with the negatives so i can end with the positives!

    Most of the coupons (with the exception of cleaning supplies and toiletries) were for prepackaged, processed foods, which under normal circumstances I don’t buy. But I was buying them because one of the main points for couponing (according the GG lady) is to stock pile. To buy what you need, that isn’t perishable, and stock up! But I never eat chili in a can, or frozen fish sticks, or Fig Newton’s. I tried to build my meu around what was on sale and what I had coupons for, but it was a lot of Name Brand “boxed” type foods.

    The Positive!: I liked that I could customize the list, (GG does this according to colors) and that all the store sales that were not coupon items were listed as well. I also liked the items that were occasionally free of course.

    I got sort of addicted to the end of my shopping trip when the lady would put in all the coupons and tell me that I would have spent $150 put with coupons it came to $80. But in the end we were wasting food that my family wouldn’t eat and I felt that we were eating a lot of processed stuff which tastes good and is easy but not so much what I want to serve my family.

    I know a gal who has used this system and feeds her very large family on pennies, but she works REALLY hard on it, and that is another negative. Couponing does save money, but, in my humble opinion, it is very time consuming (especially if you are shopping several stores, and are having to make lists and pull out coupons for several places.)

    So there you have it! For me, it wasn’t worth the $$ spent quarterly to get a list full of things I don’t normally buy.

    OH! One more positive thing…I did ENJOY the times when cleaning products went on sale! I didn’t have to buy dishwashing soap for almost a year! So if you aren’t brand specific onyour cleaning supplies this was great!

  6. JJ – Thanks for the tips, and I will definitely go check out your posts.

    K – I had read your post and appreciate many things you said. Couponing itself still feels like another world, but I’m going to check it out and see for myself.

    DM – Thanks for the advice and for stopping by!

    O – Yes, it might be worth it just to figure this stuff out. I tried downloading some of the “free” e-books from Coupon Mom, but it was a ROYAL pain.

    Kel – Oh, I really appreciate your opinion! Since we’re a part of a co-op for produce and looking to buy meat directly from a local farm, I’m not really interested in those products (and I have a hard time compromising in the area of processed foods). I’m curious to see how much effort it takes on the other non-perishable/toiletry/cleaning type stuff and if it’s worth it.

  7. If you dig a little deeper on Money Saving Mom, there are a few “basic” posts on how to coupon-shop at Walgreens, CVS, etc. Then the other (weekly) posts about these stores make a lot more sense.

    Just keep reading and researching! There’s such a wealth of information out there…

  8. Hi there! I did the Grocery Game for a long time and we still have a huge stockpile from it. I used the “binder method” as well. I had a bunch of sections and filed all of my coupons in trading card pages from Wal-Mart. At one point, I had filled TWO 3″ binders with coupons!

    We moved and I now live in the “land of no doubles”. So the Grocery Game no longer makes sense for me, although I intend to keep up “stockpiling”. I’ve been using this week and have LOVED it. I have the list from Wal-Mart and will probably do this for a while. The prices were spot on; I spent about $80 for groceries this week.

    Have fun! You might also want to stop by They have a step-by-step coupon binder tutorial and their message board ROCKS. It is worth the $12 a year for me to subscribe and I’ve been subscribing for five years! 🙂 Good luck and happy couponing!

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