Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Decoding The Ads

Getting the best deals and making the most of your budget can be frustrating and overwhelming but well worth it. It takes time to organize your shopping trips, make a detailed list of items you really need and research the ads to find the right deals. It is not easy but with time it will just be the only way to shop for your families. You will start to learn new ways to shop and I'm here to offer you that information.

Let's begin with learning how to read the ads and understand the store sales.

  • Grocery store ads change by every Wednesday. Get your ads and coupons on Tuesdays in the mail.
Tip: To get the most coupons, leave a note for your post office worker in your own mailbox and ask for extra flyers-Jolie
  • Convenience stores (Walgreens), pharmacies (CVS) and stores like Walmart, Target change their sales by every Sunday.
  • 10 for $10 sales - you don't have to buy the 10 items to get the sale.
  • Mix and Match Savings- This means that you are asked to buy a set amount of items and instantly at the register you will receive a savings in dollar amount.
Tip: You don't have to buy all the same items. The ad will show different products added to this sale-mix and match. In addition you can use manufacturer coupons on each item in this transaction! This will increase your savings. The rewards do have a limit so read the fine print.

Example: Buy Any 8 participating items, save $4 instantly at the register. At checkout you have your groceries and along them include 8 of these items. When you pay, the register will instantly take $4.00 off. If I have 16 of the items but the limit is set to 1 reward per transaction, I place 8 items in one order and pay. Then I have the cashier ring up the other 8 in a separate transaction and I get another $4.00 off my order.
  • Within ads there will be different dates set for sale items.
Example: Safeway will have a few items on sale only 3 days, Friday-Sunday.
  • Buy one, get one Free - make sure its the equal or lesser value.
  • Buy x=amount, Get x=% off . Here you are asked to buy a set amount of items in order to get the savings. You will need to buy that same item and get your discount. Make sure it reads MUST BUY.
  • Use your discount card. If you don't have it, you can use the registered phone number used at sign up.
  • Pay attention to special discount dates at the grocery store. They will give additional percent off to a certain group on a special day. 
Example: First Responder day, Senior day, Cardinals game day, ect. Read the restrictions and rules.
  •  Ads will show the price effective dates. Make sure your ad is used on the correct week. I've gotten excited over a sale that was an old paper ad, not fun.
  • Sale items not in stock? Ask for a rain check, it will enable you to buy the item at the advertised price when it is in stock. Most are good for one month after date of issue.
  • Cut out the store coupons on the ad and combine them with Manufacturer coupons. Double your savings!
  • Always pay attention to limits on rewards, or sale prices.
Read and pay attention to the ad. Write a product list with size and quantity you will buy along with the original and sale price. If its part of a mix and match, mark it. Be detailed and take your time understanding the sales. Compare store ads. This is how I started shopping smarter and getting the most for our hard earned money.

*I'm a novice couponista, I'm here to learn too so please any discrepancies, or questions please comment below.
**All stores, sales and policies vary by store become familiar with them by visiting their store sites or asking store managers.

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