The best way to save money at the grocery store is the use coupons and take advantage of sales. It can be very overwhelming to get stared with couponing and shopping sales so this series is designed to guide you through the process a little at a time.
Master the Basics
Where do I get coupons?
- Sunday paper (check Parade sometimes they have coupons.)
- Store fliers, Web sites, e-mail lists
- In-store displays and “blinkie” dispensers in the aisles
- “Catalina” coupons
- Packaging of products you buy
- Friends, co-workers, neighbors. Start a coupon train
- Online (www.couponcabin.com, www.couponmom.com, www.hotcouponworld.com, etc.)
What is a “blinkie”?
Blinkies are coupons distributed in stores by SmartSource Coupon Machines; the nickname “blinkie” refers to the machines blinking light designed to attract your attention while walking down the aisles. Machines typically provide a coupon directly in front of the product.
What is a “Catalina”?
Catalina Category Marketing (CCM) rewards purchases of promoted products with “catalinas”, also known as “check-out coupons”. These offer incentives good on your next shopping trip to that retailer. There is usually a 4-week window on any given program/incentive promotion.
When do the stores run their sales?
Each store has its own sale cycle, with almost all of them lasting a week. Knowing when they begin and end can be key to helping you maximize your savings.
- Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, and Food Lion put their circulars in the Wednesday Paper
- Kroger puts its flier out on Sunday, though it sometimes runs a smaller flier on Wednesday as well.
- The drug stores (Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid) all put their fliers in the Sunday paper. Kerr Drug runs its a flier on Sundays, though Kerr does not run one every Sunday.
- Wal-Mart often, though not always, runs a circular on Sunday.