Thursday, May 5, 2011

Laura's Guide to Couponing: Matchups

Image from Shop Local

Now that you have your coupons and have them organized, what exactly should you do with them? The answer: grab the circular (weekly ad) for your store and start on your matchups!

Matchups are called that because you're matching up a sale price (in the weekly ad) to your coupons.

Let's say Ivory soap or body wash is usually $1.99. You have a coupon for $1 off any Ivory soap or body wash. If you went shopping on any random day with that coupon, you would pay 99 cents for that soap or body wash. Not bad, right? But if you are attentive and see in the weekly ad that Ivory soap and body wash is going to be on sale for $1, you can get it FREE with your coupon! This is a true story brought to you by my shopping this week:

All four of these were FREE because I matched my coupons to the sale!

Matchups are the primary way "extreme couponers" do what they do

Most weekly ads are available in the newspaper. In Athens, nearly every grocery store's sales run from Sunday to Saturday; Publix is the one exception I can think of (their sales run Wednesday to Tuesday in Clarke County). Almost every store also has their weekly ad available on their website. 

Look through your ad with your coupons in mind; last week, Publix had a buy one get one (BOGO) sale on Bare by Solo cups and plates. They were $1.50 on sale, but with a 75 cent off coupon, I only paid 75 cents for them, compared to their $3 retail price!
Another thing to keep in mind: if you see a good price for something you don't have a coupon for, go to the company's website or Facebook to see if they have one. Last week, Juicy Juice was BOGO at Publix; it was $1.64 on sale. Going to the Facebook for Nestle, Juicy Juice's parent company, got me a 50 cent off coupon that doubled to $1.00, so I only paid 64 cents for Juicy Juice! 

Lastly, many other coupon blogs like Southern Savers will do matchups for you! You will have to get used to "coupon lingo" like "WYB", "RR", "ECB", etc. but if you're short on time, these sites can be a big help!

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