Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Does this Coupon Pro Buy $167 Worth of Groceries for 42 Cents?

A lot of people were buzzing about the story on NBC News the other night about coupon pro Jamie Chase, who racked up $167 worth of groceries for a mere $.42. (Yes, that's 42 cents).

The news story gave a few details of how Jamie is able to accomplish such huge savings -- combine sales, coupons and promotions; buy extra copies of the Sunday paper; email companies telling them how much you like the company -- but still, people were posting online in disbelief that she was able to get the bill so low.

After nosing around online, I was able to dig up the following other tips for how she's saving so much:

- Use "CATS," the store-printed coupons you get on the receipt.

-  Shop in stores where not everyone goes for groceries - Major drugstores such as CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, for example.

- Pair up "CATS" coupons with other coupons (she waits for Cheerios' manufacturer, General Mills, to offer a catalina, and then pairs it up with her other General Mills coupons. That way she's not only saving on the purchase, but if she buys the requisite number of General Mills products dictated, she gets a cash reward at checkout. She then uses the cash reward to purchase those organic produce items that rarely, if ever, go on sale.)

- Use a big binder like Jamie to store your coupons - like the big zip-around binder you can get at office supply stores -- and keep them uncut til you need them, so they don't get lost.

- Use online sites in addition to store circulars, CATS, and Sunday paper coupons

- Take advantage of buy-one-get-one-free sales and combine it with other coupons if you can.

- Another couponer only buys certain items, such as salad dressing, when it's way discounted, then stocks up on a bunch of bottles so she has a stash for the future.

- Spend some time each week preparing. Jamie says she spends 42 minutes a week. Hey, one for every penny she spent at the store!

In my next post, learn how much I was able to save in my first coupon outing.

Want to find out how the coupon pros get over $100 of groceries for around $1 or less? Check out the serious tips in CouponMom's book:

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