Ask any seasoned couponer and they'll tell you that the first thing you need to do if you really want to save money is understand your store's coupon policy. And, according to Jessica Crowe of TheHappyCouponer.com, it's especially important to understand those “10 for $10” sales, because that's where you either stock up and save or lose a lot of money.
“I shop at the Kroger store on Eakin Rd. in Columbus, Ohio, and the policy is the same at all Kroger stores: You don't have to buy 10 packages of hotdogs to get the deal. You can mix and match with other products to come up with the 10 items required for the $10 price.”
Know how much your family will consume
"It wouldn't make sense for me to buy 10 cans of refried beans because I'm the only one in my family that likes them. But I do like to have them occasionally on taco night, so I'll buy two or three when they're in the 10 for $10 ad. Then I'll buy two boxes of taco shells and four or five jars of salsa that are also in the 10 for $10 ad and I have my 10 items. Now, instead of paying full price, they're each only $1."
According to Crowe, it's important to understand how the deal works at your own grocery store. If you're required to buy 10 of one item, then you'll need to make sure you'll use it before it expires and you'll have to make sure you have room to store it.
Read more at “Know your store's coupon policy”
Do you have to buy 10 to get the sale price?
Don't get sucked in by a marketing ply. Check the shelf tag. Do you have to buy 10 in order to get the sale price? Generally, “10 for $10” means the item will ring up at $1, no matter how many you buy. If you only need two, just buy two.
Stack your coupons
“Check with your grocery store to see if they'll allow you to use a manufacturer's coupon on a sale item,” says Crowe. “This is called 'stacking.' At Kroger, they allow it. When I purchased my taco night ingredients – I call it my “Taco night haul” - I had a coupon that gave me 60 cents off of three Rosarita refried beans. They were also included in the 10 for $10 ad so, along with my other 10 for $10 items, I got them for $1 a can, and then saved an additional 20 cents on each can by stacking the coupon.”
If your store allows you to mix and match to get your 10 items, this is a great way to try new products. “Then, if your family likes it, you can come back and get 10,” says Crowe, “and you'll save even more if you have a coupon.”
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