Written by our Guest Blogger: Andrea McMaster Hello Price Chopper families and fellow couponers! I am Andrea from Andrea’s Coupon Club! I joke that I am a “Mom” of FOUR boys…my husband Sean, my two (2) step-sons Ryan and Andy and my 3 year old son Caden. I work full time from home and I love to shop (who doesn’t?), I do it following one rule….never pay full price! My goal with Andrea’s Coupon Club is to help everyone cut their grocery bill by at least 50%! Did you know that the average family spends $600 a month on groceries? Wow! Who can afford that? I admit that I was hooked on “Extreme Couponing”. How can someone get all that food for next to nothing? I quickly realized that the “extreme” part of couponing was almost impossible for the average person. Like many of you, I am a working Mom and wife. For me, that means kids to take care of and a family and company to run. However, just as quickly as I realized I could not get 3 pantries worth of food for free, I realized I could get my groceries for the month in one trip for at least half the price. And YOU can too! This was something I could not keep to myself. My Husband, Sean, gave me the opportunity to share my tips with so many people on his Morning Show, The Sean and Richie Show on WGNA. I am happy to see so many people taking advantage of saving money and realizing it doesn’t take too much time to help your family budget! Price Chopper offers shoppers an array of ways to save every day on groceries with weekly sales, bonus in ad coupons and bonus fuel items to help save at the gas station too! This to me is getting triple savings! Pairing coupons with sales and bonus fuel deals is a no brainer to me and we save SO much on gas. Working from home, I don’t use as much gas as my husband who commutes about 30 miles each day, so I let him use the savings to fill up, as long as he takes a picture! We have saved over $500 in fuel in the last year! WOW! Whether you are a beginner or seasoned couponer, here are some tips that are sure to help! Organization This is the number one topic I am asked about. How do you organize your coupons? Do you bring them all with you to the store in a binder? There are many ways to get coupons, whether it’s online printable coupons or newspaper coupons. Keeping them all in one place organized by category and date can seem a bit over whelming. I often tell beginners to start with a coupon organizer set up by store aisle. That way, you know where each coupon is when you need it. If you are making an impromptu shopping trip, this makes it easier for you in the store as well. If you don’t clip all the coupons from the inserts make sure you use a post-it and mark the date on each one which will allow you to locate coupons quickly. Once you get going and more comfortable with coupons, you will be able to come up with an organization system that works for you. That may be keeping all the coupons in a binder or just printing as you go! I am a collector of coupons as I go. I print them when I see them, label them and put them in my coupon organizer with the labeled coupon inserts. When I am ready to go to the store, I make my list, gather the coupons I need and go. I NEED a list and I won’t, well try not to, deviate from that! Match-Ups You always want to pair the sale items with a coupon. Each weekend I check the flyer to pair the coupons with both the newspaper inserts and on line coupons. (There is a coupon data base on my website to help search for coupons) Each week I put out a Coupon Match-up list to help you pair those sales with coupons. I do all the leg work for you, so you only have to spend minutes getting your list and coupons together! Lists Lists are KEY to couponing. Planning your trip out before you go will keep you organized and focused in the store. Creating a list is a feature on my coupon match-ups making it easy to shop. If you are a clip as you go shopper, the list will send you to the site to print coupons or the insert name and date to locate the insert coupons! I always make a list of what I am buying and carry those coupons with me. Store Coupons/Savings Newer features I love about Price Chopper are the iSave coupon machine and the AdvantEdge e-Coupons. Just a couple minutes at home on line and you can load manufacturer coupons right to your card. The coupons come off at the end of your transaction! This allows you to carry less paper coupons with you to the store as well. Keep your eyes peeled as well because Price Chopper often has store coupons you can load right to your card for FREE items! The iSave machine prints out both store and manufacturer coupons right at the store! Checkout I love couponing and watching my total decrease as each coupon is scanned. It’s also important to watch the coupons scan and make sure they double! NEVER be embarrassed to use coupons, even if you have that one shopper who picks up their items and go to another aisle to check out! That’s why there is more than one open register! Every dollar counts for your family and coupons are there to help you stretch that dollar! I promise you, if you want to start couponing, you will love it. It doesn’t take hours to get organized. Follow the steps above and you are on your way to saving! The Andrea’s Coupon Club community is constantly sharing deals and ideas and helping each other out with ideas and tools to save. Join the club…you will save more and smile more!