"How To" Posts / Amazon / Couponing 101 / Coupons / Crazy Deals / Grocery Deals

The Coupon World is Changing… How it Effects YOU and Saving Money!

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Things are definitely changing when it comes to couponing.  Unfortunately, you can thank the show, Extreme Couponing, and those who took advantage of the system after that show aired for all of the changes.  :(

After a few seasons of that show, grocery stores started changing coupon policies.  We have been watching that happen for the last 2 years or so here on Freebies2Deals and I’ve been posting all of those policy updates.  (If you have been a reader for awhile, you know what I am talking about.) Now the coupon world is changing.  Coupon values have gone down and newspaper subscription prices have gone up across the Country because less and less people are actually reading a hard-copy version of the news. Most get their news online.

Now we are seeing more and more digital ways to save money–whether that is from Apps, Online Rebate Platforms, Digital Coupons or shopping grocery items online.

So what is going to happen now?

I still think couponing is a valuable part of any household. And while there may not be as many free or super amazing coupon deals coming out regularly with grocery stores, there are still a lot of great ways to save money.  Here are some of my tips:

  • Use coupons on the items you can to save money, Price Match the rest.  (If money is super tight, you may want to Price Match everything and stack any coupon savings on top.) Remember that all of the Grocery Deals are put together for you each week over here.
  • If you are new to Price Matching, you can read my previous How-To post on it over here. 
  • Use Amazon Subscribe & Save.  For example, for the past 3 years I have been using Amazon to snag all of my Diapers and Wipes deals EXCLUSIVELY.  I don’t even shop for those items in store anymore.  Amazon’s prices drop so regularly that I can always find a great stock up price on diapers and wipes on Amazon—and it ships free! (To see my price points for diapers and wipes, head here.  This post is from last year.  So with inflation, you may need to add a cent or two to each price point to make it more current.)
  • Shop with Amazon’s Prime Pantry. Basically Amazon will let you fill up a box with any grocery items you want–up to 45lbs!  (So you will want to make sure you are adding the items that are the absolute best deals.)  Once your box is full or you have everything you want ordered, Amazon will ship it to you for only $5.99! For a lot of people, $5.99 is worth not taking your kids to the store with you, it’s a great time saver and it saves you gas money.  A lot of people are loving this service! (I will be posting more and more about this in the future to help you guys get started if you are new.) Not only can you find great deals comparable to deals at your grocery store, but Amazon Prime Pantry has added in coupons to the mix.  So you will see items that have coupons you just need to click to add to your cart and save even more. You can see the current list of coupons over on this page. 
  • Should you still get a copy of the Sunday Paper for the Coupon Inserts?  In my opinion, the answer is still YES– just as long as you can get a great deal on the paper.  If your Sunday copy is too expensive, you can still save money with online coupons from places like Coupons.com. However, if you are a Utah reader, you will want to grab this crazy Sunday Newspaper deal!  It’s so cheap that getting coupons is still worth your time and money. I’m guessing within the next couple of years, Sunday Coupons will all turn digital.  But until that time, grab the Sunday Paper and save all of the money you can!
  • If you are couponing still, you may want to change the way you organize your coupons.  I have been a Coupon Binder girl for years… it’s the best way for me to stay on top of it all.  But since the amount of coupons, brands and value of coupons has been changing, I find that I don’t need to take my binder with me each time I shop.  And let’s be honest… it takes a long time to clip coupons.  Now that I am using coupons less regularly and combining them with Price Matching, I am using the File Folder Method.  Basically, I don’t clip a thing.  I file each of my inserts away and when I am getting ready to shop at the grocery store, just clip the handful of coupons that I need. It saves me a lot of time!

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How to use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save:

Save up to 15% off your entire purchase by choosing the Subscribe & Save option to add the item to your cart, instead of the regular option. Not only that, but you will regularly see coupons you click to take money of your first delivery.  The trick to Subscribe & Save is that you MUST cancel your subscription through your Amazon Account Page after you receive your order. If you don’t, Amazon will send you your next auto-delivery at whatever price it is when your order ships.  And prices change so drastically on Amazon every single day.  So unsubscribe and keep watching for the next price drop to re-subscribe. (I also post about these on Freebies2Deals.com whenever I happen to see them….)

All of your orders you have placed will ship on one set day of the month.  So if you need it right away, S&S may not be the right option for you.  You will want to check to see what your delivery date is in your account or during checkout.

Subscribe and Save works on food items too!  It is definitely worth your time to go through and see what they have and which items currently have great prices. I order a lot of food items from S&S that are CHEAPER than what I could have got at the grocery store with coupons or Price Matching.

So now I want to hear from you!  What things are you tweaking or changing to adjust to declining coupons values and availability?  How are you saving money on your groceries, household items and baby items?  

 

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13 Comments

  1. Melea, I am very interested to know which food items are a better price with Amazon’s Subscribe & Save than at the grocery store. It seems like such a tedious process to compare every item. Is there a way to see “hot deals” on Amazon?

    Reply
    • You read my mind Lori. I do have a price sheet tho so I could compare w/ that. However, I’m not sure my husband would want to. I don’t shop on-line. I didn’t know Amazon had a Prime Pantry.

      Also, thanks Melea for the info about why coupon values have declined. That’d been bugging me for some time. Since we’re one of the many that don’t take the paper, I continue to clip on-line free coupons, do competitive ads & reply on your websites tips & tricks. I’m always so stoked when I have a coupon to add to a price match item!! Thanks!!

      Reply
      • Profile photo of Melea Johnson

        Lori and Leigh,

        I will definitely see if there is a way I can do that… the prices change a lot on Amazon. But I think sharing more of those deals I find would probably help you guys out!

        Reply
        • That would be great if you would post examples of Amazon food purchases that are a better deal than the store. Thank you for continually teaching new ways to save. I have learned so much from you!!!

          Reply
    • Melea wants you to shop Amazon, she gets commission when you click her links. She gets no commission when you shop at the grocery store.

      Reply
      • I think it’s perfectly fine that she is encouraging people to shop on Amazon. She does a lot of work on this website. Amazon is just one way that she earns money for all the work she does. Plus if Amazon has amazing deals on the groceries or other items you need, then why wouldn’t you want to shop there?

        Reply
        • One item that I have NEVER seen a sale or coupon for is whole wheat flour. I make a lot of whole wheat bread from scratch. Amazon has an organic whole wheat flour they have on subscribe and save which is cheaper than the non-organic stuff I find locally- when you compare amazon does have some great deals!

          But, I can’t help but get a little resentful of your implications, Sara, as if Melea is only concerned about the money she makes from sponsors. She’s trying to save us all money and does a wonderful job, plus gives back to community in major ways. I doubt she’s only suggesting amazon to make herself some extra cash.

          Reply
      • I’m sure Malea does just fine with the millions of affiliate links used on her blog even if you don’t do your grocery shopping at Amazon. Just be a smart buyer and know when a deal is a deal. Their is definitely deals on this blog that aren’t a savings, but you always have to be a responsible consumer. That’s going to be your best way to save money, not this blog.

        Reply
  2. I agree with Lori. That would be an Amazing comparison to have. I’ve been slowly comparing different items. I’ve gotten Peanut Butter, and Energy Drinks in bulk for less. Its a vague, less explored, challenging part of My Money Saving Adventure, if you will. 😉 I’m interested in putting more focus into it. Not sure how to get a handle on it though..

    Reply
  3. I have been LOVING Walmart’s online savings catcher. In just a few months, I already have $25 on my ecard. And that’s for not doing anything other than shopping at Walmart.

    Reply
    • Wow! mines only given me $1.50ish after 5 trips.

      Reply
    • I’m loving it too. I’ve been doing it for a few months and have $40. It’s so easy.

      Reply
  4. I shop primarily at Smith’s and they have awesome coupons. Just this week I got a coupon for free hamburger buns and free vinegar. Plus about once a month I get coupons via mail or email that are tailored to what I buy.

    Reply

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