Then, when I am ready to plan this week's shopping trips, I turn to the Internet to help me determine which coupons to clip. There are many coupon Web sites that will actually give a list of every item currently on sale in your area grocery store and match the coupons to the sales for you. Each of these sites operates on the understanding you have saved all of your coupon inserts. The site tells you exactly which insert the coupon you need for a particular item appears in. An example? A site may say "Spreadable butter is on sale for $1.69. Use the $1.25 coupon from 11/16 SS and take it home for 44 cents."
The reference to "11/16 SS" tells an informed shopper exactly which coupon insert the coupon appears in - in this case, the Nov. 16 edition of the SmartSource coupon insert. If you look at your coupon inserts, you'll notice each one has a name at the top. These Web sites will tell you exactly which insert your coupon appears in by date and name. You then simply pull that insert from your file, clip just the coupon you need and replace the insert in the file for later use.
On my Web site, www.supercouponing.com, I've got a link on the home page called "Getting Started." This section of my site illustrates the method in more detail and contains links to many popular coupon Web sites that will help you plan shopping trips with ease.
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Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her Web site, www.super-couponing.com. E-mail your own couponing victories and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.