After watching an episode of the reality television program, “Survivor”, would you actually consider being dropped off on a remote island to starve and strategize for survival? Or would you have the nerve to use your “shower singing” voice in front of a national audience, actually thinking you had a chance at a record contract? Probably the only reality show that you might try in real life is “Clean House” and even then you will probably get depressed after going through the first pile of clutter.
So why is it that some people believe they can watch a reality show on TV about couponing and think it can be duplicated in their grocery store? Everyone knows that reality TV shows are not real, right? But yet, we still hope that there is a glimmer of realness in the programs. There is something in us that looks at these regular folks on TV who can bring a $1,000 grocery bill down to a $1 and we say, “Hey, that’s a good idea and I can do that!”
What I’m hearing from readers is that “good idea” often leads to frustration and they simply can’t get it together. For those of you who would like to attempt to duplicate what you are seeing on “that extreme show,” let me remind you that most things that are extreme are very risky and can be lead to death. I’m too much of a wimp to try anything too extreme. Especially in the grocery store.
The first thing you have to do in practical couponing is figure out what store you will shop and then learn all you can about the coupon policy and sales structure of that store. Go to the store website and print out the coupon policy. If you don’t have a computer, don’t be afraid to ask the manager or customer service desk. Then, shop the items that are on sale and pair those items with coupons.
Next, you should have a realistic goal about your shopping. Never go into a store without a plan of what you are buying. Every Sunday in The Anniston Star you can gather all of the store sales papers, like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens and Rite-Aid. Rather than driving to every store and hunting down all the sales papers, you can get them all at once. Plus, if you purchase a paper from outside of this area, you may not receive all the sales papers for our area. Then, look through them and circle the items that interest you most. Last, you can look through the coupons you have for the items you circled.
The grocery store circular’s, like Winn Dixie and Food Outlet, are in the weekly newspapers and in The Anniston Star every Wednesday. It’s the same process.
If you have a computer, many coupon blogs will do the matching work for you. Sites like www.southernsavers.com will tell you what coupons can be matched with sales at Winn Dixie, Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and others. But, not everyone has a computer. Honestly, it’s much easier if you have access to a computer to save yourself time. So, if you can, go to the local library and look up the match-ups on the mentioned websites and then write down what interests you on a piece of paper.
Whatever you do, make sure to learn the policies of the store, have a plan of what you are buying and match-up your coupons with the sales. And remember, instead of being extreme, just settle for practical. There is nothing wrong with being practical. A lot of practical people have changed the world. Practical people are the ones who often make the wisest choices. Practical is real life.