By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
Couponing has got my family out of hard times, and with the price of food constantly on the rise, it’s a great way for anyone to cut their costs. If done right, you could save £10s or even £100s every month.
I’ve done many a big shop in my four years of couponing, but one of my best was getting £105 of groceries and only paying £1.62. It took around a month to collect all the coupons for this particular shop, but the outcome was amazing.
My shopping haul included cereal, grape juice, cleaning products and cheese, all of which I had individual coupons for or bought with loyalty card coupons such as £5 off £40 spend. By using these alongside in-store sales, I was able to push the savings to the max.
How I did it
I used a range of coupons for this shop, which anyone could’ve got their hands on with a little bit of effort. Many of these coupons were online at the time in February 2013, but a lot of them came from manufacturers directly. Whilst this exact same shop would be hard to replicate, as the coupons have long since expired, you can pull off a similar shop now with these tips:
Printable coupons: I used a variety that were listed on MSE’s coupons page. There are often about 100+ coupons available to print, so it is worth getting a cheap printer and some ink if you don’t have one already.
Manufacturer coupons: By contacting manufacturers with praise (or critique if true), you can receive high-value coupons in the post. A lot of my coupons for this shop came via this method.
The more effort you put into praise emails to manufacturers the better. If you get creative by sending a poem, birthday card or a drawing then you stand a much higher chance of receiving something nice by way of a money off coupon. Here is an example of a poem you could send to your favourite companies:
(Company name) (Company name) you are a dream,
Not anyone else can be more supreme,
Oozing with joy and bursting with flavour,
Every single day you are my saviour.
Loyalty card coupons: My big shop was conducted at Tesco, so I used an abundance of Tesco Clubcard coupons that were sent to me through the post. There was a mixture from £5 off £40 spend to individual 40p off crisps coupons. The Clubcard tracks what you normally spend and sends you coupons for the things you are interested in, so a lot of these were used in this shop (see our Loyalty Points Boosting guide).
Stack with in-store offers: Once I had my coupons, I monitored all the prices and offers in store, and when a lot of the items I wanted were reduced on a special offer, it was time to snip, scan and save. A nifty tool on MySupermarket enables you to add price alerts and see a graph of prices over the last year, helping you predict when you’ll get the best deal. See my blog on MySupermarket price alerts & checking the best time to buy.
All of these combined together gave me a pretty good shop. Needless to say, the cashier and customers behind me were very impressed. The satisfaction you get from spending your coupons all at once is very thrilling. Some of my other big shops besides this one have been £50 of shopping for £0, and £600 worth of shopping for just 4p.
If this blog has inspired you to get couponing, check out our Extreme Couponing guide.
Have you ever done a big coupon shop? How much did you pay after your coupons? I’d love to know your stories in the comments below, on Twitter @MSE_Deals or on Facebook.