Now that we've started collecting coupons and have them nice and organized, it's time to start the major savings. The way you do this is to match sales with coupons. The hard way to do this is to do it all yourself. Get your store's circular the day before the sale starts, then look through each item to see if there is a coupon for it. Like I said, that's the hard way. That can take several hours, especially if you have to look up each coupon individually.
Fortunately, there are other people in the world who coupon who love to share their information and resources with you. My favorite website for this information is http://www.grocerysmarts.com/ (an affiliate with www.pinchingyourpennies.com). By selecting my state and then my grocery store, I am given an amazing all-free list of everything on sale, any coupons that might be there, and the famed "bottom line" you'll pay per item. Now is when the organization comes in handy, because in the coupon section it might say something like "$2/1 RP 4/17." In Coupon-lingo, this reads a $2 off any 1 item; coupon can be found in the Red Plum from April 17. If you have that coupon pamphlet, you can pull it out, find the coupon, clip it, and store it in your binder until you go shopping. The people over at Grocerysmarts.com have also made it possible for you to customize this list, make your own notes on it, eliminate items you don't want to purchase, etc, and then print it out. My friends, this is SO cool. They even mark each item with a star system so you can see how good of a deal it is. They keep track how often that item comes on sale and how cheap you can get it, so when you see those five-star or free items you know you want to jump on it.
If you're like me, this is the point where you get really excited. When I start lining up my coupons and making a list and seeing how much I will save, I get giddy. Coming up next... going to the store!