How to Read the Shopping Lists

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shopping-list

One golden rule of getting deals on groceries and household items is matching rock bottom sale prices with coupons (see all Golden Rules here). Pocket Your Dollars publishes shopping lists for a number of stores, local to the Minneapolis/St Paul area and national chains each week to help you do that.

This is a quick tutorial on how to read a basic list by way of an example:

The list says:
(Line1) Yoplait Yogurt $.50 each ($3 for 6)
(Line 2) Use $.40/6 from 2/8 GM or 3/22 SS inserts = $.37 each after doubled coupon
(Line 3) Use $1/8 here = $.25 each after doubled coupon

Translation:
(Line 1) Yoplait Yogurt is on sale for $.50 each this week (its advertised as 6 for $3.00)

(Line 2) To make this a better deal use the $.40 off of 6 yogurt cups’ coupon from the Sunday, Feb 8 General Mills insert or the Sunday, March 22 Smart Source insert. Your price after the value of the coupon is doubled by the store $.37 each. In this example the value of the coupon is doubled. The list will specify whether it is using the face value or a doubled value for the coupon. See section below for details on the SS, RP, GM, PG abbreviations in the lists

(Line 3) To make this a better deal use the $1.00 off 8 yogurt cups coupon at the following website (click here). Your price after the value of the coupon is doubled by the store $.25 each. Note: in this example the value of the coupon is doubled. The list will specify whether it is using the face value or a doubled value for the coupon.

Walgreens and CVS have customer loyalty programs that have their own terminology and rules. Read about Walgreens’ program here and CVS’s here.

What do RP, SS, PG, and GM means?
These abbreviations reference the publisher’s name of the coupon inserts in the Sunday paper.  Instead of clipping all the coupons, simply label the front of the flyer with the publisher’s initials, write the date and file away until the shopping list references a coupon you need.  I will let you know which coupons you need to get the best deals each week.

The major publishers are:

  • RP = Red Plum
  • SS = Smart Source
  • PG or P&G = Procter & Gamble
  • GM = General Mills

On occasion a publisher will include two or more different inserts in one Sunday paper.  When that happens the publisher’s name is followed by a number 1, 2, 3, etc. to represent the unique insert and I will let you know how to label your inserts.

What about other abbreviations?

  • B1G1 = Buy one, get one free
  • B2G1 = Buy two, get one free
  • Doubled coupon = When a retailer allows the coupon to be worth twice as much off as stated on the coupon itself.  For instance, a $1 off coupon becomes like a $2 off coupon.
  • Stack with = Use this coupon and the previously mentioned coupon or deal together on the same item

If you still have questions about how to read the shopping lists, please leave a comment.

About Carrie Rocha

I am passionate about helping people live within their means so they can get out and stay out of debt. I live in Minneapolis, MN with my husband and two little girls.

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    What does B1G1 mean? I couldn't find it in the abbreviations.

    Thanks

  2. I printed a bunch of coupons for Rainbow. After I printed them and took them to the store on a Wednesday, I noticed half of them were not eligible for double discount. Is there a way to know that before I print the coupons? Thanks, Donna

    • Myaclonic says:

      It will specifically state on the coupon “DO NOT DOUBLE OR TRIPLE”; also per Rainbow policy if your MC is greater than $1 they will not double it. Hope this helps

  3. Great site! First time visitor (saw your special on the news), but I'll definitely soon be a regular. I've got some great stories of free food collection from my college days!

    Could you please expand more on the doubled coupons? Do I need to request that the coupon value be doubled, will the register automatically double the discount, or will the clerk recognize specifically that certain coupon types should be doubled?

    Thanks!

    • Dan – Check out the post here on Rainbow Foods double coupon policy. They are the only store I know of in the Twin Cities that doubles the value of coupons. Does that help? –Carrie

  4. Sheryl Annonson says:

    I have really enjoyed using your web site. I just found out tonight that Target now expects price comparisions for like product and same size. So, for example, Walgreens had a 14oz box of Cheerios on sale for $1.99. Then I printed of a Target coupon for $1.00 off General Mills Ceral and a manuacture coupon for a $1.00 off General Mills Ceral and ended up getting a 14 oz box of cearal for free at Target. WHAT a DEAL!!!

    Thanks for helping me to save so much money.

    Sheryl

  5. Carrie,

    Great info…my sister Terri, who lives in Mpls area, introduced me to your system yesterday. Great stuff. I can use it for CVS and Target…but we don't have the others.

    Do you know anyone doing this for the Indianapolis area stores?

    Thanks for the info.

    Deb

  6. Two of my friends told me about your website. Its great, however, I am disappointed that there are not more coupons out there for Gluten Free eating. Our grocery bills are about $75 a week and there are only two adults, one child in this house. (that seems like ALOT of money to me…maybe its not) And I cook every meal from scratch. I would love to see more discounts on gluten free/lactose free eating. Some stores I find, are willing to give the deals on a gluten free item if I ask, but wow, that is a lot of work. I would LOVE to be able to save 50 cents on my $4.00 for a 1/2 gallon of milk. Please help if you can. thanks, Marlene

    p.s. we do most of our shopping at Fresh and Natural

  7. Thank you for a great site….

    I am confused, can two manufacturer coupons for the same item be used at grocery stores? Your example for yogurt above indicates the usage of a General Mills insert coupon plus one printed off line. I was not aware that this could be done. Please explain further.

  8. Thank you so much for your web sight. I'm new to this, so I'm pretty excited to see how much $$ I can save from all of your helpful tips.

    I have one question, do you know if WalMart stores accept coupons from other stores?

  9. Annette says:

    So is there a deal for getting the Sunday paper?

  10. Mirlande says:

    Hi All,

    I was so dissapointed. I went on the site and printed off my coupons and went to Super Walmart near my work on my lunch break. When I got to the register and gave the clerk my coupons she stated that the don't take coupons anymore.

    Has anybody else had this problem?

  11. This question remains unanswered … Anyone????.

    I am confused, can two manufacturer coupons for the same item be used at grocery stores? Your example for yogurt above indicates the usage of a General Mills insert coupon plus one printed off line. I was not aware that this could be done. Please explain further.

    Thank you!

    • You cannot use two manufacturer-issued coupons for one item. If you buy two items, then you can use two manufacturer-issued coupons. You can always use a store coupon and a manufacturer-issued coupon on the same item.

      • I understand that BUT then I remain confused by the example posted on your website … Copied from above

        Translation:

        (Line 1) Yoplait Yogurt is on sale for $.50 each this week (its advertised as 6 for $3.00)

        (Line 2) To make this a better deal use the $.40 off of 6 yogurt cups’ coupon from the Sunday, Feb 8 General Mills insert or the Sunday, March 22 Smart Source insert. Your price after the value of the coupon is doubled by the store $.37 each. In this example the value of the coupon is doubled. The list will specify whether it is using the face value or a doubled value for the coupon. See section below for details on the SS, RP, GM, PG abbreviations in the lists

        (Line 3) To make this a better deal use the $1.00 off 8 yogurt cups coupon at the following website (click here). Your price after the value of the coupon is doubled by the store $.25 each. Note: in this example the value of the coupon is doubled. The list will specify whether it is using the face value or a doubled value for the coupon.

        Thank you,

  12. DLAK, I can see where that would be confusing. The example on the post isn't quite clear. Normally when we post, we write the list like this:

    (Line1) Yoplait Yogurt $.50 each ($3 for 6)

    (Line 2) Buy 6 and use $.40/6 from 2/8 GM or 3/22 SS inserts or

    (Line 3) Buy 8 and use $1/8 here

    Final price: As low as $0.25 each after doubled coupon

    We're not advocating that you use both coupons; we're just giving you an idea of which coupons are available and how the price would break down depending on which one you use.

    Does that make sense?

  13. Does Cub accept RR from Wags?

  14. couponsnoopy says:

    Who price matches? Is there a list somewhere?

    • There isn't a list, but Walmart and Target price match. No other large national chains that I'm aware of price match. It is a great question to ask your local grocery stores, just in case they have a policy like that.

  15. Here are two ideas: 1) Look for your favorite shelf foods on Amazon.com. They have a grocery section and sell many GF/OG/Natural items in bulk at HUGE savings vs. Fresh and Natural Fds. Their "SuperSaver" Ground shipping is usually free. You have to buy bulk but the overall savings can be significant.

    2)Try shopping at Costco (if you haven't already). If you're new, go to the customer service desk for a free trial walk-through. Costco offers TONS of GF/OG options and are always adding more. I've never seen such good prices on OG milk/butter/soy milk (and tons of other options) anywhere. The $45 membership will pay for itself quickly esp. if you take advantage of bigger ticket items like electronics or prescription glasses. SIDE NOTE: I'm not a Sam's Club member but I've heard from friends they're not at OG/GF friendly as Costco is. Good luck!

  16. I know of a few more stores that price match

    home depot,menards

    and home depot will not only math but go ten percent lower

  17. Does Cub Foods double coupons?

  18. I read on here that Menards matches prices from other stores and then another 10% does this include grocery and household items as well?

  19. Rae Phillips says:

    The link for Golden Rules above it broken… takes me to your search option. Which I did with no luck either. Can you repost the Golden Rules? I am just getting started in couponing… and trying to read all that I can so as to not feel overwhelmed. Thanks for all you offer!

  20. Rae – Here's the post: http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2009/09/golden-r…. I'll fix the link in this post so it goes to the right spot. Thanks for the heads up and welcome! :)

  21. How do I get the Smart Source and Red Plum coupons? Are they just in the paper?

  22. Santoviclan says:

    I will ask the same question as Katie….

    How do I get the Smart Source and Red Plum coupons? Are they just in the paper?

    Thanks I am trying to find my way toward using coupons It seems confusing ….. but I think I am starting to understand

  23. Sometimes a coupon insert will be in your junk mail (though I have never been that lucky)–get the Sunday paper and you will have the inserts. You can often times find the inserts on Saturday when you but the early Sunday edition–but you should look through the paper before purchasing it because they may be missing in one pare but in the next. The early Sunday edition does cost less than buying the Sunday paper on Sunday.

  24. MAry Strand says:

    I am in need of an office max coupon for furniture. Does anyone have one?

  25. Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner (12.6 oz.) & Select Styling Items $3.33

    $1/2 Pantene Shampoo, Conditioner or Styler Hair Care Items (excludes trial/travel size) Target coupon from 1/27 Smart Source insert (limit 4 identical coupons per household per day)

    Plus, use:

    $3/2 Pantene Products (excludes trial/travel size) from 1/27 P&G insert (limit 4 like coupons per household per day)

    $2/2 Pantene Expert Collection printable

    $2/2 Pantene Products printable

    Final price: $1.33 each after coupons

    Its that mean use all the coupons for two Pantene shampoo. I am little confuse by

    ( plus use:)

    This will be my first time using coupons on my own, usually my best friend helps me out. Thank you Carie

  26. Bibi – It means that you can use one store coupon (the $1/2 Target coupon from the 1/27 Smart Source insert) PLUS one manufacturer's coupon. We've listed all available manufacturer's coupons so you can pick and choose from the coupons you have available to you.

    Hope this helps!

  27. Penny Dibley says:

    My sister in law showed me this website. However, I live in Dallas TX area. Do you know of any other websites like yours for my area?

  28. Penny – Here are a few Dallas-area coupon/deal blogs:
    http://www.mydallasmommy.com/ http://helpmybudget.com/ http://7onashoestring.com/

    Hope this helps!

  29. I just read your book. It was great, thanks for all the sound advice.

  30. Thanks, Liz. It's a pleasure to e-meet you! I'm glad the book was valuable to you.

  31. Allison Morgan says:

    I was introduced to this website a few weeks ago. I told myself Im gonna start couponing, but last night when I came to the website, I noticed Wal-Mart’s shopping list is not available this week. How often do you update and when will Wal-Mart be available?

    • Allison – My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. We update the Walmart list every week and it usually goes up on Mondays.

      Most of the deals in the Walmart list are carried over from week to week, so you should be able to refer to the previous week’s list (even if it’s marked as “expired”) for the on-going deals.

  32. I am brand new to this type of couponing, and to this site. I think this is awesome! However, I am having some troubles understanding the shopping lists. My question about them is when you have multiple “printable coupons” , and then a coupon listed in a SG add for example do you need all of the items to get the deal?

    I always thought that you could only use one manufacture coupon and one store coupon… I have no idea what I am doing though. Help! :)

    Thank you

    • Krystal – That is correct: most of the time you can only use one store coupon and one manufacturer’s coupon per item. (The exception is some stores allow you to use more than one store coupon.)

      We list all of the available coupons so that you can pick and choose from the list depending on how many you plan to purchase and which insert and printable coupons are still available to you. We list insert coupons first (sorted by highest to lowest value), then printable coupon (sorted by highest to lowest value).

      Hope this helps!

  33. Jennifer Smith says:

    I have the same question as Krystal regarding how many coupons can be used on an item. It would be helpful if the shopping lists stated how many total of that specific item you would be getting if you used all the coupons listed. Thanks.

  34. Linda Kozicky says:

    I just signed up for your emails via link from KTIS 98.5 radio in Mpls. I have not read your book yet but was intrigued by your website and blog and as we are in a financial stranglehold and are working to reduce debt I thought I would give it a go.
    But how does the purchase items online and get a dividend return work? I did not quite understand what online sites I needed to go to and what items I can purchase and get money back from you?
    Does the book explain it all?

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