Tuesday, April 19, 2011

STEP 4: Ad Matchups

Ad matchups are your new best friends. Every week someone somewhere disects the sales circulars for the store and matches available coupons for the items on sale. These will be your frugal bibles my friends!

So here's what you need to know to navigate a coupon matchup listing. These are your three insert brands that you will find in your papers:
  • PG = P&G
  • SS = SmartSource
  • RP = RedPlum
Next, there are coupons available that are NOT in the inserts but found around the stores:
  • Blinkie = dispenser found at the store, usually blinking a little red light
  • Sticky = coupon was found stuck to the product
  • Tearpad = a notepad style display of coupons where you tear off a coupon from the pad
Last but certainly not least, are links to printable coupons found online at various websites. (See the bottom of the post for resources.) And other coupons are received by mail, found in the packages, or otherwise obtained elsewhere.

In your ad matchup, you will see in order, the sale item listed and the price followed by the available coupons to pair with that sale and where to find them, and you may see a recommendation on which coupons to use or stack (we'll cover this next lesson) with the sale to get the lowest price.

When it comes to the coupons, you will see a coupon listing followed by a date and one of the above insert acronyms. For example: "$0.50/2 Dole Pineapple or Tropical Fruit 4/10/2011 SS"       This means that you will find this coupon in the SmartSource insert that was distributed on 4/10/11. Depending on your organizational method, this will either lead you right to your filed inserts for you to thumb through OR you will recall whether or not you purchased the paper on 4/10/11 and will find it however you organize your coupons.

Some matchup providers not only provide this information but also mark which ones are REALLY good deals that you may want to stock up on (to be discussed later). These may be marked by a little graphic or written in a different color depending on your go-to matchup site.

Many times you will also see a competitor coupon listed there. Just because it is listed does NOT mean you will be able to use it. You will have to verify with your store as to whether it will be accepted or not. While our online Frugal friends do the best they can, every store in every state can differ in the policies. Become friends with your customer service folks at your regular stores as you will be talking with them frequently from here on out! :)