Couponing 101 {Albertsons NW Trip and GIVEAWAY} Giveaway Closed!

For the next few weeks, I’m going to tackle a new store each week and walk you through how to shop it!

This week, I grabbed a couple of friends who are brand new to using coupons, and took them “double coupon” shopping at Albertsons.

Here are some questions they asked

Q: Is having a newspaper subscription really necessary?
A: I think so.  I print coupons, but most of the coupons I use come from the paper, ESPECIALLY Albies Doubles (TTV, or Twice the Value coupons).  Paying $2 for a newspaper when you don’t have a subscription for $3 in TTV coupons doesn’t appeal to my frugal brain.  Check out the subscription deals here.

Q: How do you know what sales are coming in time to order coupons?
A: The Albertsons Northwest ad goes live on the blog Tuesday evening.   If I look it over that night, I can see if there are any FAB deals that make me want more coupons than my subscription provides.   That gives me plenty of time to order coupons if I need to.  Double coupons come ABOUT every other week.  The coupon clipper I use is Manufacturers Coupons.  They are located in Washington, which means I get my coupons (I’m in Idaho) in about 2 days.  If I order coupons on Ebay, I sort the Buy it Now options by distance and pick one of the closest ones.

Q: What is a really good deal, and what’s just okay?
A: A lot of figuring out the price is remembering what the price at a Walmart type store is.  We try to make it easy, by using the star rating system.  The pink star () is a stock up price. The brown star () means it’s a good deal. If we don’t have a star, it means it’s around the same price as a typical Walmart.  We are also developing  a downloadable/printable price sheet that you can keep in your coupon binder.

Q: Do you always take your coupon binder with you?
A: Yes!  Except on Sunday/Monday when I bring it in to sort my coupons, it pretty much lives in the trunk of my car.  There have been too many times I’ve wished I had a coupon with me when I stumble on a good sale.

Q: How do you place an order?  Mavis seems to do that a lot, but it sounds complicated.
A: Placing an order at Albertsons is EASY!  I copy the items I want to order onto a blank word document, put some spaces in between the items (deleting all the coupons-they don’t need that info) and head to the store.  I then carefully write in the flavor I want (if more than one is available), and if I have time, the UPC code (that’s not necessary, it just helps them out) and finally the quantity of each item.  Then, after making sure my name and phone number are at the top, I hand it to a grocery manager or the customer service desk. I also tell them when I will pick it up.

What questions do you have?  EMAIL me (becky at and I’ll get them answered for you!

Your  questions don’t have to be relevant to Albertsons!  I’d love to answer any questions you have about any store!

Shopping Trips

These girls are brand new to using coupons, and just starting to build their stockpiles.

Corey’s Trip

Transaction 1

6 boxes Cheerios $1.75 each
Double $1/2 General Mills Cereals printable coupon
Double $1/2 General Mills Cereals printable coupon
Double $1/2 General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios printable coupon
Final price:  $4.50

Transaction 2

5 boxes Granola Bars $1.88 each (wyb 10)
*she didn’t have the Quaker coupons
5 Gatorade  $.89 each (wyb 10)
Final Price: $13.85

Transaction 3

Shopper’s Value Milk $2.99
Pompeian Olive or Light Olive Oil $4.99

Double $1/1 Pompeian Olive Oil printable coupon
Double $.75/1 Any Brand Milk printable coupon
Final Price: $4.48

Transaction 4

1 box Cheerios $1.75 each
1 Kraft Delux Mac and Cheese $2.29
Double $0.50/1 General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios printable coupon 
Final Price: $3.04

Total Cost: $24.46
Total Savings:  $47.08 or 48%!

Ashley’s Trip

Ashley JUST started couponing this week, so I helped her out with the older coupons.

Transaction 1

Buy 1 Cheerios $1.75
Buy 1 Lucky Charms $1.75
Buy 1 Cocoa Puffs $1.75
Buy 1 Kraft Milk Bars $2.49
Double $1/3 General Mills Cereal Varieties 02/05 GM Insert
Double $.75/1 Kraft Milk Bars 2/26 SS Insert
Double $.55/1 Kraft Cooking Creme 2/26 SS Insert
Final Price: $5.63

Transaction 2

Buy 2 Bear Creek Soup Mix $3.99 B1G1 FREE
Double (2) $1/1 Bear Creek Soup Mix 10/23 SS
Final Price: FREE

Transaction 3

Buy 2 Bear Creek Soup Mix $3.99 B1G1 FREE
Buy 1 Indulgence Cream Cheese $2.49
Buy 1  Tangelos $1.99 
Double (2) $1/1 Bear Creek Soup Mix 10/23 SS
Double $.75/1 Indulgence Cream Cheese 2/26 SS Insert
Final Price:  $2.97

Transaction 4

Buy 2 Bear Creek Soup Mix $3.99 B1G1 FREE
Buy 1 Indulgence Cream Cheese $2.49
Double (2) $1/1 Bear Creek Soup Mix 10/23 SS
Double $.75/1 Indulgence Cream Cheese 2/26 SS Insert
Final Price:  $.98

Total Cost: $9.58
Total Savings:  $35.10 or 72%

Do YOU Want to go Shopping with Me?

Well, for the next several weeks I’m giving TWO lucky winners (each week) a chance to do just that!  I’ll provide the shopping list and any coupons you may not have!  You can pick my brain about anything you want during the shopping trip, not just the store we are learning to coupon at!

  1. Must have been couponing for less than 6 months
  2. Must be local to Boise, ID (or be willing to fly, drive, or swim here-at your own expense)
  3. Must be willing to have photo taken and published on FabuLESSly Frugal with your “score”!
  4. Must be available to shop (without munchkins) either the evening of Sunday the 4th or Monday the 5th (we’ll figure out which date works best for us all!).  The shopping trip will just be the three of us!
  5. Maximum of 4 entries per person are allowed
  6. Giveaway ends Midnight MST Thursday 3/1!
  7. Winners will be announced Friday morning, and will have 24 hours to respond.
  8. Comments on the Facebook page will not be counted.  All entries must be in the comments below.
  9. Winners are responsible for paying the OOP/Tax of all items (it’ll be less than $10, I promise!)
Official Entry:
  1. Tell us what you hope learning to coupon will do for you/your family!

Additional Entries:

  1. Like us on Facebook, or let us know that you already do
  2. Share the giveaway on Facebook (by sharing this giveaway, or tagging us in your status update) and tell us you did.  It must be verifiable, so please share the link!
  3. Use our coupon database to print a coupon.  Tell us which one you printed!

Enter below to shop with me!


  • Christina Daurer

    What do I hope learning to coupon will do for my family?? That’s easy. I want more than anything to go back to being a stay at home Mom. 🙂 Due to unfortunate circumstances with my husbands job I had to return to work to supplement our income. I really believe that instead of supplementing our income, working on the weekends, that we can decrease our cost of living through our grocery bill! Right now my husband attends work during the week and I work on weekends. By cutting our grocery bill in half (or more) allowing me to stay at home at least 1, if not both days every week, we will be able to be a family again on weekends! I want that more than ANYTHING! We have cut back our expenses as much as possible and are now hoping that couponing can take us the rest of the way!

    I have 4 beautiful girls… My oldest is 6 yrs, my middle two are 2yr old twins, and my youngest is 4 months old. I started couponing approximately 1 month ago. I know I have a TON to learn, but I try! Would love any “professional” help/advice I can get! 🙂

    P.S. Did I mention that I currently have 3 in diapers, so if you come across any coupons for “Potty training 2 year old twins….” I would sell my right arm to pay for them! 😉

  • Amber

    I am still trying to get this couponing thing down. I started couponing the end of last year and have not done it continuously because I get a little confused and nervous and then put my items up wrong and forget some of the coupons when I am at the register, and it somehow takes me 2 hours or more to Although I have been buying the paper whether I am couponing or not. We currently have 2 house payments and I am unemployed so I am hoping I can cut my grocery bill down to under $50 a week. I want to learn to be a confident couponer.

  • Trisha

    I hope couponing will let me spend more time w/ my family and less time at work. Currently I work full time and I would love to only work part time, the hours my kids are in school. I was going to school full time and working full time until I graduated in September and I missed out on a lot. I would really like to spend more time w/ my family.

    Over the last couple of months I have been saving more than I have in the past, but I have a lot to learn. I need to learn not to be so scared when I go to the store.

    I already liked you on Facebook.

  • Amber

    I already liked you…I shared and put a comment about winning trip for coupon shopping with you on my fb….I printed the nature made coupon..$1 off1

    • Amber

      I also printed the totinos pizza coupon off Target sight. I need coupon help my Albies dbl trip was not very good..I managed to spend $95 saved only $75..oh boy way over my budget. I added this cuz I think I printed the wrong coupon the first time.

  • Rebecca Harmon

    We have two Autistic sons and we need to augment thier food. I am new to couponing and would love to go shopping with you! I would love to learn the tips and tricks of great couponing. Thank you in advance for considering me for this shopping trip. Rebecca

  • SHONTELL Brewer

    What will couponing do for me? The answer to that is three fold: A) My husband and I are getting into this endeavor together, so I expect many snuggly times over coupon clipping and late night store runs, 2) I have five kids on a part-time teacher’s salary- clearly I need this, and D) I think I can be so successful at couponing that our family will be able to bless those who have even less than us. It stands to reason that my children will learn much from this good stewardship and learning to care about others. Maybe I should have added in a reason 5). In conclusion, PICK ME PICK ME!! I NEED I NEED! I am baby-steppin’ but I could really use a massive tutorial from a coupla queens.

  • Iisa

    I would love to get this couponing thing down, I have been doing this for almost 6 months, at times it comes easy and at other times I get frustrated. I would love to have someone teach me the ropes on couponing. I am happily married with 4 wonderful children, I currently stay at home and my husband works 4 – 12 hour days.

  • Tracy

    I started Couponing about the end of September last year. I feel like I’m doing OK, (my husband is very proud of our cereal stockpile) but I get frustrated with the time I feel like I am spending. I work full time and have 4 kids. I don’t have a lot of extra time to spare and I don’t like to take away time I could be spending with my family. I try to print coupons just for the items I feel like I would really like to have, but am disappointed with the amount of paper I throw away. I would love to learn how to reduce waste of both my time and resources. This is a great opportunity for all us newbies. Thanks for offering your time and expertise. : )

  • Aimee

    I have been couponing for about 6 months and I feel I do OK but I know I can do a lot better. Being a Sustitute teacher I live on a very small monthly budget clippig coupons has helped me supplement that budget. Most of the time I get frustrated especially when the coupon is for a specific size product and I end up picking up the wrong sizes. I also end up spending about 2-3 hours in the store. I would really love to have some help getting this couponing thing down.

  • Aimee

    I liked you on Facebook.

  • Jen

    I started couponing 6 weeks ago (taking off 2 weeks in the middle for surgery and recovery). I was frustrated at not being able to stay in my desired food/paper & personal products budget, and I stumbled across this blog. That day I subscribed to the newspaper (using the awesome deal here) and started printing off coupons. I already had my own stock up prices for the main things we used, but I’ve found that just in the past few weeks of using this blog and coupons that I’ve been able to save money. I’ve always avoided Albertson’s as it was more expensive IMO than Costco or Fred Meyer’s. However, Albertson’s is the closest store to my house, and I would LOVE to be more confident in my ability to score a good deal there. I have two young kids who eat a lot, and every day I wonder how we will afford to feed them (and any other kids we have) when they are teenagers! I need all the help I can get! Ultimately, the less I spend on food and other products, the more I can pay down debt, save for our future needs, and give to charity. Thanks!

  • Becky

    Closed! Winners announced soon 🙂

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