This post is for Eve and ucmama and well, whoever else wants to know how I've been "exploiting" the system, as Michael puts it.
First, you need access to coupons. If you want to stock up on items when you can get them at a really good price, you'll need several copies of each coupon. You can order multiple copies of Sunday's paper (ask the paper if they have any couponer's deals) or just ask around your neighborhood to see if anyone gets the Sunday paper, but just throws the coupon inserts away. I have a friend who does this, and she tells me she can get easily three to four copies of inserts. I am socially inept (okay, maybe just anti-social), so I get papers. I've already saved enough money to pay for the paper for quite some time. You can also go to The Coupon Clippers to buy multiple copies of only the coupons you need. It's generally pretty inexpensive. You can also find tons of free coupons to print out online at coupons.com, Grocery Smarts, manufacturer's websites, and pretty much millions of other places. They're seriously everywhere My first huge couponing haul was solely with coupons I had printed out from the internet. Well, those and doubler coupons from Albertsons. Oh, and Eve, you can go to Kroger's website to print store coupons or load them to your shopper's card. Usually, you can use a store coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on the same item. You should definitely find out what your stores' policies are.
So you have coupons now. The key to saving more than .55 (or whatever the coupon is worth) is to buy when the item is on super sale and buy enough to last you until the item goes on super sale again (but have one coupon per item, or as specified on the coupon ie. save $1 when you buy 2, etc.). Also double the coupon, if that's an option. Big sales happen in cycles, so usually your coupon will be good when the item is on super sale. Just remember to keep an eye on the expiration dates.
And that's it really. There are couponing blogs and websites out there that do all the work matching up sales and coupons for the stores in your area. My favorite is Krazy Coupon Lady, which is based where I live, but they also cover some stores in the midwest. Deal Seeking Mom is also one that I visit frequently. Although, you might be able to find other sites that cater more to your individual areas. Maybe couponing is so big around here, Utah, and Arizona because of all the Mormons who are stay at home moms. I found this site for you, Eve- Southern Savers. I'm still looking for a good one for you, ucmama.
As far as organizing your coupons goes, I like Heather's method here because I don't like clipping coupons I may never use.
I hope yall are able to get some good deals. It's been pretty nice for us to not spend so much on groceries.