The key to getting started with serious saving is to re-think the way you do your shopping. Instead of thinking about what you want to buy for today or this week or even this month, think about what types of products you use on a regular basis and how much you might use over a longer period--like 6 months to a year (depending on your storage space and the shelf-life of the product).
Some of the items that many of us use all the time include:
...and the list goes on
Now, think about how brand loyal you are. Do you have to have Crest? Or is Colgate ok if it's on sale. Do you have to use 1 particular shampoo? Or are there a few brands you'd use if the price is right? You may find that once you start seeing how much you can get for free you suddenly are ok with more options.
Get over the idea that Winco & Costco are the cheapest. They are on some items, but they are not on many others. The key is to have an idea of what the prices are at those places so when it's cheaper elsewhere, you'll know. The good news is that it's usually pretty obvious. You rarely get anything free at those stores and you will certainly never actually make money on a transaction like you may at other stores.
Then you need to have an idea of how couponing works. Your vision might be just the inserts in the Sunday paper. Those are great, but there is so much more. There are tons of different printable coupons--some aggregated at certain sites like coupons.com and others only available from the manufacturer's site(s). There are also coupon clipping services like Coupon Clippers and The Coupon Master. At these sites you can coupons in bulk for a few cents each. You are not paying for the coupons, which are free, but for their time to clip and organize them. Many coupons can also be purchased on eBay either with Buy It Now or with bidding.
This may seem overwhelming when you're looking at it from the standpoint of just getting started. However, once you have an idea of the types of things you like to buy and what the best prices are you can start your stockpiling. Whenever you budget your grocery shopping money put some aside for stockpiling, and some for buying what you need now. Over time you will see your overall need for grocery money decrease drastically as you stock up on staple products free or really cheap.
Stick with me and start reading about some of the deals I get and how sometimes I'm even making money! Start $aving with Cindy now!