Preparing for the Coupon Shopping Trip

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I write a 2-week meal plan so I know what to buy before I make my coupon list.  That way, if there are things on sale that I need, those become priority items.  I shop every other week for actual groceries, but coupon shop every week.  I am always on the lookout for items that would be good for food storage as well as extra hygiene items.

Here is an example of my meal plan:

Each week I check my favorite coupon websites to find the coupon matchups (what sales + coupons are a great deal).  I write down what I want to buy (under each store) along with the price, coupon to use, and what the price will be after coupons.  I also write the quantity of each item that I want to purchase.

a: store underlined b: product to buy (I write the quantity in the left margin) and coupon to use below c: cost after coupons

As you can see in the example above, the first store I wrote down was Albertson's. I bought Purex detergent which was on sale for $2.99.  After the coupon it was $1.99.

After I write down my list like this, I pull the coupons out of my binder and organize them in a small expandable file, which makes things easier when I get to the store. That way, I have the coupons I want to use all in one place.  I still bring my binder in just in case I find a different deal.

I have found that if I am prepared a couple of days before the actual shopping trip, the stress of shopping is drastically reduced.  When I first started couponing I would wake up early and try to get everything ready before I went.  I ended up anxious, frazzled, and exhausted by the time I was ready.

Have a plan before you go and how you would like each transaction to be (Albertson's only allows 3 doublers per transaction).  It won't always work out perfectly, but having an idea helps out a lot.  I try to arrive at the store within a few hours of opening so I can get the deals before they are gone.  If the item is gone, ask for a raincheck, but just make sure to go back before your coupon expires!

I frequently check for deals and I also like and



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