Ready, Set, Let’s Coupon Shop

So I’ve told you how to find all the best coupons and you’ve got them organized. Now it’s time to shop! You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that is involved, but I guarantee you once you’ve done it a few times, it will get a lot easier. And when you’re saving so much money you’ll feel even better!

Know your Stores’ coupon policies

Since TLC’s show Extreme Couponing came out, stores by me have changed their coupon policies. Follow these few pointers to become familiar with each stores’ policies before you start coupon shopping.

  • Check online on the store’s site or ask at customer service about their policy

  • Make a copy of their policy and take it with you each time you shop
  • Find out if the store doubles or triples all the time, not at all or only on specific days (Some stores will double or triple up to a certain dollar amount)
  • Does the store have limits on how many coupons you can use per transaction or per day?
  • Does the store let you stack “store” coupons with “manufacturer” coupons? (Examples would be at Target and Walgreens.)

Shopping each week

I’ve developed my own “system” for how I get ready for my shopping trips each week. Much like organizing your coupons, there are probably several ways to get ready to shop. This is what works best for me!

  • Find out what day of the week your favorite stores put out their sales fliers and collect the ads from each store either online or from your local paper
  • Scan each ad for good sales (whether you know you have a coupon for it or not) and start making your list. Also include any items you know you need for the week. Some stores will let you make out your shopping list directly from their websites.
  • Plan your weekly dinner menu out by purchasing items on sale (this will save you time and money!)
  • Grab your binder or coupon inserts and start pulling coupons or clipping them (depending on how you organize them)
  • Utilize the internet to find coupons you may not have on hand and see if there are printable or digital coupons out there.
  • Use sites like www.couponmom.com to help you plan your shopping list too.
  • Using a small photo size organizer, sandwich bag, envelope, etc. organize your coupons by the store where you will use them. This will make your trip much easier once you get to the store.

If I don’t have a coupon for an item, and it’s still a good deal or something I know we’ll use, I will more than likely still purchase it. For example, when Goldfish go on sale for $1, I will buy at least 20 bags even if I don’t have coupons. We eat a lot of Goldfish at our house!

Bargain Buys

Several stores are running P & G promotions this week again. If you live near a Kroger brand store, they are running a Buy 4 select P & G items, get $4 back instantly promotion. This offer is good through Wednesday September 14th . Walgreens and CVS also have P & G promotions that include getting either Register Rewards or Extra Bucks back. These promotions are running through Saturday September 17th.

FatWallet tip: This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for the couponers and those who wanna be couponers! You may access all the posts on Shannen’s author page. Please be sure to check out the grocery coupons and deals forum here on FatWallet to get great deals and connect with other couponers!

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