There are some great links to some great "couponing" sites that I use daily; and I'll show you how I organize and save as well, I like to keep it EASY. Check out the WELCOME spot to your right to get started

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Preparing To Shop

I rely on a lot of these couponer blogs to the left to show me the best deals at the best stores. I use Pinching Your Pennies' PYP Weekly Shopping List from there you'll be linked to your favorite store's list from

You can see the sale dates, what items are on sale, and how great a deal that price really is (compared to that person's past deals or past experience with other stores.)

They use the 5 star system, they tell you the item, the price,
whether or not it's a good, great, or AMAZING deal.
AND they tell you where you can find a coupon for that item
if one was available in the last few months.
Oh, yeah! I love these lists!! Too good to be true, right?

I'm also searching my other favorite blogs daily
so I can decide where I'd like to go based on my list
and where the best deals are for the majority of my list items.
I will go to the stores' websites and check things out that way too.
They always have their weekly ads posted there
if you don't get them in the mail or if they get "tossed" accidentally. Some have online shopping lists you can click on items and add to a personalized list and print out.
I've used Walgreen's and Dicks'
Albertson's has one that estimates your cost as well as you add items
Each store usually has their ad available to grab when you go there too.

HINT: This is where you need to be careful.
If you're couponing because you want to save on your weekly needs
(like me for now until hubbie is employed again)
then you will have to work off a list of NEEDS.
Don't get pulled into wanting to buy stuff just because it's a a great deal.
UNLESS you have the money to cover it.
Great deals you "splurged" on aren't so great if you couldn't afford it in the first place.
This is a mistake a lot of first timers make.
But if you're looking to stock up on items and find bargains
you will look at stores differently and maybe go more often to different stores too.

I always choose one store based on the ad that week
Get the store's mailer,
Print the PYP bargains for that store
Make my grocery list
Gather the coupons that match the items on my list
For example: This week it's Albertson's:
Here's my schedule for the week so you see when I fit it all in.....

All week:
Check couponer blogs, print out IP's, read up on the weekly stores and deals,
gather mailers and store adds from the Sunday paper.

Sunday -
Clip all coupons from the Sunday papers, mailers and IP's.
Then I organize all of them in all three files.
I will also pull out expired or close to expired coupons this day too.
I keep my soon to expire coupons in one of my extra slots in the orginizer.
So if I can I can use them asap.

Monday -
Make up my grocery list

Print out the PYP lists for 2-3 stores
Gather my blogger tips I printed for that week
Choose the store I want to go to based on my research
Get that store's ad and start circling deals from my list and/or any items I can afford to stock up on

Tuesday -
I find all the manufacturer coupons and store coupons available for the items on my list out of my files. -
I place those manufacturer coupons that I KNOW I'm going to use in the front of one small grocery file folder. (empty slot #1)
Then I go through the big folder and get out the Albertson's only coupons from the "Stores" slot.... Don't forget those Doublers or $$ off your next order CAT's or Register Rewards etc....
I put the Store only coupons, my PYP list, and the store add in this clear zipper envelope folder:
I still take my two grocery coupon files in case there's a deal I didn't know about that I can't pass up in the store.

So, I'm ready! I have:
  1. My folder (above) with the store add, store coupons, mfgr coupons & grocery list
  2. My two small coupon files
I pack this all in my big purse and off I go.

At the store:
As I place items in my cart I find that item's coupon(s) and place them in a new spot (empty slot #2)
I do this so I can just grab all the coupons for all the items in my cart and hand them all to the cashier when I'm ready to check out. Easy Peasy!

Then I head out shopping on an evening at 830 or 9. I always go late so I can spend some time in the isles and I'll not feel rushed by crowds or feel guilty that I'm taking too much time at the register. It's better for the cashiers that way too. (Be careful, I find that on the day before the new ad begins the stores are sometimes out of stock of some sale items from that week's bargains, you can get a raincheck if they're out of an item, but some restrictions apply, or to avoid this just shop earlier in the week)
I usually go to the same couple of cashiers, they really get into it with me and get excited for me, it's fun. Its a good idea to find a couple of good cashiers to return to. Some are better/nicer at helping you than others if you know what I mean.
Give the cashier your coupon's at the end of your transaction so you can see the total without coupons, then the total AFTER coupons. It's a blast to see the prices drop with each coupon.
I sometimes bring my hubbie with me for emotional support and sometimes have him do his own transactions with some doublers (usually they limit you to 3 per transaction) so that helps us. More transactions equal more Catilina coupnos at the end of your orders too. :)

Here is a transaction I'm most proud of so far! I got these from a great sale, then I added some manufacturer coupons for the items, then added my doublers. I got all of this stuff that normally would have cost me $64.......


Check it out!! $2.77 before tax!
15 items for less than what one box of cereal costs normally.

This is an example of great list planning and the items are things my family uses every day!
I had to show off a little, but normally I do save 50-75 off my grocery bill and it's a ton of fun a a huge deal to be rewarded so well at the end with all that money saved! It's not hard. I figured it out! Remember, I'm not a "Crazy" i try to keep it to one shopping trip a week, one list, and one great transaction. Email me or call me if you have any questions. If you want to watch me prep for a trip or if you want to join me on a trip, I'm happy to help you anytime!
Now you have all the tools you need from coupon collecting, to organization, research, preparation and shopping hints. You're ready to go!
Up next....more transactions, Internet ideas, and tips......

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About Me

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Utah, United States
I love to cook, it's how I de-stress; most people don't understand it but they love to taste test! I turn on some great tunes, and get to baking. Here's my family blog, come see what we're up to at I'm also big into couponing and can help you save a lot of money here: Thanks for visiting my little corner of the Web :)