Now that you've created your variable budget you're ready to shop! The first step is understanding the coupon policy at each store. When I started couponing I drove to the stores in my area. I went to the customer service desk at each store and asked the below questions.
Do you double coupons?
If you double, up to what value?
Do you triple coupons?
What is the coupon limit per visit?
What is your BOGO policy?
Do you accept MFR and Store coupons together?
What is your internet coupon policy?
When is your sales circular published?
Do you give a bag credit?
What is the coupon limit per type of item? (ie cereal)
Do you accept competitor coupons?
This process only took me one hour and is essential to planning your shopping trips.
PRACTICAL TOOL~ I created this Store Policy Grid and simply filled in the answer to each question. Note, at the bottom of the grid is a quick reference list of COUPON LINGO! You'll find these abbreviations used on the internet when planning your shopping trips. It's like another language so it's very helpful as a beginner to have a quick list to reference. I keep the store coupon policy and coupon lingo document in my coupon binder.