Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thrifty Thursday ~ Shopping Lists

Now that we've organized our coupon box it's time to create a shopping list! The key to HUGE SAVINGS is to match store sales with coupons that you already have. Do you have time to do all that research? No!!! I don't either. That's why there are saints who do this for us. It really is as simple as clicking a button to create your list. First, understand that store sales begin on Wednesday each week. So, Wednesday morning:

1. Go to Southern Savers. There are plenty of blogs that match up deals but this is by far the easiest to use!
2. Use the menu at the top to select your store (Bi Lo, CVS, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, etc).
3. Use her amazing tool to check the items you plan to buy to create a printable shopping list.

TIP: After printing my list I put it on a clipboard to make writing and viewing easier while shopping.

Advanced Couponers: You can go to Hot Coupon World and select a grocery store to see deals. The format is not as pleasing to the eye, but it is the best place to find out about deals before the general public. For example, you'll know that a triple promotion is coming prior to the Wednesday when the promotion starts. They'll even do match ups so you can prepare your list and coupons ahead of time!

Now that you have your list you need to get those coupons in order!

1. Create Shopping Envelopes. My Oxford divider tabs came with a built in plastic envelope on the back. A regular envelope would work just the same! Label each envelope: Grocery, Drugstore, Refile, Use.

2. Pull Coupons. You have two options:
  • Pull every coupon you plan to use on your shopping trip and put it in either the Grocery or Drugstore envelope. OR
  • Bring your coupon box and pull the coupons as you shop.
The coupon world is very divided on this issue. My sister pulls her coupons prior to her trip, while I choose to pull them as I shop. I found that I spent time at home pulling the coupons, then I'd have to sift through them while in the store, and I'd end up having a big refile stack because the store would be out of the item or the item was more than I wanted to spend. We both save huge amounts of money so I think it's a personal preference thing.

3. Shop. Regardless of your preparation choice, ALWAYS bring your coupon box with you! You never know when you'll find something on clearance or come across a deal you missed while making your list. While shopping, place your desired item in your cart and immediately put the coupon for that item in your "use" envelope. Obviously, if you have coupons that you will not use place them in the "refile" envelope.

4. Pay. When you've found all your items I suggest putting your coupon box on the bottom of the cart and only holding your "use" envelope when you approach the cashier. Give them five coupons at a time. This way you can make sure they ring up properly. An organized shopper = a happy cashier = saving more money!

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