Planning out a quick and easy couponing trip can be somewhat difficult. I will go over the things I do during my trips to make them as quick and rewarding. I won’t tell you that you won’t fail because you may walk out of the store thinking I could of saved more. I still think that I could of done better sometimes but it comes with trial and error, ending in lessons learned. Thinking of these things at most times can be rewarding, your mind will start to think as a saver, maximizing every potential. If you want to become an expert at this you need to be able to take advantage of timing. Ever heard of the saying : Timing is everything? All in life it could be, just think back about all the things that could of be avoided because of timing.
What makes sense of having all those coupons if you can’t get what you planned for?
In this part of the series I will go over my structuring of the stores I plan to shop, when and where. I only go through the flyers once circling out the best deals for each store. I use an app on my phone called “Flipp” as mentioned before in“Earn money from shopping apps” post. I highlight the deals in the flyer that are free or less than a dollar. The app will generate a list for you separating it by store a sort of shopping list. As I always use my phone for all the things I need to coupon, I make sure my phone is fully charged before i go on my trip.
What days to shop
When I plan my trips I go to certain stores on particular days. I don’t try to overwhelm myself by going crazy planning the trips in advance. I’m a mom and still work a full time job and I always save as much as I can. I always cut my coupons when they come in so I don’t have to worry about them. Before I go out, I add the new and rotate out the old. There is a previous post on my coupon organization and set up here.
Why Wednesday’s ….
I go on a web search and plan my trips on Wednesday, that’s when I pre-order my coupons, and most of time I get them on Saturdays, yes a day early!! The two main websites I consult for deals for my trips are TheTheKrazycouponlady.com (mainly for target deals) and Livingrichwithcoupons.com (for grocery and pharmacy deals). Next, I will glance over the Catalina list, and scroll through the page picking each store I plan shopping at for the week. While I’m surfing for good deals, I keep my GOOGLE KEEPS app running in the background, I open up a note page for each store. If i see a good deal on the websites I copy and past the breakdown to my notes. After I’m done looking for deals, I head over to Savingstar.com and always, always clip all available coupons. This site in particular I don’t pick and choose, just click all. Since you are earning based on your purchases I don’t want to be in the store thinking; ‘Did I clip that?” Nine times out of ten i go over to that site and my account has always increased and I don’t even remember what I bought. That makes up my Wednesday, plan and prep day all done. I’m not married to my couponing apps or websites for the remainder of the week and only go by what is on my list already.
Saturday is for coupon cutting and the first shopping trips. For a lot of us, this is a weekend day and you might just want to relax, I’m all for it. You don’t have to do this every week but its so you don’t spend your whole weekend shopping.
The first store I go to is DollarGeneral because at most times they have there $5 off $25 coupons for Saturdays only. The best part about this coupon is that you can use it first before you give any other coupons, so yes 25 dollars before not after. This coupon helps me save even more, one tip is to use the Printed coupon that comes on the receipt you get during purchases throughout the week before. Don’t download the digital coupon because it will come off after so in this case 25 after coupons applied. The best part of shopping on this day is to get an early start and with limit on time I want to catch the deals first come first serve.
I would love to say its always ok to take a break, the deals will always come again, the cycles always regenerate and come up often. So if you are worried by not couponing for a week you miss out, yes for now but not entirely they will come again. Saturday I chose to shop at the 24 hours store, think of Black Friday all over again, sort of like a 11pm run. The only stores I have that are 24 hours are Walmart and CVS pharmacy. Most of time the deals are available as early activation so you can get more deals and do multiple scenarios. If you got your coupons early you never know if you can stack them with this weeks deals to max on the savings.
Sunday is the BIG day
Sundays I shop at ShopRite, Walgreens. Shoprite trip is at the time of opening because the prices are relatively low so the deals are almost too good to be true. Shoprite like some grocery retailers double the manufacturers coupons up to a dollar so this helps.
Besides ShopRite, I will make a trip to Walgreens as well. Relatively there are a lot of similar things on sale at all the stores, so I’m only looking for the best deals only. Depending on how many coupons you have, you can capitalize and do multiple deals. Walgreens in my area stays open till midnight, so if I need to take a break and go out later I can. Sundays is my last day to shop, if absolutely necessary I will go out again to catch clearance deals but everyone needs a day off. Couponing can get overwhelming and its good to have a break sometimes. It good practice to tell yourself that you can regroup next Wednesday to start again. You can still find and save a lot of money dedicating these days to shopping. If in case you choose to not shop on Saturday you can pick Sunday as a day to do all stores. Remember if the deal is not there when you are just request for a rain check and return to the store after the next truck day. Don’t be afraid to ask an employee when they receive shipment and when they mark down clearance items.
Your shopping experience does not have to be a drawn out master plan, if all else fails just wing it. If you have your coupons organized, the digitalis downloaded you can make the deals in the store. Doing a system helps you save time and maximizes the return of savings, so that what I recommend. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find the deals you are looking for. As I’ve mentioned before the same deals will come again.