Semi-Extreme Couponing: Baby Step #2

This is part of a Cutting you Grocery Bill Series. So far, I’ve touched on the process to build a weekly menu based on sale prices/coupons, my buy-price listcoupon sourcescoupon lingo, and how to organize your coupons.

Last week, we started with the first baby step – pick one store and get to know their coupon policy. Print it off if you have to. Ask the store manager the questions we talked about earlier.

 

Creating a List

This week, let’s work on creating the first coupon shopping list. It is important to keep in mind that this list will be little more than a practice list intended to get our feet wet.

It’s okay if you haven’t built up a good coupon stock pile yet! There are plenty of printable coupons to chose from as well!

 

1. Pick a coupon resource website.

They are MANY many websites out there that post the latest deals and weekly store match-ups!! There are even websites set up so you can easily print off a shopping list. What I LOVE is that usually they have done the working for you in figuring out what you will spend, what you will save, and what coupons you use to get there.

For example, one of my favorite coupon resource sites is Hip2Save.com! I always check out their Walgreens Weekly Match-up post (usually posted on Saturday before the deals go into affect).

 

2. Sift through the deals.

After finding a coupon resource website, sift through the weekly deals and ask yourself these questions (this is the criteria for what you can add to your list):

  • What is the final price after coupons? Is it more than 60% savings off of the normal price?
  • Would I buy this item anyway? Is this something your family would use?
  • Does this sale have a printable coupon you could use with it?
  • Are there links to those printable coupons?
Pick ONE store you want to shop at, then choose only 3-5 items to purchase at that store. Remember, we are just starting with baby steps as we are learning how to use coupons.

3. Create a list.

Choose your 3-5 items for the store you have chosen. Remember, we want it to meet the criteria in step 2!!

I have found Hip2Save’s weekly match-up lists to be VERY helpful in creating your shopping list. I love looking at her match-ups because she uses red font for her favorite deals – those are the ones where you can get a product for FREE or really cheap – the best deals!! This red font really allows for you to glance through the list quickly and still see the best deals!

As you look through her weekly match-up lists, you can also click on the printer icon, which takes you to a screen that allows you to delete items until you have only the deals you want to go for on the page, then you can print it out!! I have been just using this to print out my shopping list – so EASY!!

If you are ambitious and want to go shopping today, this is her list of this week’s Walgreen’s (only through today) match-ups. You can get FREE mini goody claw clips or spend only $7 on a sensitive re-nu multi-purpose solution and get $5 back in Register Rewards (those are the two items I purchased this week). I didn’t use a single coupon!! But I received 2 coupons to use later at Walgreens!

 

4. Print out your coupons and jot down extra notes.

Using the links on the coupon resource website, print out your coupons to match the deals you chose. Print off as many as you will use (you can usually print off two coupons per computer).

Besides just following the links, you can also check out to see the latest hot coupons to print off here. (Don’t be overwhelmed, just print off coupons if you know you are going to buy that product anyway!)

I found it to be helpful to write down how much I will pay for each item and in total, and then how much (if applicable) I will get back in store money to purchase something later. That way, when I’m at the counter, I will be able to quickly identify if something didn’t get rung up correctly.

 

5. Go shopping!

  • Before you get to the checkout, double check your coupons to make sure the quantities are correct.
  • When you get to the checkout line, be sure to tell the cashier that you have several coupons, and ask whether he/she would prefer them ahead of time or with the items.
  • Be friendly and courteous and confident, and pay close attention to the coupons as they are scanned to make sure that none get skipped or forgotten (easier to do when you are only purchasing a few items.) I promise any apprehension you may feel will disappear the moment you see your receipt!
I would love to hear what deals you take advantage of this week!!

Next time we’ll talk about Mastering a Store!

© 2011 – 2012, Betsy Pool. All rights reserved.

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