After you have gathered your coupons to save money, use these tips to have a successful coupon shopping trip.
1. Have a copy of the shopping ad. It is good to compare your list to what is on sale, to ensure you are getting the right quantity of items. Not buying enough could mean, no extra $ off or Catalina’s printing.
2. Write on your list how many of an item to get. If there is a special Catalina that will print out after a certain # of an item is purchased, make sure you buy that amount.
3. Multiple transactions in one trip.
a. Write out your transactions so you know what to get in each transaction. separating transactions wrong, could potentially miss out on savings (having a copy of the ad helps too).
b. Sort out your coupons by transaction. This will avoid missing on using a coupon.
c. Use envelopes for each transaction. Write down on each envelope what to purchase for each transaction. Put the coupons for each transaction in the envelope (separating with your fingers does not work, trust me).
d. Don’t take your kids if possible, or bribe them with donuts so you can concentrate while checking out (I usually do the later).
4. Read your coupon. Make sure you have the correct quantity of items to use the coupon. Making a mistake and throw off your purchase calculations and if doing multiple transactions, mess them up.
5. Count and recount your items. Make sure the quantity in your cart, matches the quantity needed to use the coupons you have.
6. Cashiers. Find one that is coupon friendly. You will learn as you shop. Who to avoid and who to go to. I do a lot of self check out and have found those cashiers are very friendly.
7. Timing. I have found it is easier to shop on off hours. Early in the morning late at night and in the middle of the day during the week. This takes stress off of you to go through the crowd and lines. Cashiers will be less stressed too.
8. Mini Trips. If you frequent by the store you shop at often, it may be easier to stop on multiple times, to pick up multiples of items, versus getting everything in one trip. The store I go to will double 2 like coupons. So that means multiple transactions or multiple stops. Sometimes I get 10 of an item.
a. I like to break this up on separate trips for a few reasons.
b. I’m not clearing a shelf, giving other opportunity to purchase items.
c. I shop at a couple stores, to spread the out my spending and the amount I’m purchasing.
d. I’m able to use my coupons and maximize my savings.
e. If we are trying something new, I can buy one, try it and if we like it, go back and get more.
This doesn’t mean that I’m traveling all over on purpose to shop multiple times. I already drive by the store 5 times a week. I might stop by 3 times if needed, most weeks twice.
9. Review your list before you check out to make sure you got everything you wrote down, got the right quantities, and have all the coupons you need for each item.
10. Dont’ rush. Shop when you have time. Unless you are getting a few items. Trying to rush through the store with a long list, is bound to have a mistake, mistakes cost money.
11. Once you have your food, you’ll need to make meals to stretch your budget even farther.
12. Track your savings, to see how much money you save on each shopping trip.