I am NOT an extreme couponer by any means, even though people look at me funny when they see my coupon binder. I use my coupons to buy the things I normally buy. Using coupons helps to lower my grocery bill tremendously. I know everyone has their own way of using coupons and my way may not be the way for you. I have tried several different ways to plan my trips and found that this is what works for me.
- Sit down and make a list of what you need for the week (or month, depending on how often you shop)
- Check to see if you have any coupons for the items you need
- Get out your local sales papers and check to see if anything you have on your list is on sale that week. I usually circle the items in the ads that I need.
- While perusing the sales papers, make a note of items that you might be able to get for free or really cheap to stock your pantry. I usually circle these items with a different colored pen thatn the other items I have circled
- Match these stock up items with your coupons
- You are now ready to make your lists. I usually make a list for each store and then place the coupons in a stack for each store. I try to make my lists in order of the store layout. This helps to make it a quicker trip and I am not constantly going back and forth all over the store. I then stack my coupons in the order of my list.
- I take my list and paperclip the coupons to it. I am then ready to hit the stores.
There are 3 main stores in my town to do my shopping-Kroger, Brookshires and Walmart. I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Kroger and Brookshire’s due the fact that they will double and triple coupons. Every now and then, I will price match at Walmart. I also try my best to stick to my list, but in some instances, I will find a deal that is too good to pass up. If there are items that I need that are not on sale at Kroger or Brookshire’s, I will usually get them at Walmart if I really need them. The good thing about using coupons is that once you get a small stockpile built up, you will hardly ever pay full price for anything (except for items that you never seem to get coupons for-such as bread, milk, meat, produce, etc).
My average savings usually run at more than 50%. Remember, most people have to buy other things besides just the things they have coupons for. Even a savings of 10% is better than paying full price!
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