Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Preparing for a brand new shopping week

It's time again for the grocery ads to change here.  I spend time Tuesday night looking over the ads, making a shopping list, and matching up coupons to see what I will buy from the new ads.  Preparation is very important when couponing! I want to save the most I can and the time I spend preparing will be rewarded in the end. I've built up a nice stockpile the last few months, so there is not much I need this week. However, I'm planning to buy items for the local food bank and charities. Coupons and sales will allow me to give more items.

My Tuesday Night Routine
I start out by looking through the ads myself.  I focus on buy one, get one or more; percent off discounts; and items with store coupons. Online lists are great, but some items I need/want always seem to get left out. I do use the online shopping lists too; I especially like SouthernSavers and IHeartPublix.

After I have a preliminary shopping list, I use the coupon databases at CouponMom and CouponTom to see if there are coupons available. The online lists will also show if coupons are available and are great for learning about printable coupons. If an item on my list doesn't have a coupon, I consider whether or not to buy it. I try to shoot for a 30-50% discount without coupons if the item isn't something I desperately need or can't substitute something else for.

When I have my final list, I cut out my coupons and print any online coupons available. I then note how many coupons I have for each item and how many of each item I can purchase. For example, if I have a $1/2 coupon, I will make a note by the item that I have 1 coupon and will buy 2 items. This way I'm not fumbling with coupons while shopping and my trips don't take as long.

How do you prepare for a new shopping week?

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