One of the things many people want to know is how do I keep it all straight when it comes to coupons. Well, once I have clipped and organized my coupons, I do have a couple of things that I do and use to keep me on track and within my grocery budget.
I pick a primary shopping day of the week. For example, mine is Thursday. This is convenient because I am not making many expensive ‘quick’ trips to the grocery store. Generally, I do not go unless I have to; unless a needed item is an emergency I won’t go, and that item is usually a fresh one like milk that it is more difficult (not impossible!) to stockpile. And hopefully, I have planned my grocery list, shopping and stockpile so that such an emergency is a rarity.
So, in order to plan a trip to the store there are a few things I do in advance. First, I have a notepad or grocery list handy so that as we run low or out of an item, I can add it to the list. It’s much easier than trying to remember, or constantly forgetting the item at the store and then making a special trip that results in unnecessary spending. Second, I check out the weekly sales flyer for potential sales and deals. Most can be previewed on the Internet before they are mailed out. Third, I check out my coupon binder for what coupons I can match with sale prices and the items on my list. Fourth, I might check out one of the many internet sites that offers a preview of the upcoming Sunday coupons. This way, when I start to compile my grocery list, not only will I have a list of the coupons I have but also the ones that are upcoming and so if I don’t have a coupon for the item and it isn’t an immediate need I can defer it until I do have a coupon and/or the item is on sale. This is why stockpiling is important – it helps you to set a low price point.
For example, let’s say I am running low on laundry detergent. Normally, when it is BOGO and I have coupons, I will buy 4-6 and stockpile them because I can get a price point as low as $.99 sometimes. That’s a decent price point for laundry detergent and far below retail. The amount I buy is usually enough to get us through until the next sales cycle (about 8 weeks) where I can do it all again. If I didn’t stockpile and had to buy that laundry detergent weekly, I might be spending $6 or more a week. So, you understand why planning and organization is important – that way, you can take advantages of sales and spend more money on things you like!
Once I have compiled my list, I use my coupon spreadsheet to make up the list and keep me on track. (Free Coupon Spreadsheet Example and Free Coupon Spreadsheet Blank). Please feel free to use my list, or make one of your own. Mine has formulas already in it, so all that is needed is to plug in your list and total it out. To make it even easier, pull out your coupons and organize them in advance and you are ready to go.
Using these tips and tricks will make saving and organizing yourself before shopping a breeze! Happy couponing!
Tags: coupon, coupon binder, coupon organization, coupon spreadsheet, couponing, coupons, free coupon spreadsheet, grocery budget, grocery list, save money, stockpiling, Sunday coupons, tips and tricks