If you’re just joining us, recently I started a series on my non-extreme approach to couponing. In that post I promised to cover important things to consider when considering taking up the practice of shopping with coupons. Next I highlighted important things to consider when choosing stores to coupon at. Last I addressed important tools in couponing. In the fourth and final post I’m going to walk you through how I plan my trip.
Planning the shopping trip is where I think a lot of want-to-be-couponers find themselves stuck. Making the most of the coupons and tools you’ve gathered can be really overwhelming and it can be hard to know where to start. When I sit down to plan my shopping trip it takes me less than an hour and that is because there is one website that does all the work for me: Southern Savers.
Southern Savers is a site that has very thorough coupon/sale matchups for just about any store that you could want. There are other sites like it, however I have found it to be the most detailed and user friendly one. To plan your shopping trip each week this is absolutely where you want to start.
Once you opening the website you will want to choose your preferred store from the menu at the top. This will take you to a page where there are multiple entries for your preferred store.
This site will have multiple entries per store. In the image above you see that week’s advertisement match up. This is a interactive shopping list based on the advertised sales in that week’s Publix ad. On the right is a interactive shopping list based on unadvertised sales that same week. These are additional items that may be for sale in your store. This one can be a bit more dicey because some of these unadvertised sales are location specific.
Once you choose your store and choose your list you’ll be taken to a page that looks like the one above. This is where you will build your shopping list. Each list is broken into sections based loosely on item categories. The Publix ad always starts with Buy One, Get One since that is the major sale area in this store.
Each sale item is listed along with any current coupon that matches it. If the coupon is found online a link to that site is there as well. Any item with an acorn beside it will be at a stock up price. That means it is as low as it will get and you should consider stocking up on that item if you are interested.
Printable coupons are awesome ways to save money and increasingly the source of good deals. But most sites require that you create an “account” in order to gain access. You will want to create an email account that you use just for this purpose. Otherwise your usual account will be bombarded with brand emails.
After you scan the whole list, and check any items you’d like to purchase click “Print My List” at the bottom of the page. This will open a new window where you will find a list of items you checked making your own printable shopping list.
It’s at this point I go through and pull any coupons I need out of my organizer. The shopping list has all possible matching coupons listed, but you can simply click the ones you do not have to remove them from the list. If it is a printable coupon it is at this point I click the link to print it out. At the bottom of each section there is space to type in any additional items you might need to purchase that are not there.
Once I’ve gone through and pulled out my coupons, printing any additional ones I need, I print this list out and paper clip the coupons to the list and my planning is finished! I always take my coupon organizer with me to the store, along with my list of course, in case I find any other good deals along the way.
I have found some unadvertised deals of my own while shopping that were too good to pass up like this bottle of Aveeno Facial Moisturizer. Full price it is $15, but Publix had this bottle marked down to half price. I had a coupon for $3 off making the total for this $4.50. This is an item I normally purchase so it was a steal of a deal!
This post wraps up my series on non-extreme couponing. I would love it if you would share your victories or questions about couponing in the comments below!