Extreme Couponing Tip: Have a Plan!

by Kimberly on July 28, 2011

I know, if you’re like me, you have a busy hectic life.  I have 4 children ages 1-13, that have very different needs and I am constantly spinning in circles all day answering ‘MOM!” for this one, turn around “MOM” from that one, “MOOOMMMMYYY!!!!” from another…and oh…there’s another “MOOOMMMMAAAAA!!” that needs to be answered.  So, to help minimize stress at the grocery stores, especially if you take your kids with you, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve learned along the way. How many of you head to the store with a little bit of a plan, but no real plan as to what you’ll be getting, what coupons you have etc.? Then end up frazzled by the end of the trip? Here are a few steps I take BEFORE I shop to help me have a pleasant, quick shopping trip and checkout.  If I take my kids with me, they are less likely to get ‘fussy’….let’s get honest…they’re less likely to start downright screaming at the store :-) if I have a plan and get in and out of the store quickly.

Savvy Coupon Lady’s Couponing Tips:

1) Come up with a plan.
Before I go to the store I print up a list of all the items I want to get. I then decide how many of each item I want to purchase.

2) Clip your coupons BEFORE you leave your house!
I clip all of my coupons ahead of time. If there is a store coupon I plan on getting at the store, I have a small pair of scissors in my bag, and I pull over in an area with very few people (usually the pharmacy at the grocery store) and quickly cut them out.

3) Organize your coupons BEFORE you go

Grocery Store:

  • 1st: Any $ off $ purchase coupons
  • 2nd: Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupons (coupons that need an amount filled in) also…make sure you put these items on the ‘belt’ LAST at checkout so the cashier doesn’t have to scroll through your entire receipt looking for an item. They will be the first items on the cashier’s screen.
  • 3rd: Store/Competitor Coupons
  • 4th: Manufacturer Coupons

5) Halfway through the trip, stop at the Bakery and get the kids a FREE cookie as a reward for good behavior, and help keep them happy the rest of the trip.

6) Pull over BEFORE you get to check out and pull out any coupons for items you had planned on getting but couldn’t for some reason (usually it’s because they were out of stock)

CVS & Walgreens Planning:
I’m adding this in, as this takes a little extra planning. I actually write down each transaction. I list what I’m purchasing, what coupons I’m using and already plan out what fillers I’m getting BEFORE I leave my house. I organize my coupons by transaction order, then have my paper there at checkout, and pull the items and coupons out I need for each transaction.


NOW….I do not take or own a coupon binder. I just use a little purse sized coupon organizer and have the dividers labeled by store. I put the coupons and shopping list for that shopping trip in that stores file spot. Any coupons I find while I’m out, I stick in the back of the organizer to file when I get home. You can always bring your binder along, in case you find something in clearance that you have coupons for. That being said, I rarely find things on sale I wish I had my coupons with me for. :-)

A little planning will save you A LOT of time while you’re out shopping. It also will make for happy cashiers and other shoppers around you. :-)



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