Now you know when to use your coupons, and you know not to clear the shelves. You have collected a stack of inserts or coupons, and have them organized, but NOW WHAT?
Time to shop! Well, actually time to make your list.
Here is my method in shopping each week:
1. Buy all the FREE and/or cheap items that we use (or would be willing to try! :) that are the lowest price possible that week.
2. Pick up any good sales on meat, produce, and dairy even if I don’t have coupons, but they are at their lowest price.
3. Buy any item we need that week but aren’t necessarily on sale (this is usually only 1-2 things).
Notice, I didn’t say anything about making my menu above. That is because my menu is not based on what we want to eat that week, but it is based on what is on sale that week or items I already have on hand from previous sales. I check out my pantry/freezer stock and the deals that week and then make out my menu!
Remember, I stated earlier that you will save very little, if anything, by taking a stack of coupons to the store and buying those products regardless if it is on sale.
Lowest sale price possible + coupon = maximum savings!
There are times when a coupon comes out for a product we use or even love and I never use the coupon. Why? The item never went on sale or at it’s lowest price – I will hopefully catch a better deal next time around.
When you find an item that is at the lowest price AND you have coupon, making it a great deal – how many will you buy?
Here enters the popular word – stockpile!
Some of you are now picturing aisles of shelves in your garage piled high with years worth of mustard, toilet paper, and pasta! While that might be the Extreme Couponer’s method of stockpiling, we are Centsible Couponers! :) We don’t need grocery store aisles in our garage to save a lot of money or have a stockpile.
I will discuss stockpiling next week (and even share pictures of my stockpile!) But basically you want to buy as much of that item as you will use until the next time it goes on sale for the lowest price (which is usually about 9-12 weeks.)
How do I know what is on sale that week and know if there is a coupon for it?
1. Of course there is the old-fashioned method of matching coupons with the store fliers.
But if you use the no cut method how will you know what coupons are available? You could use a database such as CouponTom.com. I love this database – you can search coupons by name or use the “Browse coupons” link on the right to search by insert or see if your entire insert is expired.
But there is even a better way…
2. Let someone else do all that work, and just print a list from your favorite website of store sales already matched with every coupon out there!
With technology today and coupon websites/blogs abounding, there are tons of coupon sites that post weekly coupon matchups for your favorite stores!
Here are some that I use:
and there are many, many more! Check out these sites, and see if they offer lists for stores in your areas. Then go through the list of store deals, checking off the deals you want to buy, cut or pull your coupons, and you are now ready to shop!
How do you make our your shopping list?
Any favorite sites you use? Share in the comments!
(If you missed any posts in this series, you can start from the beginning here.)