Day 4: Plan Your Purchases and Save More Money!

List Preview Example

To save the most with shopping with coupons, it's planning your purchases not only to have your coupons ready to go but to know exactly when to purchase items so you aren't spending too much. This involves understanding the sales cycles, watching the sales and deals as they are shared and making that purchase when you know it's the right time to do so.

I follow three simple steps each week as I prepare my shopping list. They include:

List It!

This entails creating your grocery shopping list based on the week's sales and also including the other things you just gotta have (your “non-negotiables”). Ensuring those items are on the list will make sure you aren't forgetting an important ingredient or pantry staple for weekly meals.

Savings Lifestyle has a coupon list tool for each store to help you save even more time as you prepare your list. Simply go to the store deals and open the post for the deal of the week. Check each box for the item you want. The items will go into your Coupon List box (as shown in the image above).  You can even add additional items to your list that weren't on sale for the week (of course check the Coupon Database to see if a coupon is available).

Then simply print the list and you can have all of your items on one page so you can clip, print or pull your coupons before you hit the store! By using the Savings Lifestyle coupon list tool, you can create your list in advance so you will be an efficient shopper and super saver!

Clip It!

This is the simple part. If you are a Binder Organizer, you will cross reference your list and find all coupons for the items. If you are a Filing Organizer, you will check your list and pull all weekly inserts that are applicable for the items you are purchasing.

During this time, you will also be printing any printable coupons if you haven't already and cutting them for your shopping trip.

Once your coupons are ready, clip them together for that specific store. If you are making multiple transactions, have several stacks of coupons clipped together to correspond to the shopping list for each store. This will help you stay even more organized during shopping and checkout.


A quick check to make sure you have the following items:

  • Printable Shopping List
  • Weekly Store Ads
  • Coupons
  • Your Excitement

Using the three steps above truly helps me save so much time each week! A question I often get asked is how long all of the cutting and planning takes. While the time can be different for everyone, it typically takes anywhere from one to two hours a week. When you can save $200 or more at the store that is time well spent!

Up tomorrow, Focus on One Store. Yes, it makes sense to only shop at one store and I'll explain why!

Got a coupon question? Submit it using our Coupon Q&A Form . We answer regular couponing how-to questions and will answer yours too!

~ Andrea,
who could shop at 5 stores in under 2 hours with an infant, a diaper bag, a handbag and of course my coupons :)