This is the fifth baby step to Shopping with Coupons: A Beginner's Guide to Saving. This snack suggests you Plan your Purchases.
But, before we get our Planning on, let's review the steps that have been shared up to this point in Shopping with Coupons: A Beginner's Guide to Saving:
Set a Budget: We know how much we can spend, how often we will shop, and what meals we are buying for. But, of course, we need to…
Get some Coupons: We know where to get these coupons so we can save a lot in our budget! And, what do we do with all of these coupons? Well, of course we will…
Organize your Coupons: We are organized with the mass coupons we have now acquired. This organization will make us effective as we…
Focus on One Store: We spent time understanding the importance of the policies for each store and have questions to ask so that we are informed couponers.
I'm sure you have heard this quote: “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” Planning not only helps your performance, but it fattens your wallet and increases your efficiency while shopping!
Before we step foot into that “one” store, Planning Your Purchases is essential. To help simplify this, I have my 3 Simple Steps to Save:
List It!: Shop with the weekly store ad, and a list of items to include:
Non-negotiable items that you need for the week/month. Some general things that are always on my list: milk, produce, formula, eggs.
Sale items. Find the items in my weekly Snack Summary with coupon matches that you want to get at this sale price. During this part of the list-making, be sure to also consider any store promotions or Catalina offers currently running. Sometimes these promotions pay you to shop!
Stockpile items. These are those sale items that are priced super low to purchase mass quantities. Buying Coupons on Ebay and Clipping Services is a great way to get multiple items on the cheap. Just remember my tips on doubling that were discussed in Focus on One Store. More information on Stockpiling will be shared in the next baby step.
Clip It!: Get your coupons together:
Binder Method: Pull all matching coupons according to what is on your list.
File Method: Clip all matching coupons according to what is on your list.
Shop!: With your:
List and Weekly Store Ads
Place all of your pulled/clipped coupons in a marked envelope or folder for that store (those who use a binder will have a place in there). At the check-out, review your coupons to ensure everything still matches what you actually purchased. Hand over your coupons and be glad :-)
You have just saved yourself time AND money! Way to stretch your hard-earned MOOLA!
That's it for my 3 Simple Steps to Save!
Trust me, these steps will help you SAVE so much!! Planning your Purchases takes minimal effort and it will pay you big dividends! This takes your couponing efforts to a different level. You are not only shopping for your family's consumption needs, but you are shopping with a focused mindset to plan each purchase in order to save and stretch every single penny!
I shared my personal shopping strategy in a previous Q&A Snack here. You can read first hand the method to my Mommy Snackin' madness :-)
Read all of the steps in the Beginners Guide to Saving.