Saving up to 90% or more on your grocery bill takes time, organization and planning. Your arsenal is the tools you choose. Coupons, an organized filing system and your handy binder are the strongest part of you weapon stockpile. You need to think like a warrior. Act like a warrior and triumph like a warrior.
Pick your shopping battle ground.
Get your newspapers out. Scour the stores that offer you the most value for your coupons and have the best sales according to the items you purchase. If you live in a highly populated area you will be able to plan for the best values due to the larger store chains and in store specials. Look for stores which: offer the lowest prices and the best sales, BOGO specials (Buy One Get One Free!), store reward discounts. Shop wisely and get the biggest bang for your bucks!
Preparing your list:
Your first time may be confusing or frustrating if you are not prepared! You have spent countless hours finding, clipping and storing coupons. You are mentally prepared to do coupon battle in the grocery aisle.
You need to make a list. If you are like most busy people you will write things down when you run out of them. If you plan your meals, the items that you need will be on your list. Once you have your list prepared, you will need to prepare your list! One of the best ways to prepare your list for the battle ground is to have a well organized computer print out. If you are computer savvy you can design your own list using excel or word doc. If you are not computer savvy perhaps your friend is? Or if you have children one of them are sure to know their way around the computer. There are also apps and online programs available for you to download and print lists as well as software you can purchase.
There are 2 ways you can outline your list. By food group or according to the layout of the store. Either way will work depending on your shopping style. The more organized your list the quicker you can navigate through out the aisle and fill your cart.
Store Layout Style: If you shop at the same place always compile your list using the store layout style. If you start your shopping with the canned food section that’s where your list should start.
Food Group: This is the most general way people design lists. Since stores are categorized according to food group, produce, canned, meat this list type is easy to follow.
This is where a well organized binder comes into use.
Everyone will develop a different style depending on how organized you plan to be and what works best for you. Here is one style that could be used for your first shopping trip. Your binder should have the front sectioned filled and ready before you leave your house.
The coupons for items on your list and that you plan to use should be in the center of a clear 3 pocket page. When you are placing the item in your cart, pull the coupon(s) and place them in the top pocket and mark it off your list. When you are ready to check out you will have your coupons all ready for the cashier.
The rest of the coupons should be visibly handy in the colored tabbed section of your binder. If you come across an unadvertised store special you will have those coupons available.
If this is your first shopping trip don’t get frustrated. Many consider Extreme Couponing to be an art that you will need to perfect and practice. A first time trip well planned and executed should gain you at least 20-60% savings on your total grocery bill. Start slow and ease your way in. Practice make perfect.