Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lesson #5 - How to coupon - Shopping!

For those readers, just joining me, please read lesson 1 - 4 before this one.

Now you are ready to shop!

Start SLOW!  If you try to do all stores at once you will become overwhelmed and possibly confused since each store has their own programs, coupon policies and procedures.

Start with one or two stores at a time and once you have mastered those, move on to the next store.  I suggest saving Walgreens for last seeing as they have become the most confusing to shop in our region.

Before you go out shopping, browse the store circulars you receive in the mail, the paper or online.  It helps to know what is on sale ahead of going to the store so you can be sure to pull those coupons and have them ready for your trip.

This is also a great time to decide what store(s) you will consider shopping for the deals you would like.  For example, many times the smaller grocery chains (Seller Bros, Food Town, Foodarama) have GREAT produce prices.  If you don't want to hit all those stores for a few items each, learn what items you can price match at Target and/or Walmart to save you extra stops.

Make a list -
Going in the store with your list in hand is a great way to save money.  Don't allow the grocery store to win with the tricks they pull on unsuspecting shoppers.  Grocery stores are there to make money and they will use many marketing tactics to get as much of your money during your visit as they can.  Stick to your list and don't fall for the "impulse buys".

BUT, don't walk into your store with blinders on either.  Make sure to check out the clearance section as you might be able to score a free item with coupon.  Many stores will discount open or "damaged" packages.  The HEB closest to me will mark cereal 50% off if the box is banged up.  You can see the bag inside the box is 100% intact why not buy that box?  Even without a coupon, that is 50% savings just by checking the clearance section.

Keep an eye out for tearpads and blinkies while you are there.  Even if it is an item you never thought you'd buy, grab one or two, you might just use them or you will have them available for trade.

Finally SMILE!  Couponing can get very frustrating and that is why it is so important to know coupon policies of the stores you shop.  Cashier's are not always aware of the coupon policies so you might have to explain it to them.  Smiling and speaking with a normal range tone of voice goes a long way to getting issues remedied.  I know I tend to be more responsive to someone asking me politely then someone yelling at me and telling me I am stupid.  Save your rant and yelling for your coupon bud our your spouse to hear about, lol.

Now on to the store guides.
Working on the Store 101 and will post links as soon as I get them posted.

Don't understand my lingo? Go here.  
Some links provided in this post may help fund my blog - see my disclosure statement here.


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