Never go to the store without a plan. If you have a plan and stick to it, you are certain to spend less money. Preparing for your shopping trip will take time, especially the first few attempts. However, within a short time you'll develop a system that works for you. There are scores of tools online to help prepare for your shopping trip. Weekly store match-ups, which you can find on many blogs, can be a huge help in planning. The blogger lists the items on sale along with where to find the coupons to save the most money. Most times, the top deals will be highlighted so you can see what you'll find at a quick glance. Decide on the stores you shop most and skim through the blogs to locate the deals for those stores that week.
Shop for Sale Items Only
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you received a price cut on all items you purchase every time you shopped? Well, guess what, you can! Of course it takes lots of preparation and you will need to have everyone in the household on board. You may also have to be resourceful in the kitchen. If these things are possible, it can happen.
The technique to get there? Every time you shop, purchase sale items only. Yes, you read that accurately: Only buy items that are on sale. This may be easier said than done for some since various geographical regions have more options to shop than others. That said, if you start out slowly, you can be successful almost anywhere you live. You may have to think outside the box from time to time, but look at it as a fun challenge.
The sales you find online may not match up with your store. This is because sales are regional and blogs usually list the store sales according to one region. It's best to scan your store ad before heading to the store to make sure the sale you want is happening at your store.
Begin each week by scanning the ads for what's on sale. The front page of most ads will have the items that are priced the best. Make a list of the things you need, not “want,” that are on sale at the various stores where you shop. Once you've compiled the list, check an online coupon database like the one on www.KouponKaren.com to see if any of the items you've selected to purchase have available coupons. Ideally it would be smart to only purchase those items on your list that you have coupons for, but that may not always be workable.
Get an Early Start
You may have the opportunity to begin your planning process even before the sales start. Some stores mail their weekly sale ad a few days before the sale begins. Ask if they have a mailing list they can place you on. The ad may also be accessible a few days early in the store. It never hurts to check. Additionally, you can find several store ads or simply the highlights online on an assortment of blogs a few days earlier. One way to get a jump-start on your shopping list is to do a Google search for the name of the store and the date the sale begins. For example, search for “Stop & Shop Sale Week of 5/16.” If any of the highlights have been posted online, the sites will be listed.
If you decide to search for the deals online, you should glance at a couple of different sites as some may have a deal listed that others don't. There are several reasons for this, including regional sales, regional coupons, and the fact that some of the sales may be unadvertised. After you find a website or two that you like, bookmark them for faster access next time.