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Extreme Couponing

Preparing to Shop

This Saturday is going to be my first week grocery shopping this New Year and our goal is to significantly slash what we have been spending on groceries, pet and household items.  I’m hoping all the coupons I’ve ordered will be in by Friday so I can start putting them to good use.   Some did arrive today…very exciting.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos on how top couponers get organized before going shopping.  Checking the websites and store flyers, making their shopping lists, and cutting their coupons.  Two of my biggest concerns are John & I arguing in the store because I’m taking too long looking for deals (we tend to get annoyed at the grocery store anyway and celebrate if we exit without bickering) and having people lined up behind me while I’m using a bunch of coupons.  So I figure if I spend some time the day before we shop and have everything ready, it will run smoothly. 

I like to have plans and lists.  Here is what I intend to do to prepare.

1. On the fridge keep a list of things your family is running low on, so you can start keeping an eye out for those deals.  You can put my Shopping List on the fridge with a magnet and ask your family to write down things they notice are needed. 

2. Using your pantry and what’s in the fridge, make a meal plan for the week.  7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners plus snacks.  I’m going to do this anyway so we can eat healthier and lose weight this year as well.  Here is a Menu Plan from the website www.ingoodcents.com  They also have YouTube videos as well.  You’ll have to plan snacks underneath each day of the week since there isn’t a spot for those. 

Download or Print
Meal Planner

3. Add to your Shopping List any other ingredients you need to make those meals.  Hopefully they will be on sale.

4. Make a list of coupons you have that will expire this month so you can be on the lookout for those deals as well. 

5. Take your store flyers to check out the deals they have.  Do you have coupons that match the deals?  If so, that is when you want to use the coupons and possibly get items FREE or for little expense.  Otherwise you hold the coupons until there is a deal.  Some websites will do this work for you.  Here are some for Canadians: www.smartcanucks.ca and search for Hot Coupon Flyer Deal (site search is 2 boxes under the Twitter and Facebook logos).  They list all the store flyers and which coupons match up. 

6. Atach the coupons you are using for sure to your Shopping List.  When you get to the checkout you will have them all ready for a smooth transaction. 

7. Take all your coupons (in a coupon organizer) with you to the store.  Sometimes there will be clearance or sale items in the store that weren’t in the flyer.  You don’t want to miss a great deal because you don’t have your coupons with you.  If you pick up items like this, add the coupon to your shopping list attachments.  At the checkout I am planning to ask the cashier if she prefers to get the coupons with each corresponding item or all the coupons at the end of the sale. 

The One Page Shopping List  can be viewed and printed here Shopping List  OR Take a lined sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle and a line across the middle to make 4 squares.  If you use a coupon binder you can have a section in front of lined paper or copied shopping lists.  Top left are “Deals to Watch For” – these are items your family is running low on.  Top right “Expiring Soon” – coupons that are expiring this month that you need to use up.  Bottom left are “Ingredients Needed” to complete the meals on your meal plan.  Bottom right are items you are buying with coupons that match up with your flyers.  ****If you are planning to go to more than one store, you may want to break it down on the back of this same page by Store.*****

As I continue on my couponing adventure I may update this post as I get more organized.  Happy Shopping!

About angelabee

BEE-lieve The BUZZ!! Beauty Consultant and Blogger Historic House Museum Manager Diploma in Cultural Resource Management from University of Victoria


One thought on “Preparing to Shop

  1. Angela, another great way to stretch the grocery dollars is to do bulk freezer cooking – especially when you find a great sale on a certain meat or other protein source. You save lots of time too cooking once and having anywhere from one week to one months worth of dinners in your freezer (depending on what you choose to do). You don’t need to have a chest freezer either. It can be done with just a fridge freezer if that’s all you have to work with. There are some great books and websites out there on freezer cooking. Two of my favourite books are “Frozen Assets” and “Frozen Assets: Lite and Easy” both by Deborah Talylor-Hough. I particular like the Lite and Easy one, as she breaks her cooking plans up into mini-sessions of 6 or 7 meals based around one protein source so if you find chicken on sale one week you can put away a bunch of chicken meals in a matter of a couple of hours. With 5 children under 10 yrs of age and a busy home schooling schedule anything that maximizes my time, energy and money is a huge asset!! Happy “couponing” everyone 🙂


    Posted by Tammy | January 6, 2011, 4:05 pm

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