As I sat doing my weekly preparations for my Saturday morning grocery shopping I thought this would be something fun to share how I have tinkered with this and that to come up with a plan that with a little work makes the whole process run smooth and saves us some money.
I get stopped almost every time I shop to ask me about how I got so organized with my coupons and ads for price-matching. I always tell them what I am telling you now. I am not an expert. I am very much still in the armature stage compared to those I have learned from. Two dear friends have some very popular, user-friendly and very informative websites. They are the resources I used for learning how to coupon effectively and to learn about price-matching at Wal-Mart. To learn more visit www.mylitter.com to learn about couponing and www.iheartthemart.com to learn about all things Wal-Mart including price-matching.
During the week I cut out all my coupons and organize all the store ads I will use for price-matching. I get coupons from the local paper and online. You can learn more about places to find online coupons from both of the websites I recommended. The Target and pharmacy store ads are normally in the local Sunday paper and the other local grocery store ads usually come during the week in the mail.
On Friday night or Saturday morning this is what I do to prepare for my shopping at Super Wal-Mart:
1. Make a menu of meals for the week. Making a menu helps to not only have a plan for the week but also saves money because we only buy what we need for those meals and I then can stock up on additional items on sale. I usually go through the house to see what I already have before buying it again at the store. Then I replenish my stock items when I find them on sale or have coupons.
2. Make a grocery list off the menu.
3. Go through all the ads to check for price-match items for things on my grocery list but also look for special deals to stock up on items especially if I can use a coupon to save even more. I usually circle each item with a red pen. If the item had 4 for $10 I write the amount for one next to it since Wal-Mart has to put each item in at the price per each. This just makes that process easier at checkout for everyone.
4. I take a post-it note and write all the price-match items on it to keep on the front page of my binder to refer to as I am grocery shopping and help when I am checking out.
5. I then go through my coupons to pull out all that go with my grocery list and price match items and pull them to the front of my binder for easy access as shopping. I do take the whole binder because often I find deals as I am going and can find a coupon for it.
6. When I get to the store I put my binder in the front child seat section. On the front page I have my grocery list, price-match list and my ads to refer to. As I shop I pull the coupons out of the binder for each item I put in my cart and put those coupons all together to hand the clerk at checkout.
7. I always put items I am price-matching in a certain area of my basket because when I am checking out I put them on last. Items need to be price-matched at the time they are scanned and this is just easier to do it all at the same time. I also try to place items I am price-matching from the same ad next to each other so when they are being scanned I am not fumbling back and forth between ads.
8. I often will place an ad over the items I am price-matching so that as the clerk gets to the end she knows to stop. This way if I am distracted by loading my basket or heaven forbid a child that has all my attention I don’t miss getting to price-match those items.
9. I also try scan items towards the end that have a coupon that needs the price written on it. That way if I forget the price they can find it easily at the end of the receipt instead of looking at the really long list of items trying to find it.
Again I am not an expert but I have developed a plan that works for me and keeps me organized. There is nothing worse than getting in line and being frazzled with your ads and coupons while having a clerk and other customers waiting on you. Making a menu, couponing and price-matching have been the three things that have saved us a ton of money. If you do not have a plan just start small with making a menu each week. Look at the two websites I mentioned to learn about couponing and Wal-Mart price-matching and just take those baby steps until you get a routine that works for you!
What ideas and suggestions do you have that make saving money and shopping a smooth experience?