When I was first learning to become an Expert Couponer, I admit that I didn’t understand why anyone would want to spend hours grocery shopping.
Since then I have learned on many occasions that the time I spend is still very much worth my time. I have been known to save more than I spend on a regular basis. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to complete a successful grocery run in under 3 hours. I do shop at 3 stores regularly, and during really great sales I’ll include a couple more stores that aren’t part of my regular plan.
The key is to know what you need. Then know what the sales are at each store. I work store by store to create a shopping list based on the things we need each week as well as what I can get FREE on sale with coupons.
After I have created a list for each store I also create a list of everything else I need but didn’t see on sale anywhere. As I shop at each of the stores I look for the other things on my list to see if I can find a good price. Over time you will come to recognize a good price when you see one.
Practical tips for a Successful Grocery Run.
Create a Menu & List – This tell you what you need each week and keeps you from buying things you don’t need.
Look through the ads – You won’t find everything you need on sale, so write down what you do find, or what is free or almost free with coupons that you’ll use in the coming weeks.
Set aside enough time – If you are rushed then this will turn into a miserable experience, especially if you have kids with you. I suggest setting aside enough time to accommodate all of the stores as well as driving time to keep you from becoming stressed when you notice it taking a bit longer than usual.
Plan a gas efficient route – I shop in a large circle as a way to make the most of my time and use the least amount of gas in the process. Just look at which stores you are planning to hit, and make a mental picture of how you will travel one by one until you’ve hit them all and returned home with the least amount of
Eat before you leave - Seriously, this is THE most important tip. Shopping on an empty stomach will cause you to make really bad shopping decisions that will have serious consequences on your budget!
Put your coupons in order – I like to have my coupons stacked together according to which store they are for. I use a paper clip and then I place each stack in the order of which stores I’m visiting.
When all else fails head to Aldi – Although I can’t use coupons at Aldi, I know that I can get most things for less than at a regular grocery store without coupons. So if I can’t find what I need on sale I will head to Aldi’s for it. I also use this store for the weeks when I just can’t seem to get my Grocery Plan in order.
These are my Practical Tips For A Successful Grocery Run. If you have anything you think should be added, please take a couple seconds to share your tips in the comments below.