May 28, 2013

It’s All about Planning

girls dress shoes
Through my couponing research I’ve found that there are a lot of ways to save with coupons, but it’s really all about the preparation. The couponers who save the most are the people who spend time creating a plan and sticking to it. Now that you know the basics about coupon collecting, organizing and how to maximize your savings with them, you need a plan. Below are the tips you need to know when formulating your coupon-executing plan.

1. One store at a time. It is easy to get ahead of yourself when you first start couponing, which can cost you time and money. The most confusing thing you can do when you first start is try to save money at all the stores. Every store has different policies in regards to how they accept coupons. Therefore, start with one store. Learn that particular store’s coupon policy well before you start shopping (with coupons) at another store. It won’t take you very long to learn the various store policies and then you can start shopping and saving at them all. Until then, take it one store at a time. It’s also beneficial to print off each store’s coupon policy to take with you. Then, if there is a discrepancy at the register you have the policy in hand. It’s also nice to have the policy with you to refer to when needed.
 
2. Set time aside for couponing. Those who are serious about saving money with coupons have to set time aside for couponing. Cutting coupons and finding the best sales all takes time. It’s not something that can be done twenty (20) minutes before you go to the store. Serious couponers spend several hours a week preparing for their store visits. You will need to set time aside to clip and sort your coupons, as well as, additional time designated to reading the weekly sale ads so you know where the best place is to use the coupons.
 
3. Find the best time to go shopping. This one may take a little practice to perfect, but it will be worth it in the end. There are days of the week/month when it just isn’t a good time to go to the store when you know you’ll be there a while. For instance, the 1st and 15th of the month aren’t the best time nor are weekends or weekdays from 5-8 pm. Generally the best time for serious couponers to shop is either early in the morning or late at night. Another thing to think about are the stores that offer double coupon days. If you have a local store that doubles/triples coupons on a certain day, say Tuesdays, then it’s the most beneficial to shop at that store on Tuesdays. Timing really is everything for serious couponers. 

4. Make a list. Always make a list before you head to the store! This is true for all shoppers, but especially extreme couponers. Creating a list will save you time in the store and help you stay focused and not get sidetracked with additional items that you don’t need. When you create your list, try to break it up according to aisle as well as transactions. And, keep your coupons sorted according to the order of your planned transactions as well. This will save you loads of time at the register.
Once you are able to come up with a good coupon-shopping plan, your trip to the store will be a success. Just remember that no one ever started out as a pro in couponing…it takes practice and lots of planning!