How do you plan a coupon shopping trip?
A coupon shopping trip is a tricky situation and one that requires a lot of careful planning.
The following process is broken down into two stages, which include planning for the coupons you possess and shopping.
You need to think ahead in this situation to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.
Base Your Trip on Your Coupons
The biggest trick that you need to master in this process is planning your trip around your coupons and not vice versa.
You aren’t going to save that much money if you try to wait for the exact product that you want to go on sale.
Instead, clip coupons for items that you do want but which may not be quite your taste.
For example, expand beyond a standard brand that you like if another one is on sale that week or even on extended sale that month.
Also, make sure to fully understand the coupon policy of each store at which you plan to shop.
For example, some stores allow you to double and even triple coupons while others will limit this activity.
Try to focus the majority of your coupon shopping trip on these areas.
And before you go on your trip, make sure that you collect multiple coupons for these stores so that you can stack them in a way to save you the most money possible.
Just as importantly, make sure that you find stores that let you stack coupons on items that are already available on sale.
Some shops limit this activity while others will give you free rein.
Stacking coupons on sale items will save you even more money and, potentially, drive, the product cost down to next to nothing.
In this way, you increase your chances of buying groceries for free or for spending very little on specific products and saving yourself real cash.
And, if possible, try to focus only on stores that allow coupon overage.
This term indicates shops that will pay you money if your coupons are worth more than the product you are buying.
A vast majority of stores don’t offer this option, though, so don’t get too focused on this aspect.
If you can find a retailer who does, though, try to go to them whenever possible on your coupon trips.
Plan Your Shopping Route
Once you’ve collected all of the coupons you plan on using for your trip, anticipate that you’ll be visiting multiple shops that day.
Spreading out your shopping in this way enhances your chances of getting the best deals because not all stores will have the same coupons.
For example, your local supermarket may allow double coupons on a Sunday, which will enable you to save big money on that day.
Another shop, however, may offer double coupons on the same day but only during a specific time.
In this situation, you should hit the store with the more limited coupon window to ensure that you make the most money.
Understand, too, that you’re likely going to be fighting with people who are looking for the same deals as you.
Going as early as possible to the store is often the best bet because you’ll increase your chances.
Even better – go to the store before the doubling window, fill your cart with the products for which you have coupons, and then check out after the coupon window has started.
Just as importantly, you need to make sure that you plan a route that is efficient and which saves you time.
A coupon trip can be a very exhausting process and is often one that will see you out of the house for most of the day.
So try to start as far from your home as possible and move back towards it to end your day.
You can’t afford to schedule multiple trips back to your home because this will waste your time and minimize your chances of savings.
As a result, you’ll need to bring multiple coolers filled with ice to keep your perishables from going bad.
Saving $10 on meat is great but not if the meat goes bad before you get home.
You may also want to buy an insulating sheet to cover your coolers with to keep the heat out.
These sheets will ensure that the coolers’ ice doesn’t melt more quickly and can also save you on ruined produce.
You may also want to consider bringing along friends to help out with this process.
They can ride with you or bring their cars so that you can load up on more groceries.
This situation is great because you can divide and conquer, with some of you going to one store while others go to another.
Make sure that you return the favor by helping these friends do their coupon shopping later.