In our guest blog post at CouponsDaily.com last week, Jessica explained the importance of making two shopping lists – one for your stockpile coupon items and one for your “regular” and non-coupon purchases. Since that article was published we’ve been flooded with email, all saying the same thing: It makes sense, but HOW do you do it? So today, we’re gonna break it down into 10 easy steps. This example we’re using is an actual list we used just a few weeks ago. We didn’t make up products and coupon values just so we’d have something to show you. So yeah, this works. Of course, our real first step is always to study the ads and do the coupon matchups, but doesn’t everybody already do that? So let’s get right to the actual shopping lists! Colgate toothpaste – On sale 10/$10 (Free with coupon) Coupon – $.50/1 any Colgate Toothpaste (3.5 oz or larger, excludes 1.8 oz, 2.8 oz bonus, .75 oz and .85 oz trial)(3/8/2014) – Doubles to $1 Want to purchase: 24 Manufacturer limitations: Only 4 like coupons per transaction Store limitations: Must by multiples of 10 qualifying items to get the sale price – Limit of 5 like coupons per transaction First, we look at how many we want to purchase. In this case it’s 24. We based this number on our household usage. Because the manufacturer limits us to 4 like coupons per transaction, that means we’re going to have to perform 6 transactions to get the full 24 tubes of toothpaste.
Step #1: Set up six individual shopping lists and put 4 tubes of toothpaste on each one.
(Remember: We need to buy 10 participating 10/$10 items to get that sale price, so we’re going to need to add 6 more participating items to each transaction.) Maruchan noodles – regular price $.99 (Free with coupon) Want to purchase: 25 Coupon: $.50/1 Maruchan Noodles – Doubles to $1 Manufacturer limitations: None Store limitations: Only 5 like coupons per transaction We want to buy 25 of the Maruchans and we can only use 5 like coupons per transaction.
Step #2: Add 5 Maruchan noodles to the first 5 transactions.
Skinny Cow Candy – Buy 3 get a Catalina coupon for $3 off your next purchase (Avg. price: $3 each) Coupon: $1/1 box Skinny Cow Candy (4.65-6 oz) Want to purchase: 18 Manufacturer limitations: None Store limitations: Only 5 like coupons per transaction We could buy 5 boxes in each transaction but we get that Catalina coupon every time we buy 3. We want to buy in multiples of 3 so we get that Catalina coupon and we’re going to use those coupons to help pay for our final transaction. Note: We already know we’re going to end up with $18 in Catalina coupons to help pay for our final transaction. Yayyyy!
Step #3: Put 3 boxes of Skinny Cow Candy on each of the six shopping lists.
Hungry Jack Hash Brown Potatoes – On sale 10/$10 (Free with coupon) Coupon: $.50/1 any Hungry Jack Hasbrown Potatoes – Doubles to $1 Want to purchase: ??? (We don’t really care because they’re free!) Manufacturer limitations: None Store limitations: Only 5 like coupons per transaction We still need 6 items in the 10/$10 sale in each of our 6 transactions, but we can only use 5 like coupons per transaction.
Step #4: Add 5 Hungry Jack Hashbrowns to each of our 6 transactions for a total of 30 boxes.
Remember: We need to buy 10 participating 10/$10 items to get that sale price. We have 4 toothpastes and 5 hashbrowns, so we’re still going to need to add 1 more participating items to each transaction.
Step #5: Choose that 10th item carefully.
To take advantage of the 10/$10 pricing you only need one more item. Either add one participating non-coupon item from your “regular” shopping list, or choose an item that you don’t have to buy 2 or 3 of in order to get the coupon savings. Bird’s Eye Recipe Ready Frozen Vegetables – On sale Buy 6 Save $3 for total of $1.49 each (Free with coupon) Coupon: $.75/1 Bird’s Eye Recipe Ready Frozen Vegetables – Doubles to $1.50 Want to purchase: 30 Manufacturer limitations: None Store limitations: Must buy multiples of 6 qualifying items to get the sale price – Limit of 5 like coupons per transaction We want 30 and we can only use 5 like coupons in a transaction, so this one’s easy.
Step #6: Add 5 bags of Bird’s Eye Vegetables to each of our 6 transactions.
However, we still need to add one more item that’s included in the Buy 6 Save $3 deal or we don’t get these free. Sooooo… Dole Fruit Smoothie Shakers – On sale Buy 6 Save $3 for totoal of $1.50 each ($.50 with coupon) Coupon: $.50/1 any Dole Smoothie Shaker – Doubles to $1 Manufacturer limitations: Only 4 like coupons per transaction Store limitations: Must buy multiples of 6 qualifying items to get the sale price – Limit of 5 like coupons per transaction We’re just buying these to make up that 6th item in each transaction. They’re only $.50 with our coupon and we like ’em, so this works for us.
Step #7: Add 1 Dole Fruit Smoothie Shaker to each of our 6 transactions.
Step #8: Make your “regular” shopping list
Label this list Transaction #7. This list is all your non-coupon items, like fresh meat, fresh produce, fresh baked goods, etc. It also includes those items you only buy once or twice a year – like spices, or some of those heavy duty cleaning supplies – or holiday items or new products you want to try. You’ll be surprised at how small this list becomes after just a couple of months of savvy “stockpile” shopping!
Right now, your shopping lists should look like this:
Step #9: Organize your coupons
Before you even leave the house, separate your coupons and use a paper clip to attach them to each transaction. You’ve already planned out exactly how many of each item you’re going to buy, so sort your coupons at home where you don’t have any distractions. To help organize your coupons and make your shopping trip a real breeze, check out Jessica’s Kroger Haul Video for one of her Secret Shopping Tips.
Step #10: Checkout time!
Pay for your first 6 transactions first. If you’ve done your homework, you should already be able to tell how much this is going to cost. In our case, we knew each transaction would cost approximately $9 for the Skinny Cow Candy, $.50 for the Dole Fruit Smoothie Shaker and approximately $1 for the extra item we had to buy to make up the 10 items for the 10/$10 sale. That’s a total of $10.50 for each of the first 6 transactions. Don’t forget, we also got a $3 Catalina coupon from each of those transactions, for a total of $18. Now pay for Transaction #7 and use those Catalina Coupons. Depending on how much you spend for this transaction you could conceivable walk out of the store with two carts full of groceries for $66! At the very least, when you add all your receipts together, you’ll finally see that huge savings percentage like those extreme couponers get on TV.