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How to save with coupons? Here's our Number One Tip!

couponing strategyOver the past year we’ve managed to cut our grocery budget by 65 percent. Imagine it. If you’re currently spending $200 a week on groceries you’d now only be spending $70 a week. What could you do with an extra $70 a week? Lots of things! What’s our number one tip for success?

Plan Your Shopping Trip Before You Leave Your Home

We always manage to save at least a little money every time we shop because we always have coupons with us. But when we have to do a big grocery trip and/or we know we’re going to be using a lot of different coupons, we always save more if we have a strategy ready before we hit the store. Couponing is like anything else in life – the more time and effort you put into it the better your results.

We go into greater detail in our post “Step by Step: How We Saved 83.5% on Our Last Shopping Trip” but here are some things you need to include in your strategy: How many like coupons can you use in a transaction? If you want to buy 20 boxes of cake mix but your store only allows you to use 5 like coupons per transaction, then you’re going to have to break up your cake mixes into 4 separate transactions. How many do you have to buy to get the lowest price? Is it 10 for $10? If it is, do you have to buy 10 to get that price? Can you mix and match? If you save $5 when you buy 5, will you save $4 if you buy 4? What are the limitations on the coupons? You might want to buy 20 packs of BIC razors but if the coupon says “only 4 like coupons per day, per household” you’re going to have to make multiple trips or bring along a few friends. And if the item is on sale 10/$10 or Buy 5 Save $5, then buying four is going to mess up your count. How big are the items? Will you need more than one cart? If so, who’s going to push it? Where are the items located in the store? For really big trips we actually lay out our shopping list according to the layout of the store. We already know we’re going to be spending a lot of time pushing a shopping cart. Might as well do whatever we can to minimize the walking. There are dozens of distractions once you enter the store, lots of pretty, shiny displays, new products and screaming kids. Don’t leave your savings up to chance. Plan your couponing strategy before you leave home and you’ll save a lot more money.

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