Tonight I got my shopping list all ready. This took a little while for me to do because I'm new at this and still trying to get the hang of it. This was my process:
I started by getting a copy of the Sunday paper this morning. In the paper, there were two coupon inserts (SmartSource and a General Mills - I got Red Plum in the mail earlier this week) and the weekly circulars for the stores I plan on shopping at (CVS, Walgreens, Safeway and Fry's).
I went through my stores circulars to check out sales and specials. I used my pen and circled the sales I was interested in.
Then I went through all the coupon inserts and clipped all the coupons I was interested in using at any time. I also kept the inserts just in case something popped up and I can use a coupon I wasn't originally going to if there's a good deal.
Then I started comparing the sales with the coupons. I matched up coupons to see where the item is the cheapest so I can get the best deal.
*TIP: Don't forget to check CVS and Walgreens for food items. I'm getting a few great deals on food items at CVS!
I started basing my meals this week on things I have on hand and what's on sale at the store. For example, at Fry's this week, bottom round roast is on sale Buy One Get One Free. Awesome! So we're having pot roast one day this week and I'll keep the other one on hand for future use. It was hard for me to plan only one week of meals because we normally only shop for two weeks with smaller trips in between for more necessities, but I decided to start shopping once a week to help track sales.
One of the hard things for me was to not use coupons if the item wasn't on sale already. For a few things I did, because this week at Fry's, all coupons are worth $1.00. So, I have a coupon for 25 cents off Bounce dryer sheets (which we're running low on), but this week I can use that coupon and I will get $1.00 off. That's a good deal! I also have a coupon for 50 cents off Colgate toothpaste, which is on sale at Fry's for 98 cents...and my coupon will be worth $1.00 so I'm getting toothpaste for free. Score! I also wanted to use a couple of coupons that are about to expire. They're on items I need and will use and since the discount is going away before a new sale starts, I'm going to go ahead and use them.
So my shopping lists are ready and I'm hitting 4 stores tomorrow! I'm going to CVS, Walgreens and Safeway by myself while my husband is at work, and then we'll do Fry's together because that will be a bigger trip. Oh, and I'll make a little detour to Michael's and JoAnn's (with some coupons) for some scrapping items. I will share my savings tomorrow and break it down for you from each store. I'm excited to see how I do!