3. Using your coupons
3.1. Store Match-ups—Match up the weekly store ad with coupons. There are MANY sites/blogs that do this work for you. Pick one or two sites you like to start with. Also helps to focus on one or two stores to start with. Each store has it’s own coupon policy, so learn the rules for the store you are shopping and when you get the hang of it, add another store to your regular shopping routine.
3.1.1. Pinchingyourpennies.com (PYP)– Printable shopping list which tells you automatically what coupon to use and how much each ad item is. Also has forums to discuss other couponing issues. Nationwide.
3.1.2. Thekrazycouponlady.com (KCL) – Blog that does store ad matchups and purchasing scenarios.
3.1.3. Frugallivingnw.com – local (pacificnw) blogger matching up local deals
3.2. Plan your trip—I plan out my trips, and write out my list (unless I’m using a printable shopping list from PYP) I specify which items for each transaction and group those coupons together. It’s always a good idea to have in mind some alternate items for promotions in case your 1st choice is sold out.
3.3. Promotions—A promotion is something like “Buy 10 cake mixes for $1 each and get $5 off your next order”. This means you will get a $5 catalina printed out after your transaction is complete. If items are sold out, you can ask for a raincheck, but even though you will still get the sale price, the catalina will only work while the promotion is going on.
3.4. Clearance—don’t forget the clearance rack! Always a good idea to keep your coupons with you in the store in case you come across a great deal on something you weren’t planning on, but know you have a coupon for.