How to Plan a Coupon Trip – Successfully
One of the most often asked question I receive from readers and couponers at classes is “HOW do I plan my trip?”. It can be overwhelming keeping up with ads, deals, new coupons, and more. I totally understand so I thought I would share my technique. And, if you have more suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section.
I’m going to explain how I plan my Publix trips – since that is a pretty popular store here on Couponers United. You can use this information and apply it to the other stores we cover as well, not just Publix!
As soon as the ad is posted, you can view the ad by going to the menu bar at the top of the Couponers United page and choosing STORES, Grocery Stores, Publix, and Publix weekly ad. You can print your list right from this site! Be SURE to print ANY AND ALL coupons you may need right away as they may be gone if you wait. Because coupons come and go SO FAST, I highly suggest printing your list and coupons as soon as the ad is available.
Put the printed list near your computer along with your printed coupons so that you can add to the list as needed.
Throughout the week (before heading to the store) be sure to jot down any additional deals that may pop up on Couponers United or around the web. Prior to heading to the store, go back to Couponers United and on the far right of the page (scroll down some) look for the CATEGORIES box. Select PUBLIX (or whatever store you are heading to) as your category and click on it. This will bring up all the most recent postings about that store. Again, print coupons right away that you will need.
Most popular matchups here on Couponers United:
Once that is done, I start pulling and clipping my coupons. Once you have clipped and/or printed all the coupons needed for this weeks trip, go back through and make sure you didn’t miss anything. Then, paper clip the coupons together by store, and onto the front of your list for that store. Sometimes there are unadvertised deals. Throughout the week, I highly encourage you to keep checking the Couponers United Site for deals that may pop up through the week. Jot them down through the week. When it’s time to shop, be sure to add them to your master shopping lists for each store. Sometimes, you will need to purchase items that are NOT on sale that week. Be sure to add these items at the bottom of your list.
I do not suggest hitting every single store every single week. This can be very time consuming. I tend to shop one grocery store per week AND make a quick Walmart trip each week as well. When there are must have deals at the other stores, I will head to those that week as well. This will avoid coupon burnout (and save you time, energy, and GAS).
When you arrive at the store, make sure you bring your list and coupons inside. Once I arrive at the store, I start removing the coupons from the paper clip stack, as I place the items in my cart. I also write down the cost of the item on my list. Once you are done, head to the cashier.
There are several options on presenting your coupons at checkout.
Option 1 – hand the coupons over in a stack – in order of how you place them on the belt. This is a little more time consuming as you unload the cart, but makes things go much faster when the cashier is cashing you out. *This is the method I use*
Option 2 – hand the coupons over one by one as the cashier rings up the items *sometimes the cashier will insist you hand them all over at one time.
Option 3 – hand the cashier a stack of coupons before you place any items on the belt in no particular order at all. This is the quickest method, however, much more time consuming if the cashier decides to pull the coupons out one by one as she scans the items.
NOTE: If you have a $5/$30, $10/$50 etc – I ALWAYS hand these over first, followed by ANY FREE or BOGO coupons. The cashier has to write in the amount of the FREE item coupons, so be sure to point this out to the cashier right away!
Be prepared to take a little longer at checkout when you are a couponer. There is nothing wrong with this, however, if you have a very large amount of coupons, you may want to alert the cashier first and/or the other customers in line.
I always keep an eye on items as they ring up, as well as coupons as they scan to be sure everything is correct.
Another tip I have for FLORIDA readers. Join the FREE Couponers United Facebook Chat Group – FLORIDA . It is FULL of scenario ideas for all Florida area stores.
Not in Florida? Check out the main Couponers United Facebook Chat Group.
Here are more related posts that may help if you’re a new couponer: