When you think about shopping for the first time with coupons, you need to start small. Do NOT go in there like the Extreme Couponing show and expect $1000 worth of groceries for $10. This is possible, don't get me wrong, but for the first time, I want you to plan small!
First, select which grocery store you are going to give it a go at. For all intensive purposes, I'm going to select Publix. Their upcoming ad has already been released and you can find it at IHeartPublix.com. However, my personal favorite is AddictedToSaving.com as she not only shows which are good deals but also tells me which coupons to use or stack AND what my item price will be in the end. I prefer her layout but there are dozens of matchups out there so find the ones that work best for you!
Now... look through the hottest deals and find around 4 or 5 that you like and use. Here's a few things I'm looking at:
Bic Disposable Razors, 3 or 4 ct pkg, BOGO $5.49 for two
- $3/1 BIC Disposable Razors 4/10/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/22/2011)
- $2/1 Bic Disposable Shavers 3/27/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/15/2011)
**Buy 2, use two $3/1, makes them FREE plus overage (if your store allows)
Juicy Juice All Natural 100% Juice, 64 oz bot, BOGO $3.29 for two
- $2/4 Nestle Juicy Juice Products
- $1/2 Nestle Juicy Juice
**Buy 2, use one $1/2, makes them $1.15 each
Kozy Shack Pudding, 22 oz or 6 pk 4 oz cup. BOGO $2.99 for two
- $0.40/1 Kozy Shack Pudding 3/6/2011 SS Insert (exp 6/20/2011)
- $1/2 Kozy Shack 1/23/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/31/2011)
**Buy 2, use one $1/2, makes them $0.99 each
Ragu Homemade Pizza Sauce, 14 oz jar, BOGO $1.49 for two **this is very seldom on sale BOGO so even without a coupon this is a great deal!
Solo Paper Plates or Bare by Solo Cups or Plates, 10 to 48 ct, BOGO $2.99 for two
- $0.75/1 Solo Cups Plates or Bowls
- $0.75/1 Bare by Solo Product 4/10/2011 SS Insert (exp 6/12/2011)
**Buy 2, use two $0.75/1, makes them $0.75 each
Now, looking at your short list, you now need to find your coupons. Links (in blue) go to printable coupons. You can usually get two prints out of one computer by hitting the back button a few times. DO NOT PHOTOCOPY them. This is illegal!
Once you found your coupons, trim them neatly. On printables, you'll find this fine print border around most of them, keep that on there. Do NOT trim that off as many are using that border to validate the coupon.
Next, time to head to the store. Grab your items and if you have any questions regarding the use of them, stop by your store's customer service desk and ask before heading to the check out line. "When in doubt, ask before check out!" The reason you'll want to do this is you want the CSR you talked to to be there when you check out. I've spent about and hour and a half in the store once and the person I spoke to going in, was not there when I checked out. So be on the safe side!
Last but definitely not least... STICK TO YOUR LIST! You may find other deals that you want to buy but for your first trip I want you to stick to the list that you have coupons for! Veering off and buying extras might lend to a feeling of not getting as good a deal as you thought and you don't want that feeling on your first trip!
One last note: Some stores have computer systems that only allow one coupon per item. Fear not my friends, having one MQ and one SQ where allowed will simply require a manager override. Give them the heads up when you get there so you don't have to wait long (or keep others waiting long).
Let us know how you did! :)