Preparing To Shop: How I Gather My Coupons

If you are new to coupon-ing you may be trying to figure out method for organizing your shopping trip. Today I am going to show you how I prepare for my grocery shopping trip.

Keep in mind that there is no one way to organize and prepare for a shopping trip. Of the many ideas available…you should pick and choose which techniques will make coupon~ing easiest for you. I have an organizer (pictured below) that holds my store cards, circulars and slots to hold coupons. I use this to hold all of my coupons as I gather them throughout the week. You can do the same using a mini accordion file or envelopes.

On the top half of my organizer I have (8) horizontal slots. Each slot is designated for a particular store. The store loyalty card inside of each slot indicates what stores coupons will go into which slot. The first slot in my organizer that has no loyalty card is my Publix slot.

The (2) larger horizontal pouches below the (8) smaller store slots are used to hold coupons that I will use on my next shopping trip, but are not store specific. These would be coupons such as the Johnson & Johnson coupon that allows me to get free soap.

The 2 larger slots on the very bottom are for coupons that I get while shopping (peelies, blinkies, tearpads or catalinas), coupons I get in the mail or from magazines. They are placed in the (2) bottom slots until I get a chance to file them. Food items are on the right and all other are on the left.

Additional Tools
  • Coupon Binder
  • Inserts in Accordion File
  • Laptop
  • Sheet of Paper or Word Document
  • Calculator
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Magazines (w/unclipped coupons)

Once I have all of my resources I log onto my web page and click on the “store deals” tab at the top of the page. What I do next is below;

1. Find the coupon match-ups for the store that you’d like to shop at.

2. Print out the store deals using the print button at the bottom of the deal post.

3. Locate the coupons in my accordion file using the coupon location code that looks like the information in red below;

3-22-09 RP (this tells me to look for the coupon in the March 22nd Red Plum insert which is found in the Sunday newspaper)

4. Decide how many items you’d like to purchase in conjunction with the number of coupons you have and write that number beside the item on your deal print out. (Just because you may have 10 coupons doesn’t mean that you must buy 10 items. You choose how many your family needs.)

5. If the coupon(s) is not clipped remove the entire page from the insert(s) and place them in a pile. If you have multiples of a coupon, say 3 or more, then take the like sheet and stack. Staple through the coupons you need, making sure not to staple through bar codes or expiration date. Over the picture is fine. Then clip them out simultaneously.

6. Continue this process until you have all of your coupons for the items on your list.

7. Now if you want to know how much your total balance will be prior to shopping then follow these steps. Take the price of the item and subtract the value of the coupon. Now multiply that number by the number of coupons you wrote on your sheet.

(NOTE: If you are shopping at Publix, Kroger or Bi-lo, they will double coupons)

8. Take all of your coupons and your list and put them into any envelope and write the name of the grocery store on the outside. Take this with you when you go shopping. Do the same for every store that you plan to shop at.

Are you new to coupon-ing? Learn more about the next LIVE! on-line Coupon Workshop right from your computer. Or order my Coupon 101 Ebook  HERE.


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