Learn How To Coupon | Day 24: Planning Your Shopping Trip {Part 2}



Welcome to Day 24 of the monthly series: Learn How To Coupon!


This is a Coupon Newbie series that is geared towards learning all the basics about couponing, and how to start using them in the stores! This is also a great refresher for any coupon pros out there! If you are new here, and would like to read any of the previous posts, then feel free to click any of the links below to catch up!


Day 1: Anatomy of a Coupon

Day 2: Anatomy of a Barcode

Day 3: Types of Coupons

Day 4: Where to Find Coupons

Day 5: Stacking Coupons

Day 6: Coupon Abbreviations

Day 7: Electronic Coupons

Day 8: Doubling Coupons

Day 9: Catalina Coupons

Day 10: Buy One Get One Free Coupons

Day 11: Organizing Your Coupons {Part 1}

Day 12: Organizing Your Coupons {Part 2}

Day 13: Sale Cycles

Day 14: Stockpiling

Day 15: Coupon Sites and Deal Matchups

Day 16: Coupon Policies

Day 17: CVS

Day 18: Walgreens

Day 19: Rite-Aid

Day 20: Target

Day 21: Walmart

Day 22: Shopping Online {Earn Cash Back Rewards}

Day 23: Planning Your Shopping Trip {Part 1}



Today’s Topic: Planning Your Shopping Trip {Part 2-In the Store}


Today we are talking about planning your shopping trip, and what you can do to have a great experience shopping, and using coupons. Yesterday, we talked about starting at home, and what plans you can do to get ready for the store.

Today, we will be talking more about what you can do in the store to have a pleasant experience, and relieve some stress when it comes to using coupons. We will talk about what to do in the store, and then what to do at the registers.


In the Store

So now you have prepared yourself at home, cut all of your coupons necessary, printed/wrote your lists, looked up any coupons, ate something, and picked the best time to try and go shopping! (At least we all hope those things work out ;) ) But now you are at the store. And while you have already done a major part of relieving the stress of couponing, there are still some things in the store you can do to help you be more alert and prepared.


1. Park Near The Cart-Return

Haha, I know this one sounds kind of funny :) But this has helped me so many times! When you get there, parking near the cart-return can help you out in so many ways! It gives you a little more room to unload your kiddos, and also……your coupon binder if you have one! You can pluck that baby in the front of the carts right there, and not have to worry about lugging it to the store, and trying to find a cart. It will also give you a minute to get your stuff together before you go in!

This also helps for when you return from your shopping trip. You can check your items and unload them easier, because no one is parked on that one side of you. It will give you more time to review your receipts if needed.

2. Grab the Sales Ad

When you go in, go ahead and grab an extra copy of the sales ad. Even though you may have already looked through what you needed, you will want to have it on hand in case the sales tags aren’t there, or if you have a dispute at the register.

3. Look Around The Front

Look around you and see if you notice any signs of special sales, or advertisements of any upcoming events. Stores will usually make it very obvious that they have something going on, so be sure and keep your eyes peeled!

4. Look For Clearance

This may be a little backwards, but what I do when I go into a store, is head towards the clearance if I know where it is. Because clearance is “gone when it’s gone”, it’s first come first serve. So I try and quickly see if there is anything that I can work into my budget that is a good deal.

If you have your binder, and you find an item on clearance that you want, try and see if you have a coupon available. If you don’t have your binder, write down any clearance you want, and come back later with any coupons if you want to.

5. Go Around Perimeter Of Store

My typical way of shopping is to stay on the perimeter of the store, and then grab any of the items in the middle aisles that I may need last.

Browse through any reduced produce, and marked down meats on sale as well. This will help you lower your grocery bill and save money!

While walking around, locate any of the items on your list. As you put them in your cart, take the coupon that you will use, and put it aside, or put it in a “use” pile to get ready for the register. You can also mark off any items as you go.

6. Grab Any Other Items

Once you have hit all of your needed items on your list, you can quickly browse around for any other deals or last minute needed items.

7. Get Your Coupons Together

Okay, so now that you are done picking up what you need, now is the time to go ahead and make sure you triple-check that you have everything correct and you have the right coupons.

Take out your coupons that you plan to use. Go ahead and count them. This will make sure you can easily see how many came off at the register, and see if the cashier missed one.

Now match the coupons to the items, and make sure you got all the correct items, and correct amount of items.

Make sure to read the wording on the coupons one last time.

If your store doubles coupons, and has a limit, put the coupons you want doubled in the front.

At The Register

So half the battle is over! Now all you need to do is check out!

For most couponers, this is the most stressful time. This is because you are not sure how the cashier will act, or if others will be patient behind you if you have any questions. Let’s go through some ideas at the register to make things easier.


1. Smile and Say Hello!

A good attitude goes a long way! Cashiers do hard work, and it sure makes a difference when someone is pleasant to work with. So be courteous and say hello!

2. Give Shopper Card

Your Cashier will most likely ask for your card, but be sure to give it over if they don’t because this will trigger all of your sales and rewards.

3. Tell Them You Have Coupons

One thing I have noticed that cashiers appreciate, is when you tell them you have coupons before the transaction. This way they can kind of decide how they want to deal with them. It’s also easier to identify the items with the coupons before they are bagged.

If you have any BOGO coupons, or coupons that the cashier has to write the price in, try and hand those over as that item scans so that they can see the price right there, and go ahead and write the price.

4. Watch The Screen

Now that you have done your part, the next thing you can do, is watch the screen. Make sure that all the items are ringing up at the correct price, that all of your discounts are coming off, and that any coupons you hand over are scanning.

If your store doubles, make sure that they are doubling! I have had many instances where coupons that were perfectly okay to double wouldn’t double, so they had to manually enter them.

At many stores, the total discounts won’t come off until the end after they total it out, so just be sure and watch.

5. Hand Over Coupons

Now (if you haven’t already), hand over your coupons. Make sure you counted them before so you will know how many there are on the receipt. I usually hand over Manufacturer coupons before Store coupons. And as far as Manufacturer coupons goes, I usually hand them over largest to smallest so that all the larger coupons get taken off before there are any problems.

6. Check Your Receipt

Before leaving the store, take a minute or two and glance over your receipt. Did they miss anything? Did they get all of your coupons? It’s a lot easier to go right over to Customer Service with a problem that just happened on a receipt versus later on.

7. Go Home And Relax :)


Now that you have successfully planned a trip, you should feel great! I will tell you that I think it can make or break your shopping experience depending on how much planning you do! There are a lot of little things you can miss, and if you are a beginner, you may not know them all right away. So preparing for anything and everything will help you in the long run.


We will see you for Day 25!


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