PhotobucketSo, lets get started!  There are certain things that you want to know when you head off to the store, so we will start there.  First and foremost, join the shopper reward program at your local grocery store, CVS, or anything of the sort.  I sign up for them all regardless of how frequent I go to their store.  This way, I know I will have it ready to go when I need it.  These are key to start maximizing your savings.  These shopper reward programs offer you special discounts and often times will send you coupons directly to your mailbox from that particular store for even more saving.  I can tell you about every 3 months, I receive a packet with coupons that are geared toward my shopping habits from Kroger.  There is always a free item coupon included.  I like FREE, don’t you?

Meal planning and shopping from a grocery list will also help you to save money.  Without a meal plan or shopping list, you are more likely to impulse buy.  Impulse buying is what costs you the most money each year.  I have included some free printables below to help in making your shopping experience and meal planning easier as you start the process of saving money.

Free Printables

Grocery Shopping List (Full Page)

Grocery Shopping List (2 Per Page)

Weekly Menu Planning
Make sure you know your stores coupon policy.  Make sure you take a copy of the particular store with you because some stores try to change their policy on a day-to-day basis.  With you having a copy of their policy on you, you are armed with what corporate says their policy is.  Below are a few of the stores local to me that have their policies listed online.  All of these links can also be found in the navigation bar @ the top of my blog.

Most coupon policies can be found directly at the store or on their website.  If you don’t see it or can’t get it from the store, email the corporate office to get their policy.

If you ask in store, go to the customer service department and see if they can give you a copy of the policy.  If they can’t give you or don’t have it, then ask them if they can tell you their coupon policy.

Brookshire Brothers

Dollar General

Family Dollar

H-E-B

Hy-Vee

Kroger

Randalls

Safeway

Target Coupon Policy

Target Price Matching

Walgreens

Wal-Mart Coupon Policy

Wal-Mart Price Matching

Questions you might ask include:

Does your store take coupons at face value?  If not, how much do they double or triple their coupon value to?

Is there a specific day that they do doubling or tripling of coupons? (if they do)

Do they accept Internet printable coupons?

Can you stack coupons (a manufacture coupon and store coupon) together on an item?

*These are just a few questions that I have asked in the past and they have been forth coming with the information.

Next, don’t be BRAND LOYAL!  If the store brand costs less after a coupon on a name brand item, go with the store brand.  This is my personal rule of thumb.  I am not saying that I always stick with this rule because there will always be some items that I have to spend a little more on because they do taste better than the store brand.  For example, I have tried the store brand cheese crackers and I personally prefer the Sunshine Brand Cheez-Its.  It is a personal taste of mine so I don’t skimp on price with my Cheez-Its.

And last but definitely not least, don’t shop at one place only!  You may have to go to multiple stores to get the better deal.  Just keep in mind, Kroger and other stores like it may have higher prices, but they double and triple coupons (*I will explain this later*), so your savings is much greater in the long run.

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