Monday, July 6, 2009

My secrets

When I shop at Publix, I ALWAYS get comments. ALWAYS. And they are always the same comments.
1) Where do you get your coupons?
2) How do you get organized?
3) How do you do it???

Well, we all know where the coupons come from- since if you're reading my blog, you're a couponer too!

2 and 3) Everyone has a different system, and mine is probably a combination of what I have concocted and what others have come up with.
First, I read the sneak peak of the sales ad and copy it into a Word document. Then I go through the Word document and delete out anything I definitely won't be buying. Over the next few days, I pull my matching coupons for items I definitely want or think I might want. I also look for any moneymakers, and pull coupons for those items. I have three envelopes for Publix. One is an envelope for my purchases for that trip. One is an envelope of FREE coupons, and coupons that will make things free (like my $.50/1 Dole canned fruit coupon). The last envelope is my "back up envelope" where I put all coupons that I might want or need and extra coupons for moneymakers in case I need to throw them in for things I might add mid-trip. (this rarely happens)

I have to shop with my children. One is 8 months old, one is almost four years old. As you can imagine, this is not easy when you're sorting coupons and trying to match up items. My goal for every shopping trip is to have everything outlined before I step foot in the store.

The day or so before I go to Publix, I finalize my list and look for any new coupon match-ups that other people may have found on some of my favorite sites: Hot Coupon World, Southern Savers, I Love Publix.

Once i have my list finalized I open Microsoft Excel and make my list. In my Excel spreadsheet, I have a column for the item I am purchasing, the quantity, the cost, the amount of coupons, and the final after coupon cost. At the bottom of the final column is the grand total.

I generally have more than one transaction to minimize confusion at the register. Rather than hand over 100+ coupons, I break up my transaction so that there is under $50 in coupons per transaction so a manager approval will not be required. I print out my spreadsheet for each transaction and pull all my coupons and put them with the matching spreadsheet.

Finally, I make a general list of all items needed and quantity, sorted by location in the store.

When I shop, I use the basic list and just get everything I need. When I have everything in the cart, I stop and sort the cart into transactions and pull out any q's I won't be using (if there are items I didn't get).

whew! It sounds more complicated than it is.

Whatever works for you, and this is what works for me.


  1. Brandy, it was so interesting reading through your preparation. Thanks for sharing. I think that I may use one or two of your ideas in the future. :)

  2. I have been trying to figure out how to take pics of my spreadsheet and forms so that they are legible so I can post them here but I haven't figured it out yet. I can't post an xcl file here...and I don't have the full version of adobe, otherwise I'd make a pdf out of the file. hmmm...still working on that.
    The best part about pulling the info into Word and them adding/deleting from it is that I may want something and think it's a great deal, but after looking at it on my list for three days, I decide that even though it's a great deal, I really don't need it.