Part 7-The Shopping Spree
know exactly which items you’re going to purchase, and which coupons you’re going to use, and have them counted and organized. Make a list of every item detailed so nothing is missed.
Alert the Manager
It’s a good idea to let the store manager know of your intentions, especially during your first extreme couponing visit to a particular store. That way you give the manager time to prepare his team for your checkout process, and is more likely to help you with your visit.
You’ll likely be purchasing large quantities of items, and need multiple shopping carts. It’s also easier with a helper if you can concentrate on your list of items and coupons, and instruct the helper which products to load into the shopping carts.
Make sure you have plenty of time for your shopping trip so you don’t feel rushed. The process can take a long time, and mistakes can be made when you’re trying to hurry. Go early in the morning, or late at night, or during a time when the store isn’t busy. It’s easier to shop when the aisles are clear and the checkout will be much less hectic if the store isn’t crowded. There’s also a better chance that the quantities of the items you’re looking to purchase will be in stock on the shelves if you go early in the morning. It’s very time consuming to have to ask store clerks to check on inventory in the back for items that are already cleared from the shelves.
Don’t bring kids
Children have a very short attention span when shopping, and are constantly asking if they can buy cookies and sweets as you pass them on the aisles. This can be a huge distraction and cause you to lose your concentration and patience quickly. This also applies to anyone that doesn’t necessarily want to be helping you during your long shopping spree, it’s not easy, and even adults can become impatient and bored during a long shopping spree.
Plan your route
Your shopping spree will likely take a long time, including an hour or more just for checkout. Pay attention to frozen and refrigerated items, and pick those up last, right before the checkout. Otherwise they could melt or go bad between the time you remove them from the freezers, and get them home to yours.
Many stores require you to divide up your purchases into multiple transactions to avoid going over a coupon quantity limit or total transaction limit on the register. I recommend assigning a shopping cart for each transaction, and labeling each cart with a transaction name. Organize your paperwork by transaction name, as that will help you get the correct products matched up with the correct coupons in the right shopping cart.
Monitor each product swipe carefully at checkout, and know beforehand what your expected total savings on each item will be. Store registers don’t always mirror the pricing displayed on the shelves, and slight errors between the two can be disastrous. Know what each price should ring up as, how much your loyalty card will reduce the price by, and how much total savings your coupons will produce. Don’t be afraid to speak up when product transactions aren’t registering as you planned, as store errors occur fairly often and if you don’t correct them, nobody will.
Vehicle and Storage
Make sure you bring a large enough vehicle or vehicles to haul away your load. The volume and weight of your purchases can easily grow in size where it will take a truck or SUV to get it all home. Once you get it home, make sure you’ve already determined where it will all be stored, as you don’t want to waste time moving the items multiple times. If you don’t have a plan for where it will all go, it will end up a mess in your house that you may regret.
Be sure you’re prepared for your shopping spree, with a plan for picking up the products, checking out, and hauling it home, and you’re sure to have an exhilarating extreme couponing experience.