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Monday, October 18, 2010

10 ways
To Shop Like a Pro

So you want to join the big leagues?
Bring home more product for less cash?

I am working hard to get as much info up as possible for those of you who are just starting, but in the mean time here is a little something for those of you who have been at it for a while and are ready to step it up.

If you want to boast big trips with little oop then you may have to do things a little differently than you are used to, though I do not consider myself a 'mega shopper' as I just shop for my family of four, I have seen people get cases of free items and I think I can help you get on your way.

1. Get lots of multiples. 
First things first if you want a lot of sales items you are going to have to have lots of coupons. If you are not interested in buying 100 papers you can use a coupon clipping service or ebay to get more coupons. Coupon forums are also a great resource for trading coupons, I like Afullcup for trading, it is free to sign up.

2. Get in Early.
If you are going to get things before they are out of stock then you are going to want to be in the store early on the first day of the sale. Odds are you won't be the only one who knows about this deal so you will want to beat the rush.

3. Shop different locations
If there is a limit of 4 sale items and 5 stores in driving distance hit them all to make the most of it. Then wait til after 5 (shift change) and hit them all again!

4.  Utilize a coupon website
Lots of websites out there have the sales already matched up with the coupons so you don't have to spend all your time figuring out what the best deals are. You need your valuable time to shop so having someone do the sales match ups for you is key.

5. Be nice to your cashiers
You may even try getting to know them. I have a few gals I look forward to seeing when certain stores have deals. It will benefit you to build a rapport with the store employees and managers as you will be spending a lot of time in their stores. They will learn to trust you (if your trustworthy and coupon honestly) and it will make transactions go through more quickly as they will be less likely to scrutinize your coupons, knowing you are an informed honest couponer.

6. Know your stores coupon policy
Look it up on their website, read it and carry it with you in case their is ever a question.

7. Learn to fight your battles
  It happens, a coupon beeps and on the spot your cashier starts making up reasons why you can't use your coupon, and I have heard it all, believe me. If you know all the details (the coupon policy, the sale details, and the fine print on the coupon) then use your info to fight for the deal you came in for.
  • Ask for a manager, explain to them why your coupon should work 
  • Call corporate, this doesn't happen often, but I have had to do it. If your manager doesn't seem to know the coupon policy either than call corporate right their in the store, they will usually call the manager and tell them you were right, and then you can get your deals, you may even get a gift card for your trouble.
  • If that fails, call again. I have gone home and gotten someone else on the phone and had the issue resolved with someone more informed. Sometimes a quick call to the DSM (district store manager) helps.

8. See if your manager will order sale items for you. I have not tried this but I have seen others have great success. When you know about an upcoming sale and want to buy more than you are guessing the store will have in stock see if you can get the store to order additional quantities. If they won't get it specifically for you maybe you can convince them to buy extra because of the great price and increased demand.

9. Get rain checks
When a store runs out of stock of a sales item they will issue you a rain check (upon request) for the sales price. This means once the sales period is over you can go back in (assuming your coupons haven't expired) to get the item at the sales price, and of course you can still use your coupons.
  • Know your stores rain check policy. Some stores will only issue a rain check for quantities less than 10, (good idea to get multiple rain checks if this is the case) some stores have no limits on rain checks. Some rain checks expire so keep an eye out so you don't miss out.
10. Learn when your store restocks
One of my favorite stores gets a truck in every Thursday, so on weeks when I am shopping that store I always go on Sundays and Thursdays. Most any cashier will tell you when they will be getting more stock in and it will benefit you to be there on that day.

As they saying goes "Rome wasn't built in a day" So don't expect to do it all at once, it will take time and practice to bring home big hauls, but with a little determination and know how anyone can do it. I will gladly answer any questions.

Happy Savings

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