If you want to save money at the store, you have to have a list. If I go into the store all willy-nilly, (and/or hungry) I will walk out with all sorts of fun little treasures that I didn't need and that blew my grocery budget.
I set up my list like a set up my coupon binder - by sections of the store.
I use a lined sheet of notebook paper. On one side I do medications/toiletries, office supplies, bread, and the "food" areas of the store. On the back side I do cleaning/paper supplies, soda/water/snacks, and anything refrigerated.
On each line, I write the item I need. Now that I have my old receipts, I can also pencil in what that item should cost me so I get an idea of what I am spending before I walk into the store.
Next, I go to my coupon binder. Since it is set up in the same categories, I can quickly see if I have coupons for the things on my list. If I do, I pull them out, place them in an envelope (a regular, long envelope) and note what they are on the line with the item. This is a great place to note if I need a specific size or number to use the coupon.
As I shop, I fill in the price, rounded up to the nearest $.50, so I know what I am spending before I get to the check out.
So, those are my secrets. Coupons, organization, ads and a list. Tomorrow we'll apply all that to actual shopping situations so you can see how it all works together.
See you back tomorrow!