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Friday, July 16, 2010

Do You Use Grocery Smarts?

One of the most helpful tools I've discovered over the past 18 months of couponing is the Grocery Smarts website.  Have you heard of it?  Chances are, if you are already an avid money-saver, you use Grocery Smarts lists on a regular basis to plan your shopping trips.  If you're new to all this coupon stuff, then you may not be as familiar.  Either way, you can use Grocery Smarts free of charge to make your shopping trips as economical as possible.  Let me use my plan for the week to show you how it works:

1.  Decide on a store to check out.  This week the winner is definitely Smith's!  So we can view the Smith's grocery list this week here
2.  Once you're on the list, notice the buttons near the top right side.  Click on "Start".  This will cause the whole page to become gray.
3.  Now click on the star above "Stock Up Star" in the left column.  This will highlight all of the 4 and 5-star offers for the week.  These are the ones you really want to pay attention to, as they are the best deals. 
4.  Scroll through the list and remove any items you don't want on your list by clicking on them to turn them gray again. 
5.  Once you've completed step four, go back up to the top and click on "Shrink" beside the "Start" button.  This will shrink your list to just include the items you wanted.
6.  Choose "Print" to make a tangible copy of your list.

Once I have my list printed, I'm ready to review my shopping strategy.  Make sure to keep your computer-based list on the screen while you decide if there are any online printable coupons you need to get.  You'll notice that all available coupons are listed right next to the sale item, including links for online coupons.  Review the list again, and print off any printable coupons that you don't have.  Other available coupons from newspaper inserts and other sources may be listed as well, and you can choose the ones you have to pair with the sale.

With list and coupons, you're ready to go shopping!  I jot notes on my list and work up several scenarios just in case something is out of stock.

Choose several of the best deals to stock up on.  This will save you a lot of money over the long term.  Each week I try to add a few stockpile items.  Thanks to this strategy, we now have laundry soap, toothbrushes, paste, tp, tissues, dish soap and many other items stored to last us for six months or more.  That means I don't have to buy them at full price because we ran out!  Give it a try--I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised at the savings!

Any questions about Grocery Smarts?  Just ask! 

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