Extreme Couponing Strategy #17 – Shop Early
This next tip might seem very, very obvious but it can also prove to be one of the most frustrating aspects of extreme couponing if you’re not following it. Shopping Early is KEY to finding great deals. I posted about how to use Ad Previews to keep up with upcoming sales but there is also another very important aspect to knowing what’s going to be on sale before the sale starts, Shopping Early!
If you know what sales are coming up and you have your coupons ready to go before the best deals start then you can plan accordingly and be ready to hit the stores as early during the sale as you can. This is especially important if you live in an area with a lot of people and only a few stores.
One of the most common frustrations I hear from new coupon users is that the deals are sold out when they get to the store. We do our best to alert you to Deals Before they Start or as soon as we find out about them, It’s important to pay attention to the previews or deals we post before the sales start because it gives you an upper hand as far as timing the deals. If you know a deal is going to be a hot item then you may want to shop early in order to make sure you get what you need. Nothing is more frustrating than showing up to the store to find empty shelves after you’ve spent time out of your day to head to the store.
Another great aspect of knowing the Ad Previews is that SOME stores will actually start the sales early. Typically this is only Drugstores, some Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid Stores will start their prices for the following week on Saturday Night. In my area it’s about 8pm, in other areas I’ve heard of it being as early as 6pm Saturday Night when the stores change over.
If you have coupons expiring on Saturday this is a great time to use them on the following week’s sales. You can also often stack rewards from one week (Since rewards don’t change till Sunday) With prices from the following weeks. While I admit this is some what rare, this deal on chips a few months ago was a great example of stacking two weeks worth of deals by shopping the sales early.
Basically what happened is One Sale ending on Saturday had chips on Sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free + The Sale for the following week which started early on Saturday Night had Chips for $1.99. Both Sales combined on Saturday Night for a great stock up price on chips just before the Super Bowl.
Buy 2 Doritos or Tostitos products, $1.99
B1G1 Free Sale
$1 each after sales with NO Coupons needed!
Price adjustments are also another great way to save early. You will want to check with your local store’s policy on price adjustments but some stores allow you to get an adjustment up to 14 days after your purchase. If you know you are not going to be able to make it to the store on the first day of the sale you can purchase the item early, then go back later in the week for a price adjustment. This is also a great strategy during back to school and Black Friday holiday shopping when items can sell out quick. This also typically works well at Retail and clothing stores like Best Buy, Toys R Us, Old Navy and others. Just remember it’s important to Check the Price Adjustment Policy at each store before you purchase!
One important tip I wanted to mention, Don’t forget about Rain checks. If you get to the store and they are out of the product you wanted be sure to ask for a rain check. Most stores will give you a rain check that lasts for a few weeks after the sale ends and since most coupons have at least a one month expiration you will have time to grab the deal after the store restocks.
Don’t Forget: You can Download the Stockpiling Price Sheet to see all of the estimated prices you could expect to pay for the basic items we buy each month. There is also a place to compare unit pricing. This is just a guide, but a great way to help you learn the prices of each item.
Tomorrow we will be talking about another strategy for getting the most out of your coupons!
View all the posts in the Extreme Couponing Strategies series.