By this point, you should already have a list of sale items you have matched with coupons. I suggest separating your list by store, and then by store layout (i.e. the route you normally take through the store).
As you shop, be sure to keep an eye out for brightly marked clearance stickers, coupon tearpads and peelies on product packaging. All these unknown variables will confront you as you are shopping. This is the point when you can seriously get derailed. Keep a pen, paper, and calculator handy while shopping so you can do the math to check and see if new discounts are better than what you have planned.
The more detailed your shopping list is prior to reaching the store, the easier it will be to move through the unknown and tantalizing opportunities. I strongly suggest that you figure out product costs down to the ounce, or individual serving and circle that number on your shopping list. That way, when you discover the price per ounce or serving on unplanned specials, you’ll be able to make a quick decision on which is better for your budget. Not having these numbers hashed out before shopping will invariably cost you more at the register and significantly lengthen your trip.
Unlike the TV shows about huge couponing hauls, I do not like to make huge trips to the store. It takes me too long and there are too many opportunities for mistakes. I prefer to shop for a few items at a time, making sure the scenario will be most beneficial to me in the long run (i.e. EB’s, RR’s, or store discounts will roll together correctly). This works for me, but it may not work for you. Figure out what shopping scenarios you can do successfully and stick with that!
Once you are done shopping your list, it’s time to hit the registers!