Coupon Mom’s Strategic Shopping Tips

Founder of and author of “The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half” Stephanie Nelson joined Katie and SNAP Challenger Newark Mayor Cory Booker on the show to share tips on the best ways to budget for your family at the grocery store. Below are some bonus tips to take to the bank!

“Strategic Shopping”

“Strategic Shopping” is not about changing the way you eat, it is about changing the way you buy the food that you like. Learn how your store’s savings policies work and combine them with coupons for big savings. For example, if your store has an item “buy one, get one free” you will probably be able to use two coupons to save the most.

Change Your Shopping Mentality

Instead of buying your items when you run out of an item, watch for bargain prices on your items and buy them when they are on sale.

Plan Your List

Plan your list by finding out what your store’s best deals are before you leave home. Find your store’s Best Deals list or use your store ad to plan your menus and list before you leave home.

Get the Store Discount Card

Not only do you get the sale prices automatically, but you may be mailed good coupons to your home that match the types of items you buy.


Learn to be patient. Wait until the the item is on sale before using its coupon.

Double Up!

Shop at a store that doubles coupons, if available. If your store doesn’t double coupons, ask about other types of savings policies such as store coupons, price matching, competitor coupon policies.

Get the Most Coupons

Make sure you are getting the most coupons possible by checking various sources: Sunday newspaper (75% of grocery coupons come from the Sunday paper), printable coupons, electronic coupons, home mailers, checkout coupons, coupons from in-store kiosks, coupons mailed by manufacturers when requested.

Buy Multiple Copies of the Sunday Paper!

Buy more than one copy of the Sunday newspaper during weeks with coupons you use to be able to stock up on your key items when they are on sale. You can preview your newspaper’s coupons to see the upcoming coupons in the Coupon Database section of

Get Organized

Buy a coupon organizer to manage your loose coupons, such as an accordion-style checkbook sized organizer found at office supply or discount stores for $5 or less. To save time, use the “No Clip” system of saving and dating the entire coupon circular to save hours a month of clipping and filing. Learn how the “No Clip” system works here!

Ask for a Raincheck

Ask the store for a raincheck if the sale item is out of stock. You will be able to buy the item at the previous sale price in a future week when it is back in stock (and back to full price for the other shoppers without a raincheck).

Check the Store Flyer

Check the flyer to see if there are in-ad coupons available that week. In-ad coupons usually do not show up on the store’s website circular so be sure to check the ad when you get to the store.

Join the Conversation!