Here is how I plan my Tops Dollar Doubler Shopping Trips and other combo transaction trips
I wanted to share how I prepare for a multiple transaction trips to Tops where there is a minimum spend needed or . This same method can be used for any store combo purchases or for Tops Dollar Doubler, Instant Savings combos or Gas Point Savings Combos.
Make Your Shopping List
Visit the Tops Coupon Matchups Page and use the printable list that we offer in our match-ups. Check off the items planning to buy and then print it. When you check an item a box comes up in the bottom right of your screen to show your list and print or email your list. By doing this you can have the items in front of you that are in Gas points boxes, combo transactions etc and mix and match your items to spend as litlle out of pocket as possible.
Pull Your Coupons
Then I pull my coupons from my dated file folders from newspaper inserts, cut them out or I print the ones I need and put them with the proper list. I also have a folder of printed coupons that I printed the previous week in atnticpation for the upcoming weeks sale.
Figuring Combo Transactions
Many stores have combo transactions such as Spend $30 get $10 off Catalina coupon, Tops has Gas Point combos where you need to buy 6, and of course the wonderful Dollar Doubler Weeks! Using the lists you printed will hel you figure these combinations out much easier. Dollar doubler weeks can get really confusing! Here are my goals on Dollar Doubler weeks
- combine transactions to have the least aomunt of cash paid at register (out of pocket)
- combine dollar doublers with Gas Point Box earnings to get the maximum savings (only 4 Dollar Doublers can be used per transaction of $20 minimum)
- shop early in the week to avoid empty shelves. Even then you may want to figure your combo transactions with a few extra items that yu have coupons for becuase some items sell out quickly. there is nothing more aggravating than putting these transactions together and then not being able to maximize your savings becuase one of the Gas Points items y were going to by is sold out
Even when it isn't $1 Doubler week, I still like to break out the transactions so I can watch to make sure I am getting the proper Gas points or Instant savings. You can use this method also at the drugstores when you do multiple or combo transactions using your ECBs, Plenti Points or Register rewards points
At Tops, I usually have one large transaction at the end which will also include the items I need for the week such as produce, meats and misc items with coupons.
I make any notes right on the list. In the picture below the transaction only had 3 Tops $1 doublers in it so I added 2 Dutch noodles and another $1 Doubler. I have items underlined in transaction that I am buying. If I have to adjust the scenario I put on the site then I underline items I am getting from the scenario and hand write the different item
Separate Transactions into Envelopes
Then I use the envelopes I save from bills etc (that would get thrown out) to put my coupons and list in. I staple the envelope right to the list (behind it). Then I do not have coupons falling all over and I can read my list right in my cart. If I have 5 transactions, I will usually do 3 in one trip, tke those to the car and then come back in and do the last 2. Its just easier than doing all 5 transactions in my opinion
Your Cart at the Store
I put the items in my cart by transaction as I am shopping so I am referring to my lists often which is why I put the coupons in an envelope. I use recyclable grocery bags right inside the cart to keep my transactions separate. There are some new Reusable Grocery bags here that will make this even an easier way to shop.! When I am done with a transaction, I put the envelope that is stapled to that list right into the bag.
When I am in the checkout line, it is easiest to put the smallest transactions first, use the dividers between each transaction, AND put your list with coupons right on the items. I put them between items so they do not fall over etc. This way you can have all ready and waiting for cashier. Also this method allows you to make sure you do not forget to give coupons to cashier!! It is very easy to get flustered in line with all going on. This also allows for you to get all on the conveyor so you can watch the cashier scan your coupons so none are missed.
Other things to keep in Mind
I keep my store loyalty cards all on my smartphone using Card Star– a free app and I always use a debit or credit card. So both are in my hand ready for next transaction. This avoids any fumbling for store card or money and allows you to look at your receipts to do a quick look over while still watching further transactions being scanned.
It may take me an hour to prepare for a multiple transaction trip but it is well worth it. The line moves much quicker, you will not feel flustered or unorganized and I actually had all in my cart and through checkout within 45 minutes.
I hope this helps! Some may think it is all too much but doing this saves me thousands of dollars per year. I would have spent an hour in the store shopping without a list or coupons. So for the extra 45 minutes it is well worth my time 🙂
There are many ways to coupon and by no means is this the only way people are doing it. This has just become habit for me and it is the least time consuming for me.
Adjust this method to be comfortable for you. We also had a reader share a downloadable spreadsheet so you can make your own lists. You can access Erins Dollar Doubler Spreadsheet here
Use this as a guideline: print our matchups, adjust items you need or want to stock up on your list (our Smartphone app by Favado list does have a spot to type in items you need also), pull or print your coupons and go the store to save!
How much easier can it be to save everyday?
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