I have developed a sort of ritual when it comes to preparing for my grocery shopping. I find that it helps me stay organized while also making sure that I buy all of the items I need for the coming week.
I usually start on Thursday when I get the next weeks circular in the mail. I glance through and notice anything that pops out at me as a good deal. I also keep a list of stuff that I know I will need. This includes things like milk, bread, cold cuts, etc. I don’t put in too much work until Sunday.
Sunday morning I wake up, brew some coffee, grab my newspaper from the front step, and then I get down to business.
I dissect my newspaper and separate it into 3 piles; one pile to go through, one recyclable, and one for coupons. I start with my coupon inserts and glance through them. I then move on to the sale circulars I am interested in and usually go through the ad twice. The first time I circle anything that I know I need for the coming weeks dinners or that we are running low on and the second time, I circle things that I know that I have a coupon to match that will make it an even better price.
I make up a quick list with both the things I circled, as well as things that I need but weren’t in the ad. Then, I get to work matching coupons to the items on my list. I use the ShopRite website to look up any prices that I may not know of offhand so I can keep track of the general amount I am spending. I also look at another coupon-bloggers ad-comparison list to make sure I didn’t overlook anything good.(I use Cindy at Livingrichwithcoupons.com because she is pretty awesome and does a really good job!!) I tweak this list all the days leading up until Wednesday, that is my shopping day. I usually shop on Wednesdays because it is the first day of the 4 day price-break at my store. (They are special sale pries that are available only on those last 4 days of the sale week.)
This method has worked pretty well for me so far. I have enough time throughout the week to hunt for any coupons I may be missing as well add in any other deals that I may come across.