First off TAKE A QUARTER! You will need a quarter to get a cart (you'll get it back when you return it). You will also need to bring your own bags. At Aldi I buy my canned goods, frozen chicken breasts, some fruit, shredded cheeses, eggs, chips, granola bars, bread, and condiments. I have found that prices on these particular items are far less than regular grocery stores, and taste about the same too. With these items I leave paying about $25.
Before I even make a trip to Walmart, I first go through all the competitor ads. In our area, circular ads are mailed out every Tuesday. I make a list in a small spiral notebook, by store, of the item on sale, quantity, size, and price. Then if I have coupons to match those items I pull them out of my coupon binder and paper clip them to my list. Then in my same spiral, I make a separate list of all the items I need. Here is an example:
Competitor Ads List:
Washington Apples .79/lb
Jimmy Dean 1lb roll 1.99
Peter Pan PB 16.3 oz 1.39
Bone-In Pork Chops 1.29/lb
Bakery French Bread .99
Dawn Dish Detergent .75
I have my list coded so I know when something is a competitor ad (CA), and when I have a coupon for something (C). Obviously, you save the most $ when you have coupons and a competitor ad.
When you are checking out at Walmart, they generally do not make you show the ad if you have them in your hands, but be prepared to. On occassion, they have asked. It will save you time and a lot of stress if you separate what's a competitor ad and what's not. I usually put mine on the belt last with one of those separator thingies. Tell the cashier you have a competitor ad for those items. As they are ringing it up, you can reference your Competitor Ad List to inform them of the new price. After everything has been rung up, hand over your coupons, and be amazed at your savings!
Target will also do competitor ads like Walmart, but you have to go to Customer Service to have them make the changes to your ticket. Here, you MUST show the item in the ad. A little more of a hassle, but worth it IF you have the following...
- a Competitor Ad sale price
- a manufacturer's coupon
- a Target coupon
Here is where you save the most $$$. Target allows you to use one of their store coupons (found at SuperTarget.com, with a manufacturer's coupon. For example, I went to buy some Cheez-Its one time. Well, Food Pyramid had them on sale for $2/box. I had a $1 off Target coupon, and a $0.75 off manufacturer's coupon. So I left there paying $0.25/box. Great savings, because Cheez-Its are about $3/box.
Hopefully this helps you a little. Please feel free to post any questions, and I will try to answer them as best I can. I am by no means an expert at this, but I have learned how to shave down our bill. I strongly suggest you check out moneysavingmom.com and coupongal.net for lessons in Ultimate Couponing!