Ann Haney: Planning eliminates stressful shopping

Ann Haney • Updated May 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM

This week, we are going to go one step further to kick off your savings in an amazing way. One comment I hear over and over at my workshops is “I just don’t know where to begin.” 

It is usually not that people don’t see the benefits of couponing, rather they don’t know how to kick those benefits into a reality in their own lives. 

“Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel,” Proverbs 24:6.

We understand that to win and be successful, we must have a “strategic plan,” and to have a strategic plan, we must acquire “good counsel.” 

How do we acquire good counsel? Read up on couponing tips, timesaving techniques and learn what is acceptable couponing behavior. By this I mean, ask yourself if the action is one you would want someone to use on you, if you owned the store. Search the internet to see what couponers, stores and manufacturers are saying about couponing. Also, use trustworthy websites to find the best deals available. 

Don’t limit your savings to food items. Include clothing-item deals. Time2saveworkshops.com will help you find the latest on all the deals with their “retail roundup.” Another good place to pick up coupon codes for miscellaneous items is retailmenot.com. Always listen to what successful people say about using money wisely. Take in the counsel then plan your strategy. 

“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourselves in the field, and after that build your house,” Proverbs 24:27.

Preparing your work outside requires gaining counsel and knowledge about couponing, before diving in. Once you have done this, it is time to get ready by preparing your strategy. 

Your strategy should consist of: 

• Goal: What are you planning to achieve through couponing? Reduced debt, more food, building a savings, helping the needy, etc. Once you determine this, you have created a goal for which to strive.

• Budget: Next, you will need to determine what it will take to meet your goal. For example, helping the needy. Determine a set amount you would like to give towards this ministry. Why is this important? We can give beyond our budget thus creating lack in our own households. Even a truckload of great deals can add to excessive spending. All the deals don’t usually fall in one week. You will get more for less if you space this out. If you determine to give $80 a month, divide the weekly amount in fourths to stay within your fixed budget. 

Plan short-term goals, as well as long-term goals. Short term – what do I want to accomplish this month? This could be pay off a doctor bill, put back $100 in savings, etc. Long term – what do I want to accomplish by the end of this year? Pay off a small loan, take a family vacation, have a $1,000 emergency fund.

• Organization: What will it take to set your plan in action? You will need to prepare your coupon organization system in a manner that is convenient and time efficient to meet your specific needs. A binder system is the most efficient way to organize your coupons. 

Next, you will need to prepare a space to house your bargains – shelving, freezer, etc. Don’t wait until you load up. Advance preparation is a form of preparing for your harvest.

• Building your house: I want to give you some basic steps to plan your shopping trip without creating stress. A builder who has all his tools in one place before starting will find his task quicker and easier to accomplish. 

Here are your steps to success: 

• Keep a running needs list: Transfer this to your shopping list every week, marking it off the posted list once you have purchased it. Keep a magnetic pad on fridge for posting needs.

• Check the adds or internet websites to see if any items on your needs list are on sale at the stores where you plan to shop: Match any coupons you might have to these needed items.

• List items that are low cost stockpile items or that you want to add to your stockpile for which you have coupons: Determine how many you will need to add. 

• Place your coupons in your expandable pouch: Keep all coupons in pouch behind the store you will shop at; this way, all your shopping strategy is in one place and ready for the trip.

• Tally up the total cost: You should be within a couple of dollars. This is important because many times things will scan incorrectly and we could be paying more than we should have to. It is policy of Kroger and Publix to give you one of the items that scanned wrong for free.

• Plan your trip: Remember the closer to the times the ad is first released, the better chance you have of finding an in-stock item. 

• Bring home the bargains: Add to your inventory, making sure to put the items that have a longer expiration date to the back.

Every week, I take a look at the ads that appear in the Sunday paper, circling the items I know to be good deals for which I know I have a coupon. If the item is a buy one, get one free deal, I jot down the half price of what is said the value is. This is what you will be paying for each at the grocery stores on the ad beside the item. If it is a drug store buy one, get one free, I will use the internet websites to find out the prices of these items.

Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Ann Haney Ministry’s vision helps women know the root of their challenge and deliver them from the death grip it holds on their life by surfacing their inner beauty and confidence, helping young people discover their God-given purpose and pursue it with passion, helping men and women learn to use the resources available to them to overcome their circumstances and helping those recovering from life’s choices and challenges receive second chances without condemnation. Contact Ann at [email protected] to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.

Recommended for You

    Lebanon Democrat Videos