Before I found CVS I shopped at Walmart. Always low prices, price matched other store deals. Then, Walmart started to annoy me. There were always long lines or I had to use the self check out and continually have problems with it saying I didn't bag items. The employees did not seem to want me there. Walk in a publix an see the difference. I now shop at about 8 stores, getting the deep sale items at each with coupons and most of the stuff is really cheap or free or even a money maker. The problem is now how to get all my shopping done. It does take more time and gas. Is it worth it? Yes, if I can organize my trips and not drive out of the way or spend too long in each store.
I have mapped out a loop so that I can shop quickly. I like to shop on one day when the kids are at their home schooling classes. I drop them off and go to CVS, Walgreen, Staples, Publix, Southern Market which are all by the church then drop off cold stuff at the house, go to CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, and Dollar General Markets- which are all by my house, drop off cold stuff at the house, head to town to Target, Walmart, Sams, another CVS. I don't go to all the stores each time- only the ones with good deals. I keep a cooler in the trunk for cold items.
To go as fast as I can and stay organized, I have envelopes for each store. I go through the ads at home and make a list per store with the item, size, sales price, coupon amount and total cost. I put the coupons and list in the envelope for that store. I put all the envelopes in one of the outside pockets of my purse. I keep my CVS card, Kroger card, etc in the envelope. I keep all my other coupons in the car in a container, in case I find a deal that was not in the ad. Before you get to the check out go through your coupons and seperate the ones you are using from the ones that were not in stock or you are not buying.
When I have returns I put them in a bag and put by the garage door in the coat closet. I use different cars so I don't put them in the trunk. I have an envelope labeled Returns and I keep the receipt in there. If I put the receipt in the bag it gets lost.