One question we frequently receive from readers is “Do I have to shop at a whole bunch of stores to be a krazy couponer?” Yes, you probably will have to shop at more than one store to score tons of cheap and free products and build a stockpile, but it’s not as time consuming and difficult as you think! Even if you have a busy schedule, there are ways to make it work. Here are six tips to help you!

1. Be prepared

Plan out your shopping trips ahead of time. Compiling a list and gathering the applicable coupons you’ll need will save you time by avoiding those lengthy strolls up and down every aisle. Also consider finding or creating a store layout to speed things up.

2. Map the route

You can take the route that will be the fastest and most fuel efficient. Go to several stores back to back, or stop by a specific store to or from running an errand.

3. Just the deals

When you’re just shopping the hot deals of the week (and picking up a few basics like milk, eggs and bread), you spend less time in the store. No more huge two-hour excursions every week at one store! Simply hop in to one store prepared, and be in the checkout line in 10 minutes!

4. Stockpile, stockpile

When you have a stockpile, you actually save time! Stockpiles mean no more running to the store every afternoon for that last dinner ingredient. When products go on a rock-bottom sale, buy extras and store them for future use (and eliminate paying full retail price when you run out).

5. Store specialties

A big reason behind shopping multiple stores is to cash in on a variety of hot deals and promos. Each type of store will have its usual hot items. At drugstores you score cheap or free personal care items. Grocery stores tend to have the hottest deals on most food items. And convenience stores can have great prices on milk or eggs to lure you in. If you’re really pressed for time, consider price matching at Target or Walmart (click the links for their price matching policies).

6. Perspective

Remember that you do not have to cash in on every deal at every store! Not only will couponing and shopping start to take time out of family and other hobbies, you’ll be burnt out! Deals go in cycles, so if you don’t get it this time around, you can grab it next time. Pick a few stores to focus on and stick to those (one or two if you’re just starting out).