I admit it: I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl, and I like to make lists—handwritten lists. Sure, I have access to digital technology at my fingertips, but there’s something about writing a list that helps me solidify a deal. Using the KCL website, I’m able to see exactly how a deal works. I write key pieces of information down, clip the applicable coupons for the product to my list, and clip the list to the sales paper. It’s a system that I’ve used for three years now, and even though I sometimes use my iPhone for notes, I’ve found it’s still not as efficient as my handwritten list. If you feel the same way about making lists, here are some tips to help with accuracy, organization, and shopping time!

1. Item size

How many times have you picked up the wrong size? I’ve definitely done this more than once. Now I include the size of the item that’s on sale and make sure that it corresponds to the coupon I’m using. If I grab the wrong bottle, the coupon won’t scan. If the coupon doesn’t scan, I’ve wasted my time.

2. Expiration date

I’ve planned to use a coupon during a sales week and ended up waiting until later in the week to complete the deal, only to find out that the coupon had expired. To avoid this, note the coupon’s expiration on your shopping list.

3. Proposed item price

Remember, sales are regional. The price on KCL may not be the exact price at your local store. I list the KCL price so I have a reference point. I may pay a little more or a little less—either way, it’s typically a great savings!

4. Additional savings

It’s easy to forget electronic cash back offers, so I always make sure to list the apps I need for additional savings on a particular item. For example, last week I took advantage of a pineapple juice deal that involved a manufacturer coupon as well as a Checkout 51 offer. The deal wouldn’t have been complete without the Checkout 51 offer, so listing it alongside the item was crucial for me.

5. Sales dates

List sales dates for the same reasons you list expiration dates—so you don’t miss the deal! Walgreens frequently has specific deals for the first three days of the week. I note this on my list because it creates urgency and reminds me to take advantage of the deal at the appropriate time.

6. Catalinas

I was recently at Rite Aid and completed a deal that should have generated a Catalina. However, the Catalina didn’t print because that particular location didn’t have a Catalina machine. I had the cashier return the item and went to another Rite Aid instead. Make note of preferred store locations to save time and to ensure Catalina prints.

7. Additional details

The location of the item in the store, whether you have enough coupons to do the deal twice, and filler items are just a few other details you may want to consider listing. Basically, list details that will save you time. I love being able to walk right in and get the items on my list—especially if I’m in a hurry.