This Thanksgiving I am challenging myself to find a coupon for every item I purchase for our holiday meal. So I'm planning ahead, and I'm starting now.

I happen to know on good authority that the two Sundays prior to Thanksgiving are stuffed with more coupons than usual. So be sure to pick up Sunday papers on Nov. 13 and 20 -- extras even -- if you want to capitalize on the savings. The money you save from the circulars alone will more than make up for the cost of the newspapers.

Save your coupons and pair them with sale items. Remember, you can use two coupons on buy-one-get-one-free items because you are purchasing two items. Also, grocery stores always have awesome sales right after Thanksgiving as well, so be sure to stock up, especially on staple items such as canned pumpkin, vegetables and frozen food. Your other holiday meals are right around the corner, and you will be ahead of the game.

To get started, decide what dishes you want to make and write a list of the ingredients you will need for each recipe. Check your cabinets and see what you already have so you don't waste money on things you have in stock.

Don't forget that you don't always have to follow recipes to a T. You can substitute for some pricey ingredients and your meal will taste just as good. For example, you can use chocolate chips or dried fruit in lieu of nuts, which can be expensive. If you need tips on what works as a substitution, check out www.recipetips.com or other cooking websites.

Clip your coupons and use websites like Southernsavers.com to help you pair the coupons you collect with store fliers. What I like best about this site is that owner Jenny Martin lists what dates and circulars the coupon is in, so as long as you write the date on the front of the flier, you don't actually have to clip them until you need them.

Freebies

Don't forget to check out the Savvy Shopper blog (www.postandcourier.com/savvyshopper) on a regular basis so you don't miss out. The Savvy bloggers post awesome sales and deals, and recently we posted lots of freebies on items like mascara, copy paper, diapers and movie rentals.

You also can follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/chs savvyshopper and Facebook at facebook.com/Charleston SavvyShopper for more tips.

Heads up: We will be unveiling a super secret promotion in a few weeks, so keep reading. I'll give you a hint -- start saving coupons now.

Reach Shannon Brigham at charlestonsavvyshopper@postandcourier.com.