Thursday morning is the time to go to the grocery store. It isn’t so busy, and everyone seems to be happy, smiling, and chatty. I made it through my shopping this this morning in record time, and Max hardly fussed when the bagger tried to push the cart. My grocery store exploits are well documented. (If you missed it, check out here, here, and here.) And I don’t want to brag, but I think I have the hang of this coupon/sale shopping thing. So I left Publix smiling today, but not just because of the smooth trip or because I saved a bundle. Instead, I was smiling because of all the food I was able to donate to the Lowcountry Food Bank through Publix’s Spring Food Drive. I donated any non-perishables I could purchase buy-one-get-one or at super discount because of sales or coupons. And by the end of my shopping trip, I had quite a haul of products to give, including several items on the Food Bank’s most needed list: peanut butter, oatmeal, canned tuna.
In The Next 30 DaysA 30-Day Challenge Closer to Brighter, Shinier, & Happier.
Happy Leap Day! Celebration is in order for a day that only comes along once every four years. How is this not a national holiday?
Couponing this month has changed my outlook on grocery shopping. I can hardly believe it. But maybe I should rephrase: Shopping the sales and having a plan has changed my outlook on grocery shopping. Here’s what I’ve learned
- Sales are more important than coupons. This is the baseline for my success this month. I haven’t saved money with coupons. I’ve saved money with knowing what’s on sale and buying it.
- Plan ahead. This goes hand-in-hand with knowing what’s on sale because I now plan our dinners around the sales. That’s the only way to save the money.
- Coupons are a bonus. This is how I’m thinking about them, the extra credit of grocery shopping. If you can double up coupons and sales then you’re really scoring high.
- Organization is key. And I haven’t mastered this, but I think that organization makes the couponing/sale shopping process so much easier. There are so many little details to mess up or lose track of, keeping everything organized, how ever works for you, is a time saver, which is a money saver in the long run.
I’m going to keep this challenge up. There’s an instant reward, so it’s kind of an easy habit to get into. What do you think? Have you learned anything new this month?
This coupon project is not exempt to my organizationally scattered approach to life. (And yes, I realize scattered might be the word for the month.) This method isn’t something I’m proud of, but I am learning that I tend to over organize. I have four calendars (at least) that I update, and I like to keep lists on top of lists.
So how am I organizing my coupons? This blue folder lives in a drawer and is dedicated to holding coupons. It’s holds the Smart Sources and Red Plums from the Sunday newspaper all dated and ordered. There’s space inside for store coupons and restaurant coupons and random newspaper inserts. But this is where my organization ends. There are several piles on my kitchen counter of coupons that have been printed from the Internet or clipped from products that kind of float from printer to counter to buffet and back again. (Strangely, these are mostly for cereal.) And there are coupons pinned to what has become my grocery store clipboard just waiting to be used. This hangs behind one of my calendars, the family calendar, and above my dinner plan lists. (I told you.)
How do you keep all the different coupons organized so you know what you have and use what you want and save all you can?
I’ve read some on this subject this month, and it has just lead me to believe that the real, hard-core couponers rely on monster-sized binders and Tupperware boxes that they lug to store after store. (Really?) Sometimes they put their coupon collections in the cart like extra babies. This is not an option for me; I have enough baby to take store to store.
There just has to be an easier way, right?