|I wish this was my pantry!|
Y'all, I am starting to see the light! (although not in pantry organization- just yet...) And I just have to share a good thing!
In the beginning, Sunday would roll around and I would dread looking online, choosing the best deals CouponMom.com had organized, and then making my list... not to mention the shopping!
But after having done this now for 7 weeks, I am starting to see that all is well. It is working! Our grocery bill has been reduced by $400 a month! (I have not gotten one thing for free and I have not used more than 5 coupons per week). And we have MORE food and better meals NOW than when I was spending MORE! The reason? P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G
Additionally, my brain is actually remembering what good prices are for items. CouponMom said that would happen and she is correct!
Adam downloaded her book for me on his ipad so when Davis is not using it for Angry Birds I read a few chapters. Reading those chapters were JUST what I needed.
Here are the highlights:
#1 Make the number one goal to ONLY go to the store ONCE a week.
That is ONCE every SEVEN (not five) DAYS. This is probably a no-brainer for some people but for me I truly only "saw" and planned for Monday through Friday. I would forget about those cupcakes I need to bring to the kids' school or the appetizer I need to bring to the party. And while it's hard to believe, apparently those "quick trips" were adding up!
#2 If an item is a good price, buy at least 2 weeks worth.
#3 Post (in the kitchen) a list of dinners and healthy snacks kids can help themselves to.
This is great because, like adults, when kids read: YOGURT, FRESH FRUIT, POPCORN, HUMMUS W/ PRETZELS... they help themselves to a healthy snack and there really is no discussion or complaining. Similarly, when husbands can expect what will be the dinner for that night, there usually isn't any, "Hmmm do we have anything else?" at the last minute.
Those three suggestions really helped me.
So, in summary, here is what I do Sunday or Monday:
1. Log into CouponMom.com, pick my state, pick my grocery store. (for the first few months, I am sticking to one grocery store- trying to keep things simple until I get the hang of it)
2. Check the boxes of the items I think we will use* (sidenote: sometimes even though I click an item, I do not end up buying it. For example, I decide that we just don't need anymore crackers! Or I have the coupon but I see that the store brand is cheaper so I leave the coupon for someone who might want it)
3. Print out my selected items list.
4. On the same paper, I add other items I need in order of Produce/Meats/Dairy/etc.
5. Plan my week. Remember ALL 7 days of it- Ha! Look at your datebook. I save this step until now because I personally find it easier to start my planning AFTER seeing what is featured on sale. When I see that pork is on sale, I feel like having stuffed pork chops that week!
6. Make sure I have everything we need written down- don't forget household/toiletry items.
7. Go shopping!