Plan Shopping Trips and Prepare Menus
I was chatting with a couple of friends, who I have known for over 5 years, and the subject rolled around for the very first time to dinner plans and grocery shopping. We have shared recipes and cooked for each other numerous times, but we had never discussed how we actually accomplish these tasks before. We have spent the last 5 years discussing trivial things like religion, politics, homeschooling, and the fluctuating stock market and have never had a serious conversation about couponing! I was surprised to find that I have been hanging out with non-clippers. They were even more shocked to find that they have been in the company of an avid couponer, though they admitted that they had long suspected me of being a planner. When I asked them why they never used coupons they said they didn't have the time to clip, read the sale ads, and make lists. While I sympathize with the time shortage, I am firmly in the camp that doing a little advance planning saves not only money, but a lot of time. I thought I would give you a visual of my highly organized planning session:
I realize that this photo looks more like a before shot in the orgjunkie's surface/shelf organizing round up. However, this is how I carve out a little time (and space) to plan both my menu and my shopping trips, as well as clip coupons. While the boys gather their art supplies, I inventory the pantry and freezer. I make my meal plans based on what I have on hand and round that out with sale items from my local grocery stores. The boys draw while I plan, and since I am artistically challenged, I use the crayons to make my lists. I also clip the coupons that I print out from coupons.com (there is a link in my side bar) and comb the store ads looking for an opportunity to combine coupons with a store sale to save extra on my grocery bill. I am usually done with my tasks long before the boys are done with their projects. See the little hand? That is the reason I use crayons and kiddie scissors. My shopping list is usually in several different colors as Rew and I trade crayons back and forth.