In general, wherever I go, my children come with me. Except of course when I'm on a hot date with my husband or sipping wine with girfriends. But usually, I never leave home without them. At least not on purpose.
Since my journey into Coupon Country began, I've learned that there are 2 more things that must also come with me. I call them my 3rd and 4th children. Why? Well, it's just easier to get in the car and start counting "kids." Then I know I have everything I'm supposed to have. So who (what) are my 2 other children?
Meet my iPod touch.
My particular iPod has a bright pink protective case which is very useful considering Child 1 and Child 2 are actual human beings and have a tendency to play with my beloved iPod touch. The iPod is a great list maker for me. I have a list of Price Comparison which tells me what items cost at each store. This is not an app. you can buy from iTunes. I was just that organized for once and diligently wrote (finger tapped) in the prices for each item as I visited different stores.
This comes in handy especially when using coupons. I can check the final price after coupons with the actual price if I were to buy the same item at Aldi. I swish my finger across the screen to the Price Comparisons list and find what the item costs at Aldi. If it's cheaper there, I put the coupon back in my folder, and keep it on the grocery list (which I also have on my iPod touch.)
Now meet Child #4:
I'm kicking myself for not getting mine from Amazon as this expandable is by far superior to mine (I bought my boring gray expandable at Wal-Mart for about $7). It even has fun colors to choose from!
Depending on your mind's organizational system, this really might be a must-have as you begin your coupon journey. My attempt at using coupons in the grocery store saw me with a fist full of coupons, and a desperate look on my face as I repeatedly flipped through the stack looking for that one coupon I thought I had in there somewhere. Once I got an organization system, the desperate look subsided. (Until the time came to pay of course.)
Well now you know my main recomendations for keeping sane in the grocery store while trying to use coupons. I really do mean it when I say I don't leave home without them. In fact, last week we celebrated our 6th anniversary and I had to force myself to leave the expandable at home. We were using a coupon for our dinner, but I had a cute purse that would have looked seriously bloated had I brought Child #4 along. I finally just decided to take the restaurant coupon out and let my husband keep it in his wallet. I looked young, hip and not a tish over the age of Coupon Crazy!