How Do You Carry Your Coupons into the Store?
I told my girlfriend the other day that I was heading off to the grocery store to pick up multiple packs of boneless, chicken breast. It had hit its lowest price of the sales cycle – $1.99 a pound – and I mentioned this to her, urging her to go.
You see, she is going to be my Coupon Makeover Star, though she doesn’t know it yet.
When she marveled at the fact that I knew about this said sale on chicken breast, I pulled from my purse a plain, white envelope stuffed full of coupons, along with a hand printed two-page grocery list and my menu plan for the week.
She shook her head and said, “I have coupons in an envelope, but I usually forget them in my car.”
I never forget to take mine in, because I always create a list on a certain day, place accompanying coupons in the envelope with the list, and carry it in during my trip. I rarely make sporadic trips to the grocery store; my trips are planned, and before I shop, I hop onto a site like couponmom.com to see what else might be on sale that I can pick up when I’m there.
The thought of paying $3.99 per pound for chicken breast makes me want to spew my coffee all over my keyboard.
So does forgetting coupons in the car.
The conversation did bring up a great question: How do you carry your coupons?
I’ve gone into the store and seen people toting along a suitcase-sized binder full of savings. I envy them, only for the reason that they have the time and energy to dedicate to coupon savings. I simply don’t. I work, I have active kids and I enjoy spending evenings watching television or reading a book, not clipping and cutting and strategizing. I don’t mind that they do; it just doesn’t work for me.
Not only that, I could never be responsible for a binder that large AND a child who insists on either pushing the cart, pulling the cart, sitting in the area beneath the cart, getting a cookie, eating a cookie, saving a cookie, reaching for the highest box of cereal . . . well, if you’re a mom, you know exactly what I mean. Shopping trips do not equate to luxurious vacation time. I have to shop like a thief: get in and get out fast.
So I use a plain, white envelope. Cheap, and I can toss it away and grab a new one when needed. I put my list and coupons in one envelope, folded up. I take along another envelope, folded in half and inside of the first envelope. As I place products from my list in the cart, I find their accompanying coupon and transfer it from envelope one to envelope two. When I get to the checkout counter, all coupons I’m using for the trip are in the second envelope. I pull them out, go through all coupons once again to make sure I transferred over the ones I need and they are all in date, and then I hand them to the cashier.
The problem with this system? I don’t have extra coupons on hand. For instance, if Publix runs an unexpected sale on, say, All detergent, and I have an All coupon but didn’t know about the sale, that coupon is at home and I can’t use it. So I have to miss the savings. I don’t worry about this because I stockpile, but my system does have its drawbacks.
How do you carry your coupons into the store?