Let’s go back to the grocery store, but this time we’ll take coupons!

Last Monday I shared my secret tool for making grocery shopping easier: my list according to aisle, etc. You can go grab it if you haven’t yet.
Today I thought I’d share my tools for saving money with groceries.

coupons
When you have FM/CFS don’t have the time or energy to clip a ton of coupons and get them all nice and neat in a huge organizer.

To make it easier, but still save money; simply take the packet of coupons when you receive them and write the date on the top of the front page. Packets come from smartsource and red plum. Scan through the coupons to see when they expire and write the expiration date that is the furthest away on the front of the packet. You can then keep these packets in a pile or use a binder with page protector sheets and slide them in there until needed.

Now the good part! If you haven’t heard of the website www.couponmom.com, you really need to check it out. It’s free!  Here’s how it works; you click on the grocery store that you normally shop at and they’ve already compiled a list of the sale items and the coupons that correspond with the sale. The site tells you the coupon packet where you’ll find your needed coupon. There is a good introduction video on the site that gives you the low down

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So now you have your list and you have your corresponding coupon book and now you just cut the coupons you need. Periodically go through your binder or pile (whichever you decided to use) and once you get to the expiration date that was written on the front of the coupon packet you simply throw the packet away.

No huge binder to carry to the store. No clipping coupons you’ll never use.

It saves a lot of time and work!

I also use an app called CouponKeeper. It uses your phone to scan the barcode on the coupon and then stores it. If you’re in need of something that isn’t for sale or listed at couponmom you can look it up on this app and it will tell you which coupon packet has a coupon for your needed item. It stores the coupons with the information of the packet the same way couponmom does. It lists if the packet is smartsource or red plum and what date you received the coupon in the mail.

So there you have it! A very simple way to save some money!

Stay Well! ~ Live Joyfully!

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Let’s Go Grocery Shopping!

Come on! Let’s go grocery shopping together!
Believe it or not – that phrase no longer blankets me with dreadful anticipation.
I mentioned how my husband came up with the acronym P.A.C.E. (Prioritize Activities to Conserve Energy). I decided it was time to conserve some energy in one of my most required, but hated, chores. Grocery Shopping.

Photo Credit: TheeErin via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: TheeErin via Compfight cc

It’s one of those necessary evils; but to someone with FM/CFS it can seem like an insurmountable challenge. By the time you’ve gathered your thoughts, decided what you want or need to buy, made a list, and cut any coupons, you’re way too tired to go to the store. Then once you get there you have to keep scanning your chicken scratch of a list that isn’t in any sort of order. The noise and activity happening around you can send your thoughts spinning; making you forget the two things you didn’t write down because you just knew you’d remember them.
I’ve tried different things throughout the past few years; switching up the routine by planning one day shopping the next. I’ve even purchased the preprinted shopping lists, but they didn’t have all the things I like to keep on hand.
I finally decided to break the whole food gathering process down into parts and see how I could make this reoccurring nightmare a bit easier.
A few weeks ago I made a spread sheet on excel; listing the items we purchase most often under the aisle number I believed they were in at the grocery store. Each time I went to the store I’d revise my list. I moved items around until I had them all under the right aisle. Then I arranged the list in the order I walk through the store. I normally start at the back in the dairy department and end the trip with produce in the front.
I printed a stack of these lists and have them hanging on a clipboard in my pantry. It works great when I’m in the haze of fibro fog; serving as an easy check off guide for things we need. I take the list, scan the pantry and check off anything needed there; then the bathroom supplies, laundry supplies and kitchen supplies. It takes the memory work out of the process on the days when my brain has decided to take a vacation.
I have a small coupon organizer that’s also arranged by aisle number. That way I can just grab the few coupons for that aisle as I walk down. (Next week I’ll share my easy couponing method.)
There are items on this list that assure we can make a few quick meals on days I have no energy or time. Things like spaghetti, grilled cheese, chicken stir fry, soups, etc.; also a number of spaces to add things that might be on sale that week or we need for a special meal.
I’m sharing this spread sheet with you because it’s helped me so much. Grab it and change it up to match your store and the items you like to have on hand! I hope it takes some stress off your shoulders as you handle your shopping!

Here it is!  shopping list
What are your shopping secrets? I’d love to hear them. Sharing our best ideas with each other is what helps our FM/CFS community grow stronger and lead our best lives possible!
Stay Well ~ Live Joyfully