Coupons: Routine

I am a routine person, but even if you aren’t making a routine and a coupon TIME budget is a must or coupons can take over your life! My coupon TIME budget includes cutting out & organizing coupons while watching TV on Sunday (usually the football game) and then if I didn’t finish then I will do the same while I watch TV on Thursday nights! Before I go to the store, I plan on getting prepared the hour before I leave! Here is my routine:

1. inventory food and figure out how many meals I need ingredients for, I also look over my menu plan for the previous week and move any meals to the next week if we did not eat them

2. check the calendar and make sure there are not any special occasions that we would like to have special meals for (birthdays, anniversary, holidays, etc) and/or days where we are so busy we will have to get something to pick up (Freezer cooking comes in handy with this)

3. preview your stores sales add and see if they have any good deals on meat

4. plan meals (I plan for 2 weeks at a time because that’s how often my husband gets paid)

5. write down all ingredients you will need to prepare these meals that you do not already have

6. go to Money Saving Mom and look at the deals for Dillon’s

7. write down items that are good deals, I write down the sale price, the size of the item and the quantity I need in order to get the deal, and then I write down how much it will be after coupons , and off to the side how much it will cost all together

8. find all the coupons I will need for this trip and paperclip them to the back of my list

9. round up and figure out about how much money I will spend at this store (it’s a really good idea to have an idea in mind, that way if things are much higher than that’s a red flag that I or the store computer messed up)

10. go shopping, making sure I choose the correct items that are on sale and that the coupons will work with the item, as I am shopping, I pull the coupon out and put it at the back of the pile if I am going to use it, this way I know if I forgot something. If I get to the store and they are out of the item or I just decide that I don’t want it, I put the coupon back with my in the zipper pouch or pail to re-file when I organized my coupons the next time.

11. before checking out, I make sure that I have all the coupons that I need and that they are out and ready to hand to the cashier, then I get in line

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