So I used to be a high end couponer. Used to be is the optimum word. I wasn't one of those extreme couponers who bought things to make money or stockpiled toilet paper for three years. But I did use a lot of coupons. I didn't buy anything at the grocery store unless it was on sale or I had a coupon and preferably it had to be both. It worked well for a while, but it was a lot of work. A couple of hours on the weekends just to print out sales, ads, and clip coupons.
The kids are older now and all three are in sports or music/drama. We have lots of sports on the weekends. I have gotten complacent and thought that as long as I stay in my grocery budget every week, then it was ok that I wasn't doing a lot of coupons.
Last week I went to the grocery store almost every day. At least five times. I didn't go over my budget, shocking as that was to me since I wasn't keeping track as I went along, but it was annoying to say the least. I would get ready to make something and be out of eggs or mayo. I knew it was time to make a menu and plan a list.
Well, fast forward to this weekend's "big" grocery shopping trip. I made a list, clipped a few coupons and headed to the grocery store. But I didn't take cash. I had a $120 budget. I started with produce, but I kept going back down the rows to get more stuff. My cart got fuller and fuller and I knew that I had gone over budget. But we didn't have much to eat at home. The biggest problem I had was that it was 1pm and I hadn't eaten. I ended up buying four or more different things I wanted to eat for lunch. Once I unloaded the groceries, I realized that I had leftovers in the frig to eat! Now I had too much food! The bill came to $210, ouch!
I learned two valuable lessons:
Eat before you go and take CASH!