Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tentative List Making

Hi. I obviously suck at posting deals lately. I want you to know, though, it's not that I haven't thought about it. I just haven't had time. But I do want you to know I {usually} have a tentative grocery/deal list in mind each week. It just might not get carried out. And if it does get carried out, I might not have time to post a picture and list the prices/coupon match-ups. And if I do actually get a chance to post a picture and the match-ups, it's like the day before the ad/sale ends and nobody would have time to benefit from it anyway. Ugh!

So, I've been thinking... Maybe it would help (someone???) if I just posted my tentative list when I actually get it made. I'll feel somewhat organized and better about myself, and you might actually get to snatch up one of the deals before the end of the sale.

First, let me tell you about how I do my list...

Typically, I flip through the ads and circle the items I know I need for that week. Note, items I need. (See my post about "The List"). Then, I circle the items we may not necessarily need now, but will definately use in the future if it is at the lowest known sale price. Why buy it if I don't need it right now, especially if it is at regular price!? But, if I know I'm going to need it, and it's at the lowest sale price now, then why not stock up?

So I've got the items I need, and the items that are cheap... then I go through my favorite coupon blogs and peek at their deal match-ups for the stores I shop at. I usually just copy & paste the items I need and the items that are super cheap into a new message in my email. I make a list for each store to prevent it from becoming overwhelming.

Sometimes I know there is a coupon out there that they haven't listed as a match-up, so then I'll head over to the coupon database (usually at or and search for the item. Sometimes I find it, sometimes I don't. If I don't, but I still think there's one out there, then I'll flip through my coupon binder and see if I can find it. If I find it, I add it to my list so I don't forget to use it when I am at the store.

So at this point I have things circled in the ads, and blog match-ups copy & pasted into my email. Usually there are some items overlapping. At this point I just skim back through my email list and add any items I have circled in the ads that are missing. (For example, say Kroger has apples on sale, and I didn't have it copy & pasted from a blog into my email, but I had them circled because we needed it, then I would add it to my email list so I don't forget it when I am at that store.) I prefer to have everything for each store on one list (rather than an email list of blog match-ups & the actual ad with circled items).

Clear as mud right?

Then, once I have all my email lists, I can start shopping. I go back through my emails and print the coupons I need to print. I flip through my binder and pull out the other coupons I need. I can either go to each store individually, OR... if I don't have time or it's not convenient to stop at each store, I can go to Walmart and price-match. (Remember, they don't require that you have the actual ad with you!) I have a smart phone and it is really easy to pull up each list from my email as I am checking out and tell them which items I'm price matching from which store. No paper/ink wastage, or fumbling/losing lists. All I need is my phone and my coupons.

I also like having the list saved in my email for occassional stops on-the-go. Sometimes we make an unexpected trip to Walmart. Since I loath the place, I really don't want to have to go back unless I have to, and since we are already there I might as well try to make it worthwhile. While we are there I can just pull up my list on my phone and grab the things I need. Notice I said need. For example, if I know we need milk, as in there is only a drop left in the jug at home, then we need it and I'll pick it up/price match it. If we need butter, but not for a few days, and it's cheaper at Kroger because of their sale and it's 2 blocks from our house and I planned to stop there for a few other things anyway tomorrow or the next day...then the butter can wait. The sooner you can get out of Walmart, the better! ; )

So there you have it. My tentative list-making schpeal. It sounds way more complicated and time consuming than it really is. But I hope it helps you to understand why I have the things I have on my tentative grocery lists!


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