I try very hard not to shop with my children. Can we buy this mom? I need a recorder where I can push a button that says, No, it is not on our list. Oh, the horror stories I could tell you about my children and shopping. Once, while shopping with my two youngest children, my then three-year-old threw a horrendous fit in the chip aisle. Why? Because I wouldn’t buy cheese puffs. He called me a dummy and threw himself to the floor while everyone stared at me. Oh, what a fun memory! Sometimes people give you dirty looks, looks of pity or even one time, a lady told me, “You go girl” because I refused to give in while he threw his fit. Anyway ...
Sometimes I will leave around 8 p.m. to go shopping and leave the kids at home with my husband. I also try to shop on my lunch break or before I pick up my kids from daycare. If you are a stay-at-home mom, this may be more difficult. While you are getting comfortable couponing, I would suggest trying to schedule when someone else can care for your child. Whether that be after your spouse gets home from work, joining a MOPS group, or child care swap with a friend.
If you can’t schedule a time when someone else can watch your child, I do have some suggestions. (I’m not saying any of these will be the miracle for you but they might help a little!)
- Fill their bellies. Bring a small snack or toy for your child.
- Enlist their help. If your child is older, enlist their help while you shop. Give them a coupon while near the item and ask them to find it or let them pick out the variety (if you don’t have a preference).
- Small trips. Don’t try to be too ambitious and make smaller trips. Try to keep your total time around thirty minutes.
- Schedule at the right time for your child. Go early in the morning when your child is “fresh” or after naptime. You know your child; schedule it around them for your own sanity.
- Let them know your expectations. Let them know what you expect of them in the store. Sometimes this helps.
I would also suggest doing more of your leg work before going to the store.
This is my “before shopping” routine:
- Use my “printer friendly” version of my deal page.
- Look through the pages and mark out the items I know I don’t want/need.
- Search for the coupons by insert and then clip the coupons of the items I’m interested in.
- Write the number of items I want of each item by the item, check off the coupon to use as I find them so I know they are clipped.
- I then organize my coupons by aisle. I paper clip the multiple coupons together and then put the list and the coupons in an envelope.
- As I am shopping, I gather the items I want to purchase. As I am doing this, I find my coupons and place them in a separate envelope so I will be ready for checkout.
- I do a quick double check of my coupons as I’m standing in line just to make sure I didn’t miss any coupons.
I use a small coupon “wallet” while shopping. I leave my purse in the car and put cash or my credit/debit card, loyalty cards, gift cards in the outside pocket. I have extra coupons in different sections in my coupon wallet in case I find something that isn’t on my list that I need, unadvertised sale, or clearance.
As you get more comfortable with using your coupons, you will find it a little easier to shop with your children with your coupons. Good luck to you.
Readers, do you shop with children? Any funny or horror stories to share?