A lot of people have been asking me how in the world I can do ALL of this and still be a wife and mom. The answer is: I pick and choose what I do. I don’t go to all of these stores every week. I post what the best deals are so that each of you can look and decide what will be most beneficial for your family that week. After seeing what deals there are, I pick which stores have the most items I need. Then, in between naps, meals, homeschooling, etc. I head to those stores.
How to do this with the KID factor:
It will be different for each of you, but I want to encourage you that you can do it. I have a newborn, a two year old, and a 10 year old. Before you think to yourself, well – she’s got a built in helper with her 10 year old, that’s how she can do it. While I love my eldest greatly, first, a lot of times (with all of her activities) she isn’t with me, and she’s a typical 10 year old – a bit scattered at times and extremely distracting. She’s a joy to be with, but not the most helpful when it comes to shopping – except for when she grabs the blinkie coupons at the stores :).
So, here’s my scenario: as soon as I finish my newborn’s morning nurse (which takes forever) I pack the kids up and head out with my 2 year old’s breakfast and drink in tow. The night before I have planned out exactly which stores I will be hitting and pulled my coupons that I will be using and put them into envelopes labeled with the store names. So, when I get out of the van I have the following things with me:
1. A list for that store of exactly what I will be getting – this is usually my blog post edited down for just exactly what my family will use and those things I can get for free (to donate) and things I can make money on.
2. The sales paper into each store with my list (actually, I typically forget this, but pick one up as I walk into the store – hey – I’ve got three kids! :)
3. My coupons in an envelope labeled with the store name.
4. My coupon book (that stays closed in the bottom of the stroller until the end when if the kids are cooperating and if I have time I look through the clearance items in the store to see if I can match up any coupons.
So, that’s how I do it. My sister who has three kids under three asked me to time how long I actually spend in each store. So, I did – on average, I spend 15-18 minutes in each store. This is obviously going to take longer at first because you have to learn the layout of the store and get used to it.
***Family is most important. There are weeks that I have had to take the week off from couponing to spend time with my kids. So, I balance this with my desire to live a frugal lifestyle and be able to budget and save money for my family.***