Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How to keep your shopping organized

Before I found CVS I shopped at Walmart. Always low prices, price matched other store deals. Then, Walmart started to annoy me. There were always long lines or I had to use the self check out and continually have problems with it saying I didn't bag items. The employees did not seem to want me there. Walk in a publix an see the difference. I now shop at about 8 stores, getting the deep sale items at each with coupons and most of the stuff is really cheap or free or even a money maker. The problem is now how to get all my shopping done. It does take more time and gas. Is it worth it? Yes, if I can organize my trips and not drive out of the way or spend too long in each store.

I have mapped out a loop so that I can shop quickly. I like to shop on one day when the kids are at their home schooling classes. I drop them off and go to CVS, Walgreen, Staples, Publix, Southern Market which are all by the church then drop off cold stuff at the house, go to CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, and Dollar General Markets- which are all by my house, drop off cold stuff at the house, head to town to Target, Walmart, Sams, another CVS. I don't go to all the stores each time- only the ones with good deals. I keep a cooler in the trunk for cold items.

To go as fast as I can and stay organized, I have envelopes for each store. I go through the ads at home and make a list per store with the item, size, sales price, coupon amount and total cost. I put the coupons and list in the envelope for that store. I put all the envelopes in one of the outside pockets of my purse. I keep my CVS card, Kroger card, etc in the envelope. I keep all my other coupons in the car in a container, in case I find a deal that was not in the ad. Before you get to the check out go through your coupons and seperate the ones you are using from the ones that were not in stock or you are not buying.

When I have returns I put them in a bag and put by the garage door in the coat closet. I use different cars so I don't put them in the trunk. I have an envelope labeled Returns and I keep the receipt in there. If I put the receipt in the bag it gets lost.


Marva said...

Great job! Wal-mart always hated to see me coming too.

I wish we had a better selection of stores in our town. i have to drive 9 miles one way to Wal-Mart, CVS and Dollar Tree. We have a Piggly Wiggly and a dollar General two miles from our house, but that's all.

We got to the big city of Trussville. It's about 45 minutes away twice a month or so. They have about the same as you and we do Aldi's while we are there as well.

I received preprinted envelops last year for christmas. They have the list on the front as well as my name and a place to write in the store. It also has a place to check if you have a coupon (I do most always). Very cool I thought. Of course I wish not to know what was paid for them!

Have a great day! Blessings!!!

Marcy said...

I also use envelopes for each is much easier that way. I LOVE your cooler in the car idea! I don't know why I have never thought to do that! Now I know! Thanks! :-)

Tami said...

You are much more organized than I am. I am organized but it takes me 30 minutes to get to any of the stores that I need to go to. So with 2 babies in tow I feel like I'm running on borrowed time. I have tried going at night when my husband is at home but that puts me getting home so late. If I have to hire a babysitter to keep the kids I think that defeats the purpose of the bargains I'm getting. So I usually try to shop more than one day during the week to eliminate being gone during nap time.
I have a big notebook I carry and then a little file folder ($1 Target purchase) with individual stores. This is better than the way I used to do it and i have eliminated Walmart also. And I definitely take a cooler everytime I go.