Coupon clipping

A few months ago, when I was having a lot of trouble with anxiety, one of my biggest sources of stress was meal time, namely preparing for dinner. For some reason, that time of day has always been a difficult one for me and the girls. It's almost time for Daddy to come home, we've been with each other all day, we're getting hungry; things just start to break down a bit... or a lot.

I started meal planning pretty seriously in the fall to feel like I have more control over the situation, but I really honed into it just after the holidays. Every week I plan out our menu, especially for dinner. Addie picks a meal, Curt picks one and I do the rest, based on the coupons I have, our own stock in the pantry & freezer and the sales in the grocery store that week.

The thing that takes the most time is going through all the clippings and ads to plan something that everyone will eat and is also relatively quick to prepare. I have become a total "mom" in that I walk through the grocery with my coupons in hand, checking them as I go to make sure I get the right combination of things to receive the proper deal.

Addie likes to follow behind me and build up her scissor skills, cutting out things she thinks look yummy.

I used to keep all of those coupons in a standard white envelope, even when said envelope was literally falling apart (like we don't have 100 of them sitting on a shelf). Thankfully Addie is still too young to be embarassed by me, but even I was starting to feel sheepish about my method. So, I did the only thing left to be done and that was buy an organizer.

This fantastic one from Hobby Lobby houses a little note pad to store my lists (or serve as a scribble page for littles when the shopping trip gets boring) and accordean pockets to keep my coupons in the proper section. Each part of the store has its own little file and I can flip my way through as I make my way through the maze.

I'm not as hard core as a lot of women I know who are able to get groceries for something like 1/3 of what one would normally pay. Maybe someday I'll get there. For now, I'm just happy that I have found a system that works so we can have mostly home cooked meals while saving a little money in the process. My cute little coupon organizer is just icing on the cake.

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