I’m not an “extreme” couponer like those featured on TV, but I do like to clip coupons and save a little money. On Sunday afternoon, I usually organize my coupons, browse the circulars in the paper, inventory my pantry/cabinets, and make a shopping list. Then I go shopping on Monday before the good deals are gone, snatched up by shoppers who feel the need to buy two dozen toothbrushes or 28 boxes of Ritz crackers. Today’s trip involved three stores: Target, Kroger, and Walgreens. If you have a small child, you probably know how challenging any sort of shopping can be. Peanut is generally a good girl when we shop; she’s good-natured, friendly to everyone she sees, and rarely cries or whines. But even when she’s being sweet, she can still be a challenge. I have to be cautions when I “park” my cart or she’ll grab anything on the shelf that she can reach. She also likes to play with items in the cart and will sometimes toss them in the floor. The worst, though, is that she wants to grab at my coupons which often results in her wadding them up, tearing them, or pretending she’s a billy goat and eating them. It is because of this behavior that I especially dread days like today when I need to make multiple stops.
I planned my trip meticulously, making a separate list for each store (mapped out based on the aisles). I separated my coupons by store and category for easy access and added two new sheets to my binder to hold them. I scheduled our trip between breakfast and nap time and even packed snacks and drinks for Peanut. I knew that even with my planning, the trip could be exhausting. Fortunately for me (and my fellow shoppers), Peanut was a doll 99% of the time. She was happy and talkative and even snuggly (she kept leaning over the handle of the cart to hug me). Our trip took longer than usual, but I think it was because I was enjoying being out with her so I didn't get in a hurry. We bought everything on our list, didn't lose a single coupon, and had time to stop at McDonald’s for a little treat. We were both totally pooped when we got home, but neither of us had cried all day. Our next trip may very well be a total nightmare so that balance is restored to the toddler world, but for now I’m thankful for a smooth and rather enjoyable day of shopping, saving money, and having fun with my Peanut.