Trying to plan a Kroger shopping trip…and getting stressed about it

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This is my first time attempting to plan my Kroger shopping trip around what’s on sale and what I have coupons for…and it’s really stressing me out!  Now I’ve shopped at Kroger for many years. I’m familiar with the layout of my store and the coupon policy, so what’s the big deal, right?  I think I must be putting pressure on myself to get the best deals possible. The crazy thing is, I never worried about that  before so I’m not really sure why I’m letting it get to me now.

I’ve gone through the ad, my paper coupons and the coupons that are loaded on my Kroger card.  I’ve reviewed the deals and matchups that several other bloggers have written about.  I’ve been writing everything down in a little journal…how much of what to buy, what coupons I have, the price before and after coupons.  Am I making this more difficult than it actually is? 

I want to buy things that are really good deals and that are good items for me to stockpile (the Hunt’s tomatoes and Ro-Tel tomatoes are two items that I use a lot, so I want to  buy several cans of each).  I’ve gone through my coupons and have pulled together all the coupons I have on hand for the items I intend to buy.  I’ve also pulled out coupons for things I might buy depending on how well I stay within my budget.  I’m keeping those coupons separate.  I know Kroger sometimes has unadvertised specials and I want to be prepared if I come across a good deal. 

I also started sorting out my coupons today.  I’ve seen some really great ideas about organizing coupons.  I’m afraid my organizational method doesn’t even come close to some of the others, but I decided I had to start somewhere.  I started with what I had on hand (without spending any additional money…isn’t that a big part of why I’m doing this?).  I had a nice large clear plastic file storage box that I got at Michaels for next to nothing a while back.  I started filing my clipped coupons in these really pretty files (I’m pretty sure I bought those at Michaels as well, on clearance).  One good thing about this box is I have plenty of room to grow my coupon collection.  When I went to take a picture of the box and files, the battery on my camera was dead.  It’s recharging right now, so hopefully I’ll have some pictures later.

I’ve read several blogs today previewing the coupon inserts that will be in this Sunday’s newspaper…up to 4 inserts with lots of coupons for items I regularly purchase.  Very cool!  Now, do I really need to buy more than one newspaper as many bloggers suggest?  I’m debating with myself over that one.  A couple women I work with give me their inserts (after they take the coupons they want), but the problem with that  this week is that I’m pretty sure we’ll all be wanting the same coupons.  What to do, what to do?!

I’m definitely heading out to Kroger in the morning.   I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll come away with some bargains without adding any additional stress to my already stressed life.  I need to remember that I’m doing this as a challenge to myself to spend less and live life more fully.  I don’t have to be perfect (thank goodness).  I just have to make the attempt…and I’m doing it!

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