Couponing for Men: Dad’s Coupon Grocery Shopping Adventure

Here are the results from my coupon shopping experiment to find out what happens when the Bayless Boys coupon shop without me?

Does this happen at your house….you return home from spending all morning at the grocery store, only to have your husband ask you what took so long? Is that all you bought? Or I can’t believe you spent all that money on groceries!

In my family, I’m the one who does about 95% of the grocery shopping. When my husband and I got married ten years ago, grocery shopping became my “job” (aside from my full time job working in the banking industry). I am very familiar with the layout and prices of a lot of products at the stores I frequently shop. This past week, he was home for a few days for his school’s Easter break, so I decided to send him to the store with our two boys to do our grocery shopping for the week. I thought it would be a good way for him to see exactly what I do each week, see what exactly my grocery money gets spent on, and I also knew it meant I would get a few hours to myself!

Preparing the men to shop

I thought I did a decent job of preparing him for this trip. I did everything I do each week before I head to the store (scanning ads, matching sales, clipping coupons, making a list). I gave him a few pointers before they left the house (and I headed out for a nice hour long jog by myself).

  • I gave him a list of items we needed that included how many of each product to buy and if I had a coupon to use.

  • I told him how my coupons were organized in the index file that I use (I did not send him with my huge binder that I like to carry!)
  • I reminded him that supermarkets are typically higher priced than places like Walmart and Target, so he should not be tempted to buy items not on the list (and if he is, he should call me first). The items he was buying were on sale this week were cheaper than at Walmart or Target.
  • I told him how I usually handle the kids in the store to make our trips more pleasant. For example, letting the kids ride in the special carts and having them help pick out items on our list.

While they were shopping, I received a few text messages with simple questions about items on the list or where specific items were in the store. The only time I could sense he was getting frustrated was when his message read something like “I need an answer or we’re leaving!”

What I can improve on for next time (if there is a next time!)

My husband had a list of “do’s and don’ts” by the time they returned from the store!

  • Don’t explain the list before because he’s not going to listen anyway. He said he’ll just figure it out when he gets to the store.

  • Do organize my list by the store layout and tell him which door to go into (written on the list because if I tell him, he won’t listen anyway). I always go in the same doors, and start in the same place. He used the opposite door that I use, so everything on the list was backwards to him, which did not make him real happy from the start.
  • Tell him where the bathrooms are because someone always has to pee when we’re in the grocery store. In the particular store they went to, the bathrooms are not in the most convenient place.
  • Be more specific with items on the list. Don’t just simply say Buy 3 Juicy Juice. I meant for him to buy 3 bottles of Juicy Juice, but he didn’t know if he should get the big bottles, the juice boxes, or the smaller juice bottle 6 packs. He decided to buy 3 packages of juice boxes, which turned out to be the best deal! They ended up being $1.50 each!
  • He said next time I should just do the shopping myself! He’s also threatened to send me to Lowe’s or Menards with a list he’s made to see how well I do!

His shopping successes

He did have some positives to this grocery trip, but I don’t expect him to volunteer to go again anytime soon.

  • He was happy to see how much money we can save on groceries. On this particular trip, we spent $44.06 and saved $42.10. He did really well!

  • He liked how I had my coupons organized in the index file. All he had to do was hand them to the cashier to use.
  • He did a good job of judging whether or not to buy products I’d marked as “only if priced below” a certain price. His judgement on the Juicy Juice was better than what I probably would have done.
  • He liked being able to pick out flavors of yogurt and crackers he wanted. I usually only pick flavors I like because he’ll eat about anything.
  • He said the employees were extremely helpful when he needed help finding items. I was surprised he asked for help, but now he knows why I like shopping at certain stores over others!

It certainly didn’t hurt my husband to do our grocery shopping for the week. It gave him some extra time to spend with our kids (and me some much needed and deserved “me” time!), and I also think he appreciates the work I do each week when I head to the grocery store. I don’t expect him to volunteer to go back anytime soon, but maybe if I do a better job with my list, he just might!

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