I hate shopping and I usually put it off until I absolutely have to go out. I used to read all of the adds and go to several different stores getting all of the good deals. I now only go to 1-2 stores for these 4 reasons reasons:
1. My time is valuable, especially when I have a toddler with me.
2. The more stores I go into, the more spontaneous "extra" things I end up buying that were not on my list.
3. Gas to get to all of the stores costs money
4. I just remembered another big reason and had to come back and add #4: I hate stores that require a value card, key chain card, whatever you want to call it. I hate having to have a different card for every store! I do still enjoy Costco and make an exception there.
I now try to get all of my things from 2 stores. I get a lot of items at Costco and then I get the rest at my favorite grocery store. When all of the adds come in the mail I don't even look at them. I throw them all away, except for my favorite grocery store. I have learned not to shop at less popular grocery stores, because the stock is not rotated as frequently. I have found expired items and moldy food in these stores. I usually get all of my shopping done at my favorite store that has good prices and lots of people who shop there so that I am assured to have fresh groceries.
I usually try to write up my grocery list and put everything in order of the aisles I can find them. This means spending about 10 minutes writing up my list before leaving the house. I almost always forget something and have to go back out later. Sometimes I will be out and spontaneously stop at a store to get something I need. When I get home I realize that I could have gotten several other items, but I did not have a list with me. I have finally found a solution to this problem and am now super efficient which means I save time and money!!!
I recently bought a used iphone for $325 (Retail price is around $500). The used phone had a crack on the back so we took it to the Apple store and they replaced the whole phone since it was still under warranty! My DH unlocked it for me so that I can use my T-mobile pay as you go account on it. I spend about $100 a year on my cell phone by using the T-mobile pay as you go. It costs 10¢ a minute and I only pay for the minutes I use. My iphone also has a gps on it so I won't ever get lost again.
I have been finding all sorts of fun apps for my iphone! Just this week I found a great shopping list app and love it!!! I paid 99¢ and can keep track of everything I need to buy. I can make multiple lists for different stores and it automatically puts my items in the proper sections for which aisle they are on. Every time I think of something that I need, I just select it on my iphone. When I went to the store today I had a complete list of everything I needed and which aisle it was on. I was in and out twice as fast and I didn't forget anything! As I found an item I marked it off the list until I was finished. There were a couple of items that the store didn't have and they are saved on my list. I usually come home from the store and have to write those items down on a new list. I love my iphone and shopping is now fun! If you can't afford an iphone, I highly reccomend getting an ipod touch. You can buy a used one on craigslist or ebay and you can get all of the same apps for it as you can for the iphone.
The app that I bought is called Groceries and is on sale for 99¢ for a limited time. There are many other apps that do the same thing and would probably be just as good.
Here are some screen shots of the app: