I have to admit, when I first started to move into the realm of Extreme Couponing, my husband was a little dubious. He thought I was wasting my time saving ₤2 with these measly little scraps of paper. When the spreadsheets and multiple trips to different stores came to be, buying 10 tubes of toothpaste or 3 bottles of cleanser at a time, he was even less interested. It was only when I started saving vast amounts he started to come around. I think the tipping point was about a month in when I bought 30 cans of tuna and 4 loofahs for $2.50/₤1.30, a savings of 90%. Then I was asked to send him regular text updates on my shopping runs with how much I saved at each store. Watching the savings became a game for us. We’d do a high five when I saved 95-80% in one trip, or at times when I only saved 30% he would encourage me to try again the next week. It can be a challenge, but partners will come around when they start seeing the savings in your monthly budget and encourage you to keep applying yourself!
The next biggest challenge with partners is knowing what they need you to buy! I have one major rule when it comes to shopping. STICK TO THE LIST! You will always go over budget if you start buying off the list or shopping when you are hungry. I had to stop bringing my husband to the supermarket because it always turns into “oh! I could really use more hot cocoa mix!” or “this herb would go great in that chicken dish I love”. But shopping solo means I don’t always know what he needs, or what he has used up in the pantry. We have a a chalkboard over the trash can to mark what is needed in the house. Use up the last of the tomato paste, write it down. It took a few weeks of solo shopping only to come home with half of my husband’s favorite ‘needs’, and my refusal to return to the shop for missed goods, in order for him to realize the importance of our new system.
Do you have any stories about shopping with partners? Please share them in the comments!
TIP: For the tech savvy, there are apps and online sites that can help with organizing your pantry stock and shopping lists. Some can be shared by multiple users, and some even allow you to scan the barcode for exact item replace (essential when I can’t remember what Wheetabix my husband likes). I’ll update the site with app reviews very soon when I confirm they scan UK goods.