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Send Your Husband to the Store…And Still Get What You Need

Household chores are a pretty even split around here. I do the laundry. He does the ironing. I cook. He does dishes. Truly, he’s better at cleaning than I am. I’m not even allowed to dust. So, it should come as no surprise that he helps out with the grocery shopping now & then.

I know some women think it’s bad news when men grocery shop, but they just need a little training. The hubby can go to the store, use coupons, and come home with exactly what I needed. Here are a few tips for making it work:

Be specific. Last week, I sent the hubby to the store for sugar. He called from the baking aisle, massively confused by row after row of powdered sugar, demerara sugar, and organic sugar with no idea what I actually wanted. Usually, I’m much more specific. Men are especially good at coupon shopping, since there’s a picture of what you need right on it.

If I ask for fruit, I’m getting berries, apples, oranges, and anything else he can fit in his budget, but when I tell him I need 3 pounds of Granny Smith apples, I’ll get a bag of the best green apples they’ve got.

Offer directions. Men are hunters. They want to get in, find what they need, and get back out. I may know that cereal is in aisle 7, but he doesn’t spend as much time at the store so that’s not something he’ll remember. If I know where something is, it helps him get what we need quickly. (Hint: most stores have maps of their layout available. Ask at the customer service counter, if you want to study up!)

Pay cash. Occasionally, he’ll come home with a little something more. If I give him cash, he’s locked into a specific budget, which keeps extra purchases under control. It also helps if you’re already discussing bills and going through the budget together on a regular basis.

These strategies help us share the responsibility of grocery shopping. I find the deals, we can clip coupons together, and either of us can do the actual shopping. It just depends on who has the spare time or where we shop that week.

What are your tips for sharing the load?

Photo Credit: Flickr

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