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Making a grocery kit

I am finally at the point where I'm in the habit of bringing my own reusable bags to the grocery store. Now if I start walking in to a store and I'm not carrying bags with me, I feel naked, so I return to my car to get them. The key to my success has been keeping the bags in the car at all times. Unload the groceries, immediately place bags in car. Routine.

I'm having a harder time remembering to bring my own plastic bags for produce and bulk foods and coffee bags for beans. It's been hit and miss. And don't even get me started on the coupons. Remedial coupon user, right here. Love the Chinook Book; flip through and think, "why I'm just going to save boatloads of money using all of these fantastic coupons for healthy living goods and services." And I do use some of them, but then I forget. (And FYI Portlanders: the Chinook Book coupons from the 2007 book will expire November 30!) I also don't make grocery lists or attempt any meal planning, so grocery shopping tends to be rather free-form.

Dscn0472_2 So I decided to fashion a grocery kit that will live in my car, because I know that that is the secret -- must be in the car. I took a sturdy, shallow box (which once held my lovely, now frozen, peaches) and have filled it with grocery bags, plastic produce bags, a coffee bean bag and a handy file for coupons. I went through the Chinook Book and pulled out all of the grocery-related and spur-of-the-moment restaurant (Burgerville, Daily Cafe), activity (Lloyd's Ice Skating) and retail (SCRAP) coupons that we might use if we're out-and-about with the kids and feeling spontaneous. I feel like I'm prepared for anything now. (Don't have an emergency kit in the trunk, but I've got my grocery kit.) Do you have a grocery-organization system that works for you? Any tidbits to share?

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