Earlier in my marriage, I would dread the time of the week when it came to getting groceries. Something about it just annoyed me to no end.

My wife and I would decide that we needed groceries and we would take off. I didn’t like the idea of spending this much money for just food nor did I like shopping around other people at the “Supermarket,” they only added to my anger and frustration.

After about a half hour of meandering down aisles and disagreeing what to get, we would get mad at each other, annoyed with those around us and the rest of the day would be ruined. Don’t call me crazy yet, I think this happens more than we think.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, look for the man tagging along with his wife. Now, I know that there are men out there that don’t mind a good grocery store experience, but I would say they are a minority.

Anyway, keep your eye out for the younger couple. The woman will typically be with the cart and the list and the man will be walking somewhere behind her hating life. I see it all the time.

So here’s what I have come up with gentlemen. After dealing with this scenario for a few years and learning from my mistakes, here are my top 5 tips when grocery shopping with your wife or lady friend.

1) Make the list together

We are men and we have to eat at some point. Am I right? This is the first crucial step to grocery store experience success!

Gather in the kitchen and decide on your breakfast, dinner and lunch options. Say what you need or want out loud to each other and add it to the list. Surprises at the store are never good. Get the list done and agree to stick to it. Got coupons? If so, get to clipping and compare those to the list and use the ones you need. At this point you both agree on the food and therefore the expectations are established!

2) Go with her

If you have agreed on a list and you have a game plan, get in the car and go with her. You can make this a good experience, gentleman. It is within your power. Marriage is all about communication and teamwork. Consider these times together a test on how you will handle harder and more complicated decisions that will come. Work together.

3) Grab a pre-game snack

OK, this is a little trick I recently started applying to the G-store experience. Like that? Anyway, upon arrival to the store, find the bakery or coffee shop and get something little. I like to grab a favorite cookie and a small coffee. Maybe you’d go for the bag of chips and soda. Whatever it is, grab something little as soon as you get there. It will make you happier, it will calm you down and it will take your focus off the store chaos.

4) Mark off the list and coupons

In my experience, the longer you are at the store, the worse it gets. The tension starts to escalate, the emotions start to get crazy and that coffee was finished far too long ago. Again, work together.

Someone take the cart and someone take the list. Mark things off the list as found and move to the next item. Ladies, if you’re reading this, men love to have a task. In a respectful way, try to get your man to find specific items as you look for the harder to find items. This will make him feel important and part of the team. Keep track of those coupons too.

5) Watch the total go down

Got everything? Good! Get in line and get out of there! Lately, my wife and I have been competing to see who can save more money at the register.

Most recently, between coupons and bonus savings, she saved around $52 dollars off the top. I tried to take the trophy from her the next time, but only pulled off a healthy $49 dollars. I was slightly disappointed, but still satisfied overall. Anyway, hand over your coups and watch the tally go down at the end.

Give each other a high five. Load up the car and head home to enjoy some great food!

I’d love to hear some great stories of how you and your spouse handle the shopping in the family. What has or hasn’t worked for you? You can share your stories in the comments below.

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