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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coupon Clipping

Like anything that I am interested in, coupon clipping has me obsessed.  I love books, I read all the time.  I love coffee, I'm always looking for the next great cup; dark roast, of course.  I love the internet.  I hate to admit it, but I am the queen of net searches and can find just the right combination of keywords to find what I'm looking for.  I love coupons, so I clip and download and combine.  So, when I love something and enjoy immersing myself in it, I usually don't go halfway, but dive right in the deep end and learn as I go.

Coupon clipping seems simple, right?  You get the Sunday paper, flip through the inserts, cut some coupons and put them in your purse.  When you go shopping, you might or might not have a coupon on hand - or, more likely, it's in your other purse or in the car or went to school in your daughter's homework folder.  That is the kind of clipper I was.  For a while, we didn't even get a Sunday paper and I didn't know what I was missing.

My friend, Therese, introduced me to the show "Extreme Couponing."  You know the one.  These people are crazy, right?  They have stockpiles of items they won't use until 2043.  They have entire rooms in their houses dedicated to the almighty pile.  We don't have cable, so I don't get to see the show often, but it fascinates me that someone can get $800 worth of groceries for 73 cents.  So, I started thinking.  And, you can ask my husband, when I start thinking about something that can only mean there's going to be a change around here.  "Honey, I was thinking...," gives my husband that deer caught in the headlights look.  It's not pretty.  I think couponing gives me that look; the frantic "how can I really get the best deal" look.

I am not like "those" women, I am not like "those" women, I am not like "those" women, but I am.  I don't carry "the binder" and I don't fill four shopping carts, but I do like the thrill of the hunt.  I want to get the best deal.  I want to spend my husband's hard-earned money as wisely as possible.  So what if I had to re-write my shopping list three times because I missed the Friday sale and then the weekend sale because my kids had a class and I was carpool Mom.  I hone and whittle that list until every item on it has a deal.  I look for the loyalty card deal, the store coupon, the manufacturer's coupon and when the three combine, it's bliss.  I got a deal.  I checked out my groceries and saved 46%.  Wow.  I am woman, hear me roar.  

I don't have the stockpile. I don't even have enough toilet paper to get me through next week, but I am saving money and taking care of my family in the best way I know how.  That far exceeds the thrill of watching my total shrink on the cash register (it's really like winning in Vegas) and far exceeds the challenging stares of the poor souls who are in line behind me.  I'm doing my best and it feels good.

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