Ok, I know this is judgmental. I can’t help myself here. I saw a commercial for a new series, I think it’s called “Extreme Couponing” or something like that. From the preview scenes, the premise seems to be that some people (women) spend hours and hours clipping coupons, then are able to buy many hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for practically nothing. Now, I don’t know what these people eat. But when I see coupons, it seems like most of them are for items that I don’t eat, don’t need, don’t like, or can’t use. Or, you have to buy three things to get one free, or stand on your head and hold your mouth just so to get the discount….I don’t know….is it just me? Am I a coupon snob? I don’t feel like a snob. I’ve clipped, torn, folded, saved and forgotten many a coupon in my time. For years we subscribed to a daily paper, and the Sunday edition, with it’s booklet of coupons, was always a part of my Sunday afternoon routine. But alas, coupon management is not my strong suit. I’ve been known to carefully store coupons with exciting discounts (the few really great coupons I’ve ever found) until just after they expire….that’s when I find the ones I clipped with such anticipation, snuggled deep inside my purse…just as they become worthless little bits of paper.
I finally gave it up. To me, the whole thing is just a tease. I think I’m going to save money, but somehow it doesn’t work out that way. And here’s another thing I’ve learned. It may seem counter-intuitive, or even sacreligious. But I find that it’s better for me to buy everything for household staples – laundry detergent, toilet paper, cleaning supplies – at the grocery. It costs more to buy these things there, but if I go to one of the big box stores – WalMart or Target, or a Sams or Costco – I always spend more on items that weren’t even on my list. Yes, impulse buying. So I’ve learned, over time, that it’s better to spend a little more at the grocery, and avoid the other stores as much as possible. Not that I have anything against any of these businesses….it’s just simple economics. Or more accurately, it’s Sheila’s economics. And it probably works at this point in my life because I’m not buying for a family any more. But regardless, it’s my system, and I’m sticking to it. And I do not spend hours getting ready for marathon shopping sprees. Maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing. But I’m coupon free, and loving it!