Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Coupon Frenzy
I've never been much of a coupon-user. Sure, I've had them on occasion. But I would lose them, or they would expire. And really, how excited can you get about getting forty cents off "when you buy two"? I was quite happy with generic brands of most things, I decided.
In spite of that, I decided to go to the meeting because I liked my friend and wanted to spend time with her. And it was being held at Panera. Who doesn't love that? Just going to the meeting was an eye opener because most of the other women there were homeschool moms. Boy, you can spot them a mile away, can't you? (Don't get offended. I am a homeschool mom.) I took notes for a future post on that, but I also took notes on the lecture.
I was amazed.
I've heard the stories. You know, women who saved more than they spent at the store? People who somehow managed to put together enough fifty cent off coupons to actually make a dent in their grocery budget. The kind of people who paid less than a dollar for boxes of cereal (name brand cereal!) and always seemed to get an incredible deal on their makeup. Personally, I thought those things were urban myth. At least, I did until the lecturer passed around some of her recent register receipts. These receipts listed $70 or $80 worth of items. At the bottom, you could see where she had actually paid out $3.
I was in awe. It was like finding out that, not only was Superman a real person, but he had a cape for everyone who wanted one.
So I strapped my cape on, and started out. I admit it was rough going at first. You've got to be able to think through scenarios. You've got to be able to anticipate possible windfalls. The first couple of weeks, I saved a little money. But then I'd go home and look at my coupons and see how many opportunities I'd missed. But finally I had a breakthrough.
One week I realized I'd actually saved as much as I spent. I was thrilled, and the savings spurred me on to greater effort in flushing out each and every savings opportunity. I started refusing to buy things unless they were on sale AND I had a coupon. I scoured sale papers. I thrived on the savings.
I became ... Coupon Woman! (My cape is green, in case you want to know.)
I am now savings hundreds (that's right. I said hundreds) of dollars each month. I'm well on my way to becoming the urban myth I'd always heard about.
And, I've got that great post for identifying homeschool moms. It just doesn't get any better than this.