I have recently been bitten by the coupon craze. Let me back-up and explain. I have some "super-mommy" friends that often boast of these incredible coupon saving experiences. They facebook about it, blog about it, and even send an occasional "I just spent 36 cents on eighteen bags of kitty litter!" email complete with pictures of a backhoe removing a pallet of kitty litter piled to the roof of their mini-vans in their driveways. (To that I say: But you don't have a cat....) I always thought it was cool, but I thought- who has time for that? Then last week I was in the grocery store behind a super perky little mommy with her super cute little daughter unloading a truck load of groceries onto the conveyor. She allowed the clerk to complete the ringing up of the items, total $132. Then she handed over her bi-lo store saving card, down to $87. I was impressed, but I shop the bogos too (buy one get one free) and to date have saved $544 on my bi-lo card, so I was like "ok perky mommy lets get on with it" (I was particularly moody because it was pouring down rain outside and had run in to grab just a few items and landed directly behind granola mom with $132 worth of groceries, I digress..)
THEN on come the coupons. First the store coupons. Then the manufacturers coupons. Then the duplicate coupons for those bogo deals and multiple purchases (see 18 bags of kitty litter). This took a while. But it caught my attention. Granola continued to talk to the clerk about the weather and how Juicy-Juicy really ISN'T as healthy as it claims to be while I watched her spendings dwindle down to next to nothing, literally. GRAND TOTAL 63 CENTS. My jaw dropped and as the clerk rang up my $24 worth of groceries I was holding, total- $16. Not bad, but NOT 63 cents, ya know?
I caught up with Granola at the front door. I struck up a conversation as we waited for the rain to slow down. She told me she spends about 2 hours on Sunday, with the 8 sunday papers she buys (she promised that they pay for themselves) and a copy of "All You" Magazine. Then she goes to http://www.southernsavers.com/ and checks out what is free or under a dollar at her local stores. She clips and organizes and then they start the "circuit". Going around to all the local stores and buying up "staples" at the right time. Whew. I think I can do that...I started doing some research upon my soggy arrival home (Darn rain) because at some point during her rant, Granola was talking about "peelies" and "blinkies" and I felt confused.
Fast forward to this Sunday. I went to the dreaded Wally after church. I spent $22 on a 2" binder, baseball trading card sleeves (to hold my peelies and blinkies) two Sunday papers, All You, and a pair of new scissors. I felt like I should be using a coupon for these things, but I let it go because it seemed like the cart before the horse scenario.
Now I have been sitting on the couch for 5 hours clipping coupons and becoming a facebook fan of feta cheese to get a "try it free" coupon. I am still confused at the overabundance of information at my fingertips, but now I have several papercuts as well. I should also add, my supplies cost $22 and I still have no food in my fridge. I am trying to be patient with this new way of shopping- not buying because you "need" it right that minute, but instead stockpiling items you need when the price is at it's lowest. I know that doesn't actually help with whats for dinner tonight, but the good news is I am buying a cat to use up all that kitty litter I can get for 4 cents per bag!