I figured that up until my extreme couponing excursion I should stick to the dollar store, which was fine because the dollar store is a magical place. Shampoo, porcelain figurines,
lead paint dog toys baby toys, big boxes of movie candy… all of it. $1. Also – bonus – teaching supplies. So. many. teaching. supplies. I excitedly threw fistfuls of stamps, stickers, pencils, name tags, and other ‘ineeditallbecauseit’sonlyadollar’ type things into my cart. I mentally added the total of what it would cost to *actually* by all those fantastic $1 items. Then I choked a little when it added up to about a thousand dollars, panicked, and immediately left, abandoning everything in the middle of the party supply aisle. Don’t worry, I remembered the baby.
It was a sad thing, leaving behind those delicious Junior Mints and 12-pack ankle socks (What? THEY WERE A DOLLAR). But my sorrow was quickly replaced by incredible excitement as I drove home to get set for the real shopping trip, to the real grocery store, where I’d see real savings!
My plan of attack was simple. And by simple I mean, super complicated and potentially overwhelming. Did I see this at the time? Go on, take your bets.
Plan of Attack:
Time Frame: One Day
- View grocery circulars online
- Register with as many company websites as possible in order to access special coupons
- Print internet coupons
- Clip coupons from inserts
- Organize coupons for easy access
- Use circulars to help guide in making a meal plan for the week
- Visit as many stores as are necessary to ensure I get the best price on every single product. The crazy extreme coupon ladies are hissing feverishly in my ear: “You never pay full price. NEVER!”
What’s that other thing hissing feverishly in my ear? OH YEAH, I have a BABY.
You can all see where this is going, right? Major sighs.
I tried, really I did. I even got all the way to step 5 of my insano plan before becoming irrationally angry at the ‘krazy coupon lady’ from the internet telling me to stop buying shit binders from the dollar store. Well lady, the mega-awesome bulletproof binder in this video is practically as tall as my baby, and just about as expensive. And yeah, I get it, hobbies often require start-up costs. But the point of starting COUPONING as a hobby was to SAVE MONEY, not shell out MORE on a new binder, pencil case, scissors, calculator, and baseball card holders. Oh yeah and newspaper subscriptions, cuz I’m pretty sure my parents are getting tired of me stealing their coupon inserts every week.
I swear, just talking about this is giving me a post-trauma headache.
Well, in the end I managed to organize my coupons into 24 easy-to-remember categories.
And, I brought them to the store in an orderly fashion:
Best of all, I saved $25 on my order! Except oh wait, no I didnt. I was defeated by worrying about the coupons’ fine print – scenarios in which a cashier ridiculed me for bringing the wrong size or item ran through my head like a herd of feeble antelopes being chased by a killer robot cheetah, and I was unable to even attempt to use them.
Gigantic bummer of the week: I didn’t save one speck of money. On the bright side, at least I didn’t end up with four boxes of raisin popsicles (although I may have a coupon for those somewhere)…