Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Extreme couponing

Okay, not extreme at all. But using a coupon is pretty extreme for us. Don’t get me wrong, we are frugal people. Mom, I said ‘frugal,’ not ‘cheap.’ We like to buy when things are on sale. I like to price check. Shop at Trader Joes for the staples, and then, anything I can’t get, run over to Harris Teeter. And I LOVE a good garage sale. But we aren’t good with coupons.

If we run across a coupon, we will cut it out. And by run across, I mean, it has to slap us in the face, and maybe be handed to us with someone saying “here is your coupon for a free Starbucks!” At this point, we put it in what we have deemed ‘the coupon drawer.’ It holds our straws, fabric samples, and other miscellaneous items. We will then wait until precisely a week after the expiration date, and yell in misery that “WE FORGOT TO USE OUR FREE STARBUCKS!!” And then, drown our sorrows in a not-free, really-too-many-dollars latte. Whew. I feel better.

Rinse. Repeat. 

Our weekend started with an “extreme double coupon week at Harris Teeter” commercial. Dan was hooked. We had to try it. This was our week. 

Harris Teeter doubles one-dollar coupons on any day, but this week they would double up to two-dollar coupons (ie four dollars off). I envisioned myself finally starting that stockpile of trial-sized off-brand body wash to last us until 2030. They would all be free, and I would have extra money left over for shampoo. We would fill an entire shopping cart for $2.83. Today was going to be a great day.

We started by emptying the coupon drawer. “Four dollars off your Double Shots that expired YESTERDAY.” “Five dollars off any purchase at Harris Teeter that expired last month!” “Expires in January 2012!” “Do we EVER go through this drawer?!” “Hey look, a penny!”

Then we bought a Sunday paper. “This better be worth the four dollars.” “Rule number one: don’t cut out the ones we won’t use, that’s wasting money. It’s the only couponing rule I know.” “There are SO many coupons for kitty litter.” “Cat food.” “Cat Treats.” “WHY DO ALL THE CAT PEOPLE GET THE GOOD COUPONS?!” “Let’s get a cat.” “OMG. We NEED a cat!”

You people are crazy.

Koda threw water at our face. We stopped being irrational, grabbed our wad of coupons, and proudly strolled into Harris Teeter. We got my deodorant for 50 cents. Honey Nut Cheerios for a dollar. Break and Bake Cookie Dough for 50 cents (now, I am ALL about homemade, but compared to the four dollar Oreos that Dan likes, this worked for us). A box of Band-Aids and a tube of toothpaste for FREE.

Now, we weren’t rational the entire time. “This one doubles for four dollars!” “Do we use Neutrogena lotion?” “No, but we should find one for $4 and get it for free!” “It’s all like $16.” “That’s okay. Four dollars off. Four dollars SAVED.” “That makes the lotion $12, is that a good deal?” “No, but maybe we need it. We’re saving FOUR dollars!” (I now see how the marketing strategy of coupons works).

Overall, we saved $100 from our coupons. We probably don’t need toiletries for a few months. And I am not a contender for TLC’s newest show “Extreme Couponing turns Hoarding Buried Alive.” If this happens, TLC, I only want one percent of profits. Although, we do have room in our crawl space and under our fridge for some stock piles.

I consider it a success. We vowed to use the coupons in the coupon drawer (ha, we will see). To check the Sunday paper. And to remember which coupons make things free or fifty cents, and buy then.

Meanwhile, Dan will let you know if $16 lotion is, indeed, worth the four dollars saved.

1 comment:

  1. What's Dan using that lotion for, eh?? lol. I kid, I kid.

    I never coupon either - I feel bad holding up the line at the store, haha!