Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Call It Thrifty. My Husband Calls It Cheap.

This coupon thing I have might be getting a tad bit out of control.

I love to save money. I love a good sale. I love getting a discount.

Most women I know would probably say the same thing. I mean, does any of us really prefer to pay full price for things? I doubt it.

In the past, I’ve been known to clip a coupon or two. I would browse through the Sunday paper and if something caught my eye, I might take the time to grab a pair of scissors and cut one out. But it wasn’t something I did on a regular basis. Then Captain Carl got laid off from his job unexpectedly. And after some very thorough job searching, we realized how long it might be before he would find another one. And the panic set in.

We could lose the house!
We won’t be able to make our car payments!
How will we send the Kiddo to college?
Gahh! Ahhhhh!!!!!

Then we took a big breath, sat down and figured out a way to survive. And that is what we are doing now, two years later.


We took renters into our home. Not fun. Not fun at all, my friends. But we’ve managed to hang on to our home so far because of it.

We cut back on everything. And I mean, everything. We stopped eating out, we changed our phone provider to something much cheaper, we sold some things we really didn’t need, we turned up the thermostat in the summer and down in the winter. Our “fun fund” went from several hundred a month to, well…nothing. For awhile at least. Captain Carl eventually started his own business when it became clear that he would not be able to find the type of work he was doing before the economy collapsed. I changed jobs last year in order to make a couple thousand more a year. The Kiddo has taken it upon himself to earn scholarships and work his way through college.

But this post isn’t really about all that. It’s about my addiction to coupons.

Oh coupons, how I love you so! Lovely lovely, money saving scraps of paper!

When the financial bottom fell out of our world, I began to take those Sunday paper coupons seriously. I clipped each and every one and put them into my little coupon book. I started to save a few bucks at the grocery store. I decided I was an idiot for not doing this sooner.

And then I discovered online coupons.

*happy dance*

A virtual plethora of unending websites, filled to the brim with pages and pages of coupons. And all you have to do is check the box, click “print” and bam! You are drowning in a sea of $0.55 off Honey Nut Cheerios and $1.50 off two jars of salsa!

And ohmygod did you know that some grocery stores double and triple your coupons? Say what???

And! And! Some of them have their own store card that gives you additional savings. Additional, y’all!

I’m starting to sweat with the excitement of it all!

And just when I thought my coupon mania had gotten as crazy as it ever could, I discovered coupon blogs.

Holy hell.

And now? I spend my lunch hours reading coupon blogs while clipping this week’s savings from the paper and determining which ones have matching coupons online that I can print and combine for extra savings. And my desk looks like this:

This is for real, y’all. I look like a crazy person in my little cubicle with all my scraps of paper strewn around me, muttering to myself “Were the frozen peas on sale at Target or Kroger this week?”.

But I am saving money. Once week I took $125 off my $250 grocery bill. So I’m having a hard time deciding if I’m going too far with this. Am I obsessing too much? Is an extra $30in my pocket this week worth spending this much of my free time planning? I’m not sure. All I know is that this is not the face of a sane human being:

No sir, it is not.


Jocelyn said...

Coupons RAWK!! And I do my coupon work at my desk too. Don't tell anyone but I usually have 9 boxes of cereal in the cabinet at all times - because I only paid 80 cents per box - BRAND NAME!! Suckas!!

Nicole said...

I used to use CouponMom and do some serious menu planning. I loved the thrilled of coming home saying, "I got this tip steak for under $3 a pound and I've got a free bag of rice from the last tirp so hello crock-pot! We're having beef this week!"

The kids have derailed me. I'm just barely scraping together a coherent shopping list. BUT, I'm going right on back to coupon madness when school starts up again and I have more time for the planning.

Hey, if you are eating, engaging with other people, and not having nightmares about the BOGO that got away, your sane (enough).

Nicole said...

I used to use CouponMom and do some serious menu planning. I loved the thrilled of coming home saying, "I got this tip steak for under $3 a pound and I've got a free bag of rice from the last tirp so hello crock-pot! We're having beef this week!"

The kids have derailed me. I'm just barely scraping together a coherent shopping list. BUT, I'm going right on back to coupon madness when school starts up again and I have more time for the planning.

Hey, if you are eating, engaging with other people, and not having nightmares about the BOGO that got away, your sane (enough).

Chunky Mama said...

I did the same thing when my husband was unemployed. The best I ever did was $100 off an order, so props to you! I gave it up once we had more income and decided regaining my free time was worth the extra money we were spending.

But Coupon blogs, really??? I will be looking into this...

Balanced Idjit said...

YES! *that was the orgasmic "yes"* Coupons! I recently started clipping sunday paper coupons. I may be going too far because I WOKE UP on Sunday early enough to get the neighborhood newspaper from the store before they sold out. I sacrificed sleep for coupons. I may need profesisonal help. Also, can you give us a website or two for the online coupons?

Much obliged!

Eva Gallant said...

Hubby does our grocery shopping and does use some coupons, but only on the items we would have bought anyway.

Ed said...

You and my wife would get along GREAT!

Between her love of coupons, generic brands, and Dollar stores, it's a wonder we aren't Thousandaires.

One can dream, can't they?

Miss Yvonne said...

@Jocelyn: I bow down to your superior coupon skills!

@Nicole: I do better in the winter months for some reason. Maybe because it's too cold to do anything besides sit on my ass and clip coupons.

@ChunkyMom: oh yes, coupon blogs....

@Balanced Idjit: The absolute best blog I've found for coupon website info is called Hip2Save. That lady is awesome and she has links to all the best blogs and coupon sites. CouponMom is great too.

@Eva: that's probably the most sensible way to use coupons, instead of hoarding 50 lbs of dog food when you don't own a dog but who cares because ohmygodIonlypaid30centsforeachofthese!!!

@Ed: I'd settle for being a hundredaire.

Mandy_Fish said...

This is a dark underworld of couponing that I am not prepared to enter. My OCD-lite tendencies could create a monster out of me.

Vic said...

I think couponing requires at least a 30 second attention span, which means I'm doomed with this. I'm the one who cuts out coupons and then they ride around all crumpled in my purse until I find them three years later coated in lip gloss and totally illegible.
I'm impressed!

Brandy Rose said...

I'm just a step behind you. Recently had some money issues and taking the coupon thing much more seriously. My coupon book is now very precious to me.

M. Hicks said...

I can't handle the thought of that much time and paper. I'm cheap in a different way. I buy all my spices and staples from bulk bins (hugely cheap!) I can even buy mac and cheese powder and noodles that way for about 1/3 of the price each. I also plain refuse to buy name brand unless it's marked down in the store.
Do what you got to do though...sounds like you enjoy the coupons!

Maria said...

You sound like a perfect candidate for the show we have here, it's called "Extreme couponing" it's U.S. originally. But yeah...9-10 carts of groceries for like $30 bucks cause people save up anywhere from 100 to 500 bucks. Crazzzyy :) If it financially makes sense and you are not cutting too much into the time you could have been doing something supppppper productive like watching Harry be gorgeous - it's all good.

McKeli0 said...

I am obsessed with the TLC show "Extreme Couponing" and I'm an aspiring couponer...I'd like to try it! Where do you find most of your coupons??!

Miss Yvonne said...

@McKeli0: Most of my coupons come from the Sunday paper, which I get for FREE because I'm a bad ass.

Tristachio said...

You fucker, I'm going to see you next on extreme couponing, aren't I? And no, I'm not saying this out of spite because Canada has stupid has coupon laws that prevent us from being all "I'm tripling this coupon, bitch!" and throwing them in the Cashiers' face because we're a civilized country that hates savings, appearantly.

Also, my captcha word is "Pedlock" and I'm not sure if that's a lock that keeps pedophiles out or what.

Call me Mami for now said...

I love this! (Hi by the way. FIrst time poster here.) I was a reluctant coupon clipper and now am kicking myself in the ass for not doing it sooner.

Ena said...

Perhaps not a sane person, but definitely a thrifty one! I rely on coupons for my shopping budget too, and anyone who tells you that an extra thirty in your pocket isn't worth the effort... well... that's the loony.

nova said...

I admire people who can take the time to clip coupons, honestly. I'm very impatient and will spend an extra dollar fifty on something if it saves me having to look in TWO DIFFERENT STORES. Ughhhh.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm am soooo with you. I won't give the cashier my Store Club Card until AFTER the entire order is rung up so I can watch the total drop-- then I give her the coupons and watch some more. It makes me happy so, absolutely, coupon away!


Mynde said...

Girl- I am right there with ya! This couponing thing is addictive! I truly enjoy it- so I consider it more of a hobby (that actually benefits our family)! Plus- it is gentler than hunting, savier than gambling, and way healthier than street drugs : )

Logical Libby said...

I wish I could coupon like that. I really do. I'm too forgetful/lazy to do it.

You and my friend Ally have a LOT in common. You should check out her site --

Desperate Housemommy said...

I'm too lazy to clip coupons. I do the majority of my shopping on ebay and call it a wash.

Found you @ Studio 30+. Nice to "meet" you!

ionela1 said...


bleedingheart said... <- my obsession

Houston (aka) Tots said...

How we work it is we get the coupons from the super-scary-I-Would-Never-Eat-From Mexican markets and take them to Wal-Mart which matches any coupon.

So you can get roughly 3,000 pounds of chicken for $0.99 (total) which we would eat, rather than the rotten not-quite-cat-chicken we would get at the other markets.

You're welcome.

DevilsHeaven said...

I had to stop watching Extreme Couponing because 1)It made me feel like a shopping failure and 2) 30 hours A WEEK to clip coupons and crawl in recycling trash cans was just too gross to me.

However! If you get on it, totally will watch again! Just let us know!

Sarah P said...

Oh my God, I just started doing this. I swear I'm going to order one of those bras from the coupon section soon, and maybe a National Velvet-inspired collectible baby doll.

Cashier said...

I've started using coupons all the time now, too. I'm happy when I can save $18 off of my $34 bill!