**This is something I wrote about 2 years ago, pre-Andy days, back when I had a rommie and we were penny-pinching in my apartment. Everytime I think about clipping coupons, like now especially in a recession, I remember this fiasco and opt out on coupon-clipping**
Coupons are a manufacturers way to get you to purchase the items they know you never would otherwise!
So I'm on a budget these days, being unemployed and all, trying to be frugal and aware of where my money goes. My mailbox is constantly filled with coupons, not to mention the plethora of coupons found in the Sunday paper. So my roomie and I clipped them, carefully choosing what we would and wouldn't like to get at the next visit to Crest, our local super cheap brand name grocery store.
I arrange them neatly in an envelope, on the back of which contains our well thought out grocery list. I'm pumped. I'm ready to save some money. I'm grabbing the bull by the horns and keeping money in the bank.
It's a HOAX I tell ya, a complete and utter HOAX!
We get to the grocery store, event planned in our heads of how this should go, and I end up turning into a super charged Coupon Bandit! I'm going down the aisles examining over and over again which coupons we clipped, putting things in the basket just because I have a coupon clipped just for that item! Things I'd never eat! Things I've never heard of! My roomie looks at me, after calming her recent belly laugh as I comb the aisles, and tells me, "We aren't going to use EVERY COUPON YOU HAVE TODAY!"
Well why the hell not? We clipped them, we brought them, we should use them!
Get a grip, I told myself, get hold of yourself woman! We make it all the way to the bread aisle before she sees a coupon attached to a rather pricy loaf of bread. It said if we buy this loaf we will get $1.00 off a gallon of milk and $0.55 off a carton of eggs. JACKPOT! Her eyes light up like a kid getting their first red Schwinn bicycle!
Next aisle - shredded cheese and canned biscuits. Ut oh! I distinctly remember clipping at least 5 coupons for Grands Biscuits! Ok, so we couldn't justify the $0.35 coupon for a $4.00 pack of sweet rolls, no matter how yummy they looked. Especially since the other brand was only $1.29 at regular price. We do okay in this section. One more to go.
At this point we looked and were actually using 5 coupons for a savings of about $3.00. Not too shabby. This section of the grocery store never really appealed to me like it did today. I'm not a frozen meal kinda girl. I love to cook, and these foods required a microwave and paper plate and voila', supper was ready. But today, today this area had so very many things to offer. Did you realize you could purchase a baked potato? I mean a potato already baked with all the toppings? And for goodness sake, there were at least 6 flavors of hot wings! Coupons! Where are my blasted coupons!
I'm searching and searching. Low and behold I have at least 10 great coupons for $1.00 off some Tyson bag-o-chicken thing, $1.00 off the Totino's pizza rolls, $0.75 off something called Anytizers, $0.55 off here and $0.45 off there. Holy toledo batman! My roomie tried her best to calm me down. I looked like some freak, up and down those two aisles, going through the coupons one by one, searching for the best deals. My roomie would find something that caught her attention for a few seconds and I would scurry down the aisle, trying to lose her, sneaking the next item I had a coupon for in my buggy.
It was horrible. I was exhausted. Two hours later and we are finally finished. We get up to the cashier, beaming, like we had just caught a fish and even baited the hook ourselves.
BLAM! Reality hits...
Cashier says "Your total is $132.32 with a total coupon savings of $7.45 ladies!"
Ex-ca-use me? So I spent an additional fifty damn dollars to save SEVEN?!?!?!?!
I swore off using coupons that very moment. We didn't even look at our flippin grocery list not one single time!
What's worse... I'm sitting here writing this and thinking about all the things I need to pick up from Wally world tomorrow. Dish soap (I have a coupon for that), papertowels (I just happen to have a coupon for Viva $0.50 off two rolls), Zip-lock bags (oh lord, I have a $1.00 coupon for two of those too)...
and the saga continues...
*Update: Just went into the kitchen to get some iced tea and saw 6 boxes of cereal I just purchased earlier. SIX! There are three of us in this apt. I don't do cereal and my kid eats breakfast at school. I had coupons! Stupid coupons for cereal!