Our economy sucks right now. I know. I'm not telling any of you what we don't already know. I get right ill over it at times. No, I don't have any great ideas that would solve all our issues and make this all go away. I remember a few years ago my Daddy made the comment that it costs a lot to live in this free country. You are so right, Daddy.
The Man and I made the mutual decision for me to be a stay at home Mom. I find that amusing at times because being at home is something I rarely do. Even if I decided to go back out in the work force? At this time there are simply no jobs to be found. I cringe every time I drive by a business that has been forced to close because of our declining economy.
Due to all of this, I have taken up coupon-ing. What a cool game this is! I am still a fledgling learning my way, but I am a quick study and have done some smart shopping thus far. I have been so consumed with finding the best deals on my toiletries and dry goods. I've signed up for big name drugstores so I can receive notice of specials and take my time looking over the sales papers online. While doing that, I make a list and compare it to the coupons I have. It's not a fast process, but worth it in the end.
Some sites show people stockpiling toiletries and dry goods. I'm not quite to that level yet. I have a few "extras" of the toiletries, but that was luck with coupons. Having a teenager makes me focus more on the the extra toiletries, because that sister can go through some shampoo. Whew. It feels like she's always needing razors, shampoo, soap, etc. I know this is par for the course and I want her to be clean. Therefore, I try very hard to keep this habit of hers supplied.
The Man and I have budgeted the household income almost down to the penny. This has been necessary so we don't end up drowning. (Do you know how easy it is to do that?? Drown, that is.) The budget is pretty strict and there have been some good deals that have slipped past me and some amazing coupons that have expired because it just wasn't in the budget for that week/pay period. Getting our taxes back changed that tune just a tad. I decided to head out and replenish our supply of some needed items.
You should have been a fly on the wall. The Man has gotten involved in my Coupon World. Yesterday, he sat and cut coupons out for a little over an hour while I made the list and compared what we needed to what we had on little square pieces of paper. He didn't complain once while I organized and muttered to myself. We ALL went to Wal*art to see what we could do. Paige kept The Boy entertained with some fish viewing for a short while. I think The Man and I were high or something. We knew better than to take our son out when he's coming off of the medication. Especially to THAT store. I finally passed the notebook and pen to him to cross off items and that kept him focused and entertained some. That boy and I went toe to toe and almost had a throw down because I wanted to use a certain coupon for some toothbrushes for him and he wasn't about *those* toothbrushes. Spiderman toothpaste NEEDED a spiderman toothbrush in his mind. I finally thought to myself this really wasn't a battle I had to win and he received his toothbrush. (I totally got the one with the coupon-he'll use it sooner or later and it's green-so I'm not worried.)
The Man and I studied coupons and sales and consulted on the better deal. I've gone so far as to research and look at the different brands of hair product. I don't want to buy one that's not good or good for my hair. I was pleasantly surprised to find that a few of the cheaper brands were reported to do as well as salon expensive brands. I am loving that The Man has no shame of his fist full of coupons. He speaks to those he knows and makes no apologies for saving a dime. It's become a great game to us to see how much we can save. (I even had the sales papers from competing stores -Walgr*ens and C-v-S to see who had the better deal on what.)
At the end of our shopping adventure, The Man, The Boy, and Makenna headed out to the truck since my baby was tired and needing to get away from all the fluorescent stimulation. Paige and I buckled down to see how well we fared. We were sidetracked by a group of three men in front of us. You should have SEEN the buggy full of Valentine stuff these guys had. Somewhere in our town this weekend, there is going to be some happy women and children. I was so tickled to see they had even purchased gift bags and tissue paper.
Our groceries had been added up when I handed the cashier my stack of coupons. Behind me there were 4 women (together) with buggies full of groceries. The cashier hated me. She was making me pull out items to prove that's what I had gotten before ringing in the "buy one-get one free" deals. I didn't falter, Internets. I'd dig out the item to prove I was on top of my game. The women behind me in line watched intently. Beep. Beep. Beep. That cashier kept ringing up that coupon goodness.
I kept grinning. I discreetly turned to the women behind me and held up three fingers then showed the sign for zero to tell them how much I thought I was saving. Then I did a little teeny tiny shoulder dance. They laughed and I don't think they were upset over waiting then. I also kept apologizing for taking so long and they assured me all was fine.
That cashier really disliked me by the time she was finished.
I bid them all a cheery goodnight as Paige and I pushed the buggy out the door.
Paige sighed real big and said that ordeal just wore her out. I commended her for staying true to the mission and reminded her she had goodies in the bags, too.
After all was settled at home, The Man and I sat and figured up what our savings were.
Yeah, baby. That's all coupons right there.
It's on now. We are hooked on finding deals. That thirty seven bucks is enough to take my family out to dinner. I can almost fill up my truck with that. I can work thirty seven bucks, Internet.
Wasn't this the longest story on Earth to tell you about $37.33? I promise not to be this drawn out again. I can't promise I won't blog about finding the good deal occasionally. I consider this good fortune found by work. Nothing wrong with that.
Now I get to go organize a shelf in my bathroom closet so I can open the door, glance up, and feel good about what I see!
Go on and have a good weekend. I'm going to go be green now and recycle some sales papers!