Monday, February 28, 2011

Crazy Coupon Ladies

This week was my first official week as a "couponer."

Yep.  I'm pretty sure I'm on the verge of becoming one of those crazy coupon ladies who get totally high off of free groceries...

Unless I totally flake out which is totally a possibility since I pretty much stink at commitment.

Unless I do so fantastical that I get to quit my job because I somehow miraculously figure out how to feed my family organic food for free every month...

Wednesday I went online to Coupon Closet and perused the match ups for the Homeland flier.  Basically, this saint of a woman named Carrie clips coupons religiously.  She takes the Homeland sale bill (Homeland doubles coupons up to a dollar every day) and matches up online and paper insert coupons for items that are free or extremely cheap.

Since I do not subscribe to the paper, and had only purchased one paper, I was limited to clicking on her links (seriously, she has a link that you click on and then just print the coupon) and using those coupons.  If you are at all  interested, the thing I must tell you before you go visit her and start clicking and printing is that you should create a coupon email address so your inbox is not flooded with other junk.  She gives this advice and it seems very wise.  I ended up wasting lots of time signing up for some name brands to send me emails to my new coupon address so that I could get online coupons for peanut butter and waffles and such...

I went to Homeland on my way home from work Thursday.  I had $17 dollars worth of coupons, printed strictly online and I refrained from printing anything I classified as not needed or just pure junk.  I was strangely nervous.

I didn't have a Homeland card.  I didn't know if the checker would really double the "do not double" coupon.  I was afraid I'd get the wrong item and then I'd be stuck with name brand stuff when off brand would be cheaper and on and on and on...

I stopped at the eggs. I had a coupon that I could use to end up getting them for $0.45 each.  I noticed a lady perusing her printed coupon and the eggs at the same time as me...

I wandered over to the lunch meat.  The same lady was grabbing some lunch meat with a printed coupon.  We each got a 12oz shredded turkey pack for $0.50. 

We stopped at the yogurt.  The display with the valid coupon was empty.  My heart thumped.  My palms started sweating.  What was I to do?  I really, really, really, really WANTED that free yogurt.  I eat yogurt nearly every day.  My daughter packs it in her lunch...My first failure as a couponer was looming at me, and I was uncertain of what to do next.

"Are you looking for the YoPlus yogurt?" she asked.

"Yeah.  I guess it's all gone.  I'm new to this coupon thing.  How do I get a rain check?"

"I don't know.  I've only been doing it about 3 weeks, and I've never needed to get one.  I guess we just go ask customer service."  And then we totally launched into a conversation about Coupon Closet (she even had her handy dandy shoebox with her, complete with scissors, I noted) and her various trials and successes with couponing.  Apparently she has a coworker who is hooked as well, and now they both swap coupons every Monday morning and share shopping bargain stories with each other.

I swear, by the time I walked away, I felt like I had made a new friend who I knew was trying to pay off two cars that will be paid off hopefully by the end of this summer.  She works, but is trying to convince her husband that she can quit after they get their cars paid off and if she does REALLY good couponing...

Basically, I just met a soul sister in the dairy aisle at my local Homeland. 

After I hugged her, kissed her on the cheek goodbye and had a moment of prayer over her desire to quit working*, I skipped down the aisle to Customer Service to get my Homeland card and rain check for my free YoPlus yogurt....

I happily checked out for $5 even, with $16.79 worth of groceries. And $3 of that was for cheese, which I did NOT have a coupon for!  I felt like that was pretty good for my maiden voyage into the land of couponing...

As I gently laid my eggs on the floor of my back seat I realized I forgot to ask for my new soul sister's number before we said goodbye.

Perhaps we will meet again in the frozen food aisle as we scavenge for our favorite frozen pizza that we will inevitably be getting for free.

Or perhaps the whole hugging/kissing/prayer thing totally freaked her out and she will never visit that Homeland again as long as she lives.

*Please understand, Gentle Reader, I'm only kidding about the hugging/kissing/prayer thing.  It sounded like a crazy thing I'd do, and I might have if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get home!

9 comments:

Me said...

I have been couponing for years.... Isn't it awesome how much moola you save????

Me said...

I have been couponing for years.... Isn't it awesome how much moola you save????

Megan said...

Couponing is SO MUCH FUN!! I so have Danielle and April to thank for getting started on a small scale months ago...now I'm sort of crazy about it!! If you ever need Sunday Norman Transcripts let me know.

Dawn said...

We only have one store (besides the mart store..) that does not double coupons. Did you get the name of your new best couponing friend?

gianna said...

Here in the twin cities of MN, we have one store that doubles coupons and a couple that accept expired coupons. Anyway, I have been doing this for a year and it very exhilarating and time consuming.
And I stress out a lot over it.
I want a new friend like you have.
Oh, another thing to do is to go to the same check out person (one that you like) because you can develop a relationship with them and laugh over stuff and ask them dumb questions.

Jen said...

I have a friend who has been pushing me into couponing, but honestly, no highs yet. I just don't feel like I'm saving enough to make the effort worth it. That could be because I have to comparison everything with two screaming children. I've yet to feel good about it, but I'm glad you scored.

I had a stranger hug me in a store once. It was a little weird, but made me feel warm and happy all day. I've never been a big hugger, but sometimes I wish I was. Hugs are nice.

Taylor said...

I can't believe you let her slip away.

Crazy Sister said...

I can't believe those prices! I'm strongly suspicious that what you consider NORMAL prices are HUGELY cheap for us... and your 'cheap' prices are, quite clearly, insane.

Are you sure this wasn't all a dream?

NaomiG said...

I should not have read this post, as I am currently doing my best to convince myself that couponing will in no way, shape, or form be worth my while. Just the thought of it stresses me out. But $5 for $17 dollars worth of groceries? That is awesome. You're killin' me here. :-)