Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Couponing (Mis)Fortune

When times get rough, Southern women start couponing. For many stay at home moms, like me, the number on that receipt under ‘Amount Saved’ is worn like a badge of honor. That number is the culmination of hours spent scouring newspapers for inserts, sending your kids to Guadalajara to collect blinkies for Jell-O pudding cups, and stopping at 47 grocery stores in a 3-day span to get rock bottom prices. I admit it:  I’ve been suckered into it before, and if you spend hours and hours working on it, you can save a ton of money. You pick up on the tips and tricks of fellow coupon clippers and find yourself including Winn Dixie in your bedtime prayers. ‘Oh, heavenly Father, I do hope that you bless Al that works on register 3, and the 50-cent coupons that he never fails to double. And Lord, if you see fit, I’d really love it if I could walk out of the store with overage just once.’ 

However, like most other means of saving money, there are drawbacks to being in the coupon clique. First of all, cashiers will place voodoo curses on your offspring. Nothing will get you on the grocer’s poop list faster than strolling up to the check-out with 19 items that you want rang up in 14 different transactions for the sole purpose of saving $0.75. The cashier will hate you, and so will the seven people behind you in the 20-items-or-less lane. But, hey, if you really need those 75-cents, it’s your prerogative.

My husband never really minded this since he has never, and I mean never, gone to the grocery store with me. Do you think most wives are upset that their husbands don’t go grocery shopping with them? Not in this lifetime. If, God forbid, you make the mistake of taking them with you, you are sure to come home with four pounds of beef jerky, 23 2-liters of Diet Mountain Dew, two boxes of corn dogs, six pounds of hot nuts, a case of WD-40, a 6-foot inflatable goat marked 80% off, a 96-pack of Charmin Ultra, and a box of Swiss Cake rolls.

Unfortunately, this is a lot like couponing. I came home after one of my big couponing trips, and I was hitting the high spots. I’d spent $143, but I’d saved $648! My truck was packed to the brim with everything you could imagine. My love came home from work that night, and I couldn’t wait to show him my receipt. He grabbed my waving arms, and said “Honey, calm down. You can tell me all about it after we eat dinner. I am starving. What are we having?”

How do you find the words to say “take-out” when you just packed $800 worth of crap in your pantry? He was so stunned that he actually asked to see the receipt. Well, it’s about time he takes notice of what a good steward of our money I am! I pulled the 12-foot long receipt out of my purse and let him study it for a moment. I stood there waiting for my pat on the back, and instead got a foot up my butt.

“Darlin’, I know you work hard at this coupon thing, but did we really need 24 boxes of laxatives?” Imbecile…he clearly hasn’t read the whole receipt. When you buy 14 5-lb. logs of government cheese, there is a distinct possibility you’ll need that many laxatives. “Wow, honey, you got baby formula for $3 a bottle. That’s a great price for, um, people that have babies. Is there something you need to tell me?” Why, yes, honey, there is! I thought you’d never ask. I saved $14 per can!

“Okay, so you can donate the formula to the church nursery or food pantry. But what are you possibly gonna do with 10 packs of XXXL Depends?” Wouldn’t you just like to know, pretty boy? If you don’t quit complaining about all the money I just saved you, you’re gonna be wearing every last one of ‘em! He tries, but bless his heart, he just doesn’t understand couponing. By the time we got to the Chinese buffet, he’d raked my butt over the coals for getting amazing deals on 15 coach’s whistles, 2 crates of rotten bananas, Seasons 1-4 of Designing Women on VHS, some polka-dotted panties, and a folding wheelchair. Just for that, I’m not sharing my glow-in-the-dark unicycle with him. (Did I mention I that if I buy 3 more of them, I can get one free?!)  I swear, sometimes men are so unappreciative. Bless their hearts. 


  1. I'm so glad to read this! Seeing all those badges of honor receipts scroll by on my Facebook wall just adds to the running lists I keep in my head: "Things I Don't Do Right,: and "Ways in Which I'm Deficient."

    1. I know, right?! Some people have a knack for it; I just wind up with a closet full of Preparation-H, Tang, and canned tuna.