Sunday, September 23, 2007

Confession of a Coupon Queen

I was reading Veronica Mitchell's post today about cheapness, and it really resonated with me. (Go read it...but come back!) She issued a challenge, to blog on the area of your life that you are the cheapest.

Well, folks for me that is a tough call, because there are so many many areas that qualify. We've been a one-income family for seven years now, and I have become accustomed to a lifestyle of cheapness in order to survive. We've had our challenges over the years with medical bills, credit card debt, and a long period of unemployment (including two months earlier this year with NO INCOME. None.) I have personally seen God provide amazingly for my family over and over again.

So, Veronica, I will confess to you one of the areas of my life in which I am cheap, which is in the area of groceries. I never EVER pay full price for groceries. I clip coupons, yes, but there's more to it than that. It's an obsession. I only buy what is on sale, no matter what. I make my menus for the week based on what is in the sale paper. Then I search through my little coupon file (yes I'm cheap and nerdy) and if there is something that is on sale and I have a coupon for it....well it gives me goose bumps.

My darling husband loves Pepsi. Frequently I will ask him as I leave for the store, "Anything you want, honey?" and he will reply, "Yeah, get me some Pepsi." And then an hour later I will come back with Coke. It seems logical to me. Coke is on sale. Pepsi will be on sale next week, and we'll get it then. To him it just seems crazy. I can see his point, that he has to spend a week drinking something he doesn't quite like as much just so I can save $2.50. But that's the way I am. It would really hurt my feelings to pay full price for a case of Pepsi. I just can't do it.

My children loudly lament my cheapness when they go grocery shopping with me. Sometimes (rarely) I will let them pick out a snack, and they always beg for those stupid Fruit Snacks. Those things are just expensive candy, which is why I hate buying them. If I'm going to spend money on candy, it better be chocolate. Anyway, I have actually forbidden my children to have any of the fruit snack boxes that are not on sale. I don't care if it has Hello Kitty on it. This Curious George one is $1.29 less, and we're getting it. This makes no sense to them.

There are a few grocery shopping rules that I always abide by. Of course there's the principle that the food has to be on sale. And I have no brand loyalty. (I buy the store brand whenever possible. If it's lousy, I take it back.) I shop for 7 days' worth of food in one trip and I try to keep it under $100. I buy two Sunday papers for the coupons. I use a LOT of coupons. Don't ever get in line behind me. If I find a good price on something I know I will use, I stock up. (I bought about two months' worth of juice boxes on sale right before school started. It gave me great joy.)

Well, there you have it. A cheapness secret I've been carrying around for quite some time now. What's yours?


  1. You are a very wise woman. $2.50 is a lot of money.

    My husband usually gets store brand soda, so yours is a lucky man.

  2. You are my hero.

    I almost exclusively buy sale items, and I do get giddy when it's on sale and I have a coupon. But the best is when it's on sale, I have a coupon, and the store is offering double coupons. That is sheer ecstasy! That is how I wound up with Dora the Explorer pull-ups in my house. When I could finally get them for only about 11 cents each...cheaper than the Target diapers!

  3. i try to do this, too, but not nearly as well as you do it! I tend to go to walmart, where things are just cheaper in general, rather than scouring the paper for food deals. But name brand? Only if the coupon makes it cheaper than the store brand!

  4. do you ever get the All You magazine that Walmart puts out? I love this publication, and not for the articles (although they are good too, for it's coupons! The latest issue has a coupon for a dollar of those energy saving lightbulbs and this weekend is a tax free weekend for energy saving type stuff! I too got goosebumps!


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