Like many women, I have a passion for shopping – shoes, clothing, bags, even groceries. Especially groceries. Because, unlike apparel, groceries are something you purchase at least once a week, if you’re like most people; several times a week, if you’re like my family. Needless to say, we’ve yet to master the whole ‘shopping list’ concept. Still, there’s something kind of thrilling about being in a brightly lit store with perfectly arranged displays of fresh produce, new products to try, weekly sales and coupons. Oh, the coupons! The coupons make the excursions feel like a game.
Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find a job as of late. Thus, my obsession with couponing. Every week, I make use of the printers in the computer lab, furiously searching for and printing out coupons, trying to match them to the weekly sales. Thiss of course, has put quite a dent in my allotted 300 pages per semester. Now, you’re probably thinking ‘there goes a girl who needs to get a life.’ And, well, you’d be right. But here’s the thing: there’ve been shopping excursions where my family has saved $70 or $80, plus earning gas points. Not exactly Extreme Couponing worthy, but nevertheless it makes a difference. Still, I’d like to save more; my goal is to save $100.
Now, a word about extreme couponing: I envy people’s devotion and ability to stockpile their shopping hauls. And oh, how I aspire to one day have stockpiles like the ones I’ve seen on television. I long to have a mountain of Charmin, pyramids of v8 juice and boxes of crackers at the ready. I’ve even cleared some space under my bed, should it become necessary to store our surplus. Of course, this is easier said than done.
Couponing is hard work. As I’ve said, I spend hours every week searching for coupons, and I’ve never come close to the savings some of these people manage. But then, you watch the show and realize these people coupon like it’s their job, spending upwards of 35 hours a week just clipping coupons. With the fruits of their labor, they purchase insane quantities of everyday necessities, like deodorant. Like, 500 sticks of deodorant. What I’m trying to get at here is that couponing isn’t just a thing you do when you want to save 50 cents on a tube of lipgloss; it’s a way of life. It takes commitment. To obtain massive savings, one cannot be a fair-weather couponer. It’s a ‘round the clock job.
Unfortunately, I don’t quite have the stamina to coupon 24/7. There’s only so long I can stare at different coupon websites before I go cross-eyed. So, until I work up to EC levels of obsession, I’ll just have to be happy with my humble hauls. If you don’t hear from me for a while, I might be buried under a pile of canned tomatoes, in which case; send in the search parties.
By Jen Weiss