So I have decided to try my hand at "couponing". I hadn't realized that the act of using a bunch of coupons and groceries for next to nothing had it's own verb. I have clipped coupons off and on for years, only to lose them, forget them, or have them expire. But when I saw a recent FB post of a friend talking about how she was "couponing" I was intrigued. We are now a one income family and I wanted to work a little harder at saving money where possible. And I thought, if I truly can buy things as cheap as "couponers" say you can, maybe I can donate some of my items to a local food bank. I have been looking for ways to help in my community, but it is a little tricky with my little one.
Another reason I stopped clipping coupons was because I thought that I don't need or buy half the stuff that are on the coupons. I don't eat frozen foods, and I try to avoid all of the boxed and processed stuff as much as possible. I try to stick to the periphery of the grocery store. But, I do use some canned foods like beans, tomatoes, and corn. And I buy pasta and toiletry items. All of those items have coupons regularly. So I decided to give it a go again. I looked at a few blogs and sites, got organized, and then, because I had to pick something up for tomorrow I decided I would go to the store tonight. The sites I read recommended you go at a time when the store isn't busy--morning or evening. My baby was in bed, so I decided I would go to the store tonight, and I would pick up my 3 coupon related items and then the other item on my list.
Well, apparently tomorrow it is supposed to get cold around here, so that was another reason I decided to just go tonight so I didn't need to go out with my little guy tomorrow. Well, the store was packed. And then the items I wanted to buy with my coupons were almost completely out. Apparently, I am not the only "couponer" out there. But I might be the only rookie. I got my items, and some of them, if you bought 10 of the items (that would cost me 20-30 cents) I would get $5 off at the checkout. That sounded like a pretty good deal. So I did that. And thought, cool, I will be a coupon expert my first time and have a receipt total of something like $1.
Too bad things didn't work out quite the way I had hoped. I got it line. No one was behind me until I got to the front of the line. And then I had 2 people pull up ready to get checked out and on their way. My items were rung up and it came to $15. First of all, I have no idea how it all those cans came to $15, but I had people behind me, and I didn't want to squabble over every little thing. But, I did tell the checker that she didn't take $5 off. She said, I only bought 8 eligible items. I said no, I counted them them as they went down the conveyer belt, and that actually I had purchased 11 items. She pulled out the receipt and said nope, only 8. So I said, "ok, can I run and get 2 more cans?" She said, "okay", but her face said, "are you kidding me?"
She was less than thrilled. I wasn't too happy either. And the people behind me definitely weren't either. I ran and got 2 more cans of corn. She rang them up, and said, "those didn't work". I said, "they were on the shelf with the sale tag. What do you mean they didn't work?" She told me, I got the mixed yellow and white corn, and the deal was only for the yellow corn. Now I was the one thinking, "Are you kidding me? I thought this couponing thing was supposed to be a cinch." I asked the checker if she could just override it. But apparently a can of yellow corn and a can of yellow/white corn is that big of a difference and she wasn't able to do that. I asked, "Do you mind if I go grab the different cans then?" I apologized to the people behind me and then ran even faster to get the correct cans. You can imagine how happy they were at this point. I ran back, finished my transaction, and got out of there as fast as I could.
And that was my first experience in my attempt to become a "couponer". To be completely honest, I am not looking forward to the next time I go "couponing". It doesn't sound as exciting as it did last week. I am not sure all that running around was worth saving $5, if I even saved that. I was so confused by the end, and just wanted to leave. But, I am not one to give up so easily, so I will give it the "old college try" again.
Wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.