In a rare situation, where I had the remote, and Justin was complacent enough to not fight me for it, I watched Extreme Couponing. As usual with any program I watch, he first bitched about how dumb it was while rolling his eyes like the drama queen he can be when he has to watch anything I want to watch. (Or when he can't change between 7 channels during every commercial.) Have you ever seen a man in work boots, with rough hands blackened from working with oil, acting like a diva?? It's quite funny!
After a while, he started seeing the people saving money and he got interested in the show. You have to understand that Justin has an odd relationship with money. He will go into Wal-Mart and spend $300 without blinking an eye. Yet at the grocery store, we seriously fight, every time. It always turns into a fight about how much we spent and how we cannot afford to do this. (But we can afford to buy fishing gear, random paint/primers, etc for "projects" that will never even get started nevermind finished, at Wal-Mart or even worse, a store with tools) There's really no logic. The cost of food just disturbs him and gets him all angry and upset. Again, some things it doesn't cross his mind to waste money on, yet other things get him all fired up. And he's like an old man when it comes to savings, really cheap items, sales, or heaven forbid....something free. (It's disturbing and I've pretended to not know him during these times in public.)
Anyway, after watching the show, he decides that I am now in charge of getting coupons and getting all our groceries for free. (Me, really??!! I'm so lucky!)
I explain to him a few key issues he's missing from watching the show:
- 1. The coupon policies are different in every state and every store
- 2. I have a fucking life and don't want to pick through garbage bags on Sunday mornings to find thrown away coupons
- 3. We don't have the cabinet space for the food we actually need, never mind a stockpile.
- 4. These people never have full meals in their carts. Or things to make full meals. Yay. 50 jars of mustard, 42 tubes of toothpaste, 23 boxes of oatmeal, and 67 jars of pickles! Dinner will be awesome this week! Look at all the options! Call me crazy, but I like meat or vegetables thrown in with my mustard/toothpaste/oatmeal mix.
After he nags a bit longer, I buy a paper one Sunday, look through the coupons versus what's on sale and what we actually BUY AND USE, and find 2 coupons that will be useful. We are buying a mansion with these savings, I can feel it!
Don't get me wrong, I understand that you can save money. I know that you don't have to devote your entire life to it, and any extra money does help. But I will not go to that extreme and I also know that we will not be getting money back from the grocery store every time we go there.
He whines a bit about how they do it on tv, and blah blah blah. Then, he decides to be a bit more reasonable, and says I have to save $100/week with coupons. I tell him he's being unreasonable, but really I don't care because I'm ignoring him for the most part. He does have a slight point when he mentions that since I don't actually work, I have time to do this and I should. Blah blah blah....fine. I'll do it "soon."
That was over 3 months ago.
He still brings up the issue occasionally, and I still swear I will look into 'this week.' Finally, I decide that if I had a wireless printer, I could easily look for coupons and print them while being parked on my cozy couch. So off I go to buy a new printer. It's a jazzy little combo with scan/fax/copy and wireless! Woo Hoo. And I had a $50 rebate from buying my computer, so I only spent about $30 buying my very needed printer. Obviously, when he came home, he didn't appreciate the printer nearly enough and he told me I was to "return that thing immediately." I knew this would happen (and hello I bought it with MY MONEY!), so I had planned ahead. I hooked it all up, and wandered the internet looking for coupons for products that we actually buy. I had found a good amount, so after he got over his rant, I showed him all the 'money' I found and how this printer was really the reason. He eventually got over the printer, and that was that.
I was so proud of my coupon findings that I picked up the Price Chopper ad that we'd had kickin' around for a few days and started matching up coupons with what was on sale. I made a neat little list (I love making lists!) and marked which I had coupons for so I'd be "orgnized." I then begged, pleaded, nagged, and pretty much forced Justin to come to Price Chopper immediately so we could go save! This was last Friday.
I wait forever to get a Price Chopper "card" due to one of those god awful "lottery ladies" holding up everything. My first "buy" was coke 12 packs, 4 for $11 with the coupon I had from the ad. But it said, "3/$12." I just thought I read it wrong and carried on. I found a few more things that were "on sale" but not marked. It was around aisle 7 when I realized my error. The flyer started the next day. OOPS. Worse than that was that I had to now tell Justin this....he does not take it well as I forced him to the store because I was 'nervous about couponing for the first time and it was HIS idea!" (Yes, I used that in my appeal to get him to come.)
So that didn't end well. Luckily they had some things that overlapped, so we got a few savings. A very few. Like $3.50. Woo Hoo.
But I check my coupons now. I have a pretty good idea of what I have in my little coupon purse, so when making a list, I know if I can save extra money. I went back today. I never go alone, because as I mentioned, the grocery prices cause anger from Justin and when I go alone, I get 20 questions over everything I bought and how I spent so much. Plus, I get distracted easily in the grocery store and seem to think I'm Betty Crocker and am going to cook amazing home cooked food 3 meals a day. I tend to buy things "you should have" just in case....cooking wine, heavy cream, chicken stock, baking powder being examples. (In my defense, I have a used few of these things once!)
I decided to go alone and before Justin left for work I tell him about my plan. He gives me an $80 budget. I explain that we haven't been "real" grocery shopping in quite some time. (And I spend $80 going to buy a few quick things!) He ups my 'allowance' to $140, then tops off at $160. I'm happy with that. I can do that. Or I can try like hell. I have coupons dammit! I have a list that I will not stray from. I know what's on sale! As I leave the house I grab $300 extra...just in case.
And away I go...I get a bit confused...I mean, the store brand is technically cheaper, even with the coupon usually and that's what I usually buy. So now what? I decide to buy name brand stuff, with my coupon. Some items are on sale and I have a coupon. I'm so proud. I double check my coupons throughout the stores, making sure I got the right size and quantities. I'm awesome! Then I get confused again because I can't do math....but we eat yogurt. A lot of it. And only Yoplait, except when Justin gets that greek shit. Yoplait is on sale and I have a coupon for it. Two actually! One is for .40 off 6, one is for .50 off 8. Hmm...which is better? Common sense to most people, but I'm not sure, and I wonder if they may be equal? I do the obvious thing, and text Michelle because she can do math and she explains. All is good. But I end up buying 8 yogurts, so there is a week's worth and use that one anyway. Anyhoo...it's a learning process for me.
Off to the checkout I go. My coupons are out, my little card is ready, and away we go. I watch and get a little antsy over the ever rising total. Then I hand in my coupons, and my card. And poof....the total is $151.81! I'M BELOW MY BUDGET AT THE GROCERY STORE!!!!!!! Justin will be so proud! I saved almost $30 with my coupons and card and got .40 off each gallon of gas. (I think this is good for my first time...and buying only things we actually USE AND NEED!)
I was so excited. I texted Justin right away to share my great news. An hour passes and I don't hear from him. I call to ask why he didn't respond. He hadn't looked at his phone. So I explain it all to him....what I bought, how my coupon worked, what it was on sale for, etc. He's driving, so I know he can listen. He says good job! I tell him that if I did so good he should bring me a bottle of Patron home as a present. (Thus defeating the savings, but oh well....we'd have gotten it anyway, so it's a wash)
Halfway through my savings story, I'm cut off....
"I have to go honey, I'm driving. I will talk to you later. Love you."
And that's all I got. He said he was proud, got bored of listening to the fact that I, ME, LORIANN, did what somebody told her to do. And he hung up.
Ungrateful is what I would say....jerk! I'm burning all my coupons!!!!!! See what he says next time!