A couple of weeks ago my friend and neighbor Marie took a couponing class. That afternoon she came over with a couple bags of frozen pretzels that she’d gotten for free and bestowed them on me. Since that day I’ve been slowly reaping the rewards of her time and effort. Laundry detergent, toilet paper and shampoo have all ended up on my doorstep. A definite perk of living next door to a couponer.
Of course, the first thing I did was rush out and get four copies of each of this week’s coupon inserts. I understand the concept so if she can do it why can’t I? Right?
Hah. Want to take a guess at how many coupons I’ve clipped in the last week? Did you guess three? Of those three measly little coupons do you know how many I’ve used? Zero. I’m just letting the chance of getting $10 laundry detergent for $1.50 each pass me by.
Why would I do such a thing? That’s such a great deal!
Believe me, I know. I’m reminded everytime Marie comes home with another haul.
So let me explain why.
If you aren’t familiar with couponing then here’s a little rundown.. You need to collect the inserts from the last seven hundred years of Sunday papers, cross check those with store coupons that may have come out recently or may have come out sometime around 300 B.C. but are still valid. Then you get to scan the weekly ads from every store in creation. Done with that? Cool. Now you get to grab your little groups of coupons (making a list might save you a little time, but not much), grab those weekly ads again and see if anything matches up.
You get to repeat this process weekly. For every store. With this weeks coupons, and last week’s, and last month’s. Don’t forget to constantly check the dates on the coupons because they expire and you might miss out on that $0.25 off dish soap. And I really hope you enjoy visiting every grocery, dollar, and drug store within a fifteen to twenty mile radius.
As awesome as those Extreme Couponing shows make it look, if you want to bring in the loads they do then you’re going to need to devote about forty hours a week to strictly couponing. For those women it’s a full-time job.
So what? It’s still worth it. Right?
Sure. Just not to me. I have an 8 month old rugrat that needs constant supervision. A house to clean, shopping to do, doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher conferences, gymnastics classes and recitals. My plate is pretty full.
So while I’m fully aware of the benefits of couponing, I’m just going to keep sipping my coffee in my sweat pants and messy ponytail and trying to keep my daughter from licking the power outlets.. and occasionally getting some free toilet paper from Marie.