The truth about couponing

Organizing

I probably do not need to provide any explanation of the title because once you have seen the picture, you know.  This was taken on the night of July 3rd while fireworks were exploding outside and we were inside, patriotically watching the John Adams movie.

How lame is my life.

I did not add a question mark because that is not a question. It is a statement. In elementary school, I always got irritated by the punctuation mark questions where you had to select the proper punctuation for sentences and they tried to trip you up by having sentences that began with “how,” such as “how blue is the sky,” which were supposed to be exclamatory. It was a trick question because they just wanted to make sure we weren’t just putting question mark whenever we say a question word.   As if some person walks outside and gazes up and says, “HARK, how blue is the sky!!”

No one talks that way.

How lame is my life.

But just in case you thought it was a question, here is the answer, in photo form.

Couponing is insane. It is like a cult.  It is freakin’ hard. It takes time. It is my job.  Anyone who tells you differently is lying, or is me. I try to get people into couponing to help me feel better about my own mania and lameness.

So the area in the middle of the insane semi-circle is where I was sitting before I realized that I had to take a picture of the madness.

Now that I have confessed my mania, I will make a disclaimer.

1. Organizing is not always this bad. My friend Amy (THANK YOU) got me 15 extra coupon books and I was massively behind on sorting.

2. I had just decided to switch from the “no-cut” method back to the “cut” method, so there was a lot of sorting that I don’t normally have. Having done both, I can give you the pros and cons of each if you want or care, which, I know, . . . .you don’t.

3. Usually it only takes me a total of 1-2 hours to cut and file my coupons weekly.

4. Then it takes 1-2 hours to plan the grocery trips and pull and print the coupons.

5. Then I actually have to go do the shopping. 1-2 hours each time.

6. This does not sound like a list of disclaimers anymore. I have been in shorter long term relationships.

7. But I will just throw this in if you are still reading. This afternoon our refrigerator was bare, utterly. We had no fruit except for a lime. Only whole milk and a few slices of bread. The kids were in revolt about the lack of juice and Dylan was chanting, “Why tan’t you buy some?” about everything.  There was one diaper left for each of two butts. So without time to really plan and little money, Addie and I headed to CVS and Harris Teeter. I had my massively thick notebook and a rough list.  I knew we were in for a crisis.

It took 3 hours. I spent $107 dollars. I want to cry. I haven’t spent that much in the grocery store (and pharmacy) in a gagillion years.  And I forgot to use my Tropicana coupon.  Addie fell apart.  So our money for the week is gone and we haven’t even gone on our super fun Friday field trip. Stupid poop.

Couponing is a curse. Once you have started, you have to continue or you cannot shop without feeling utter guilt and pain at spending. Going shopping without a streamlined plan is excruciating.   Right now, I hate couponing and the lack of it. Grrrr.

How lame is my life.  I did get a ton of groceries though. Including raspberries, which I love and I think I will go eat one now.

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2 Responses to The truth about couponing

  1. Lisa July 15, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    I did that. I realize I’m just learning how this religion works, but I want to always save atleast 3/4 of the price and only spend $30 on 100 items. Am I overreaching? So I tried my hand at CVSing and didn’t do it right. So I have some ECBs but realized that I should have done more transactions and spent less REAL money. Next time I’ll probably take a calculator. Thanks for your help on couponing. There’s always next week! ;-0

    • Katrina Ryder July 15, 2010 at 8:57 am #

      Wow. You are ambitious. I would say that you should start trying to save around 40% and move up from there. There is a learning curve. Be happy with CVS, thinking about how well you did instead of how you could have done better. I would say 1 out of 5 of my CVS trips are truly awesome. Like yesterday, instead of rolling my 23 ECBs, I just had to go in and buy diapers, getting nothing back. But, I got a box of diapers, a bag of pull-ups, flushable wipes, and a gatorade for $9 out of pocket. So I have to focus on that.