So I am sick and tired of people judging me for my "couponing". Yes, I haven't posted about it much because I really don't go looking to convert people or looking for their opinions either. For about 2 years I have carried my "coupon binder" EVERYWHERE.
I am not one who prints out online coupons because I don't buy enough stuff to justify the ink but I do clip newspaper coupons from the Sunday paper and only shop what's on sale. For groceries, I actually only shop at one store. So right away you can see I'm not as militant as some, but I save a respectable amount averaging about 30%. It's about the equivalent of my family's cell phone bill - and that's just on groceries.
Here's the part that kills me - there's always 1 person (or 100) that feel the need to tell me that they would use coupons if it wasn't all for junk. Junk? Where exactly is my junk? I don't buy frozen dinners or SPAM or have 2000 Hot Pockets in my freezer... what I do have are things that make my life easier. Yes, I buy store bought bread, yogurt, cheese sticks, occasionally granola bars and oodles of boxes of cereal, so sue me for not being out there milking my own cow every morning or baking bread every stinking day (although if I have the time I find it therapeutic and appreciated by my kids). There are plenty of ways to save money on real things that real parents need to run an actual household with busy people that live there!
None of these "comments" I get, either from strangers or from people I know, are solicited. They feel the need to justify themselves for some reason when they see me next to them with my binder, an actual pencil and paper and a calculator. (The fun part is that I usually have my kids with me so there goes their excuse #1 for not being able to do it :)
Interesting thing though... I never have any meat or vegetables in my cart. That's because I actually buy my meat in bulk when it is seasonally available from a local farm, and I grow my own vegetables and freeze or can them for use in the winter. So what "appears" to be a chick who only feeds her kids cereal and yogurt and cheese sticks and lunch snacks is actually someone supplementing the quality stuff that comes from local farmers and her own hard work the best way she can at this time. Anyone filling their cart with tomatoes from Mexico or oranges from South Africa has no business judging me for buying granola bars made in only-God-knows-where.
If you know me, you know that although I garden and do my part to educate myself and others about food quality and local farming - I also do not subscribe to the hipster drivel. While some people are busy dumping their whole paycheck at Whole Foods, more concerned with what kind of trendy "market bag" they have to carry at the Farmer's Market and have their noses stuck in the latest crunchy parenting magazine - I am busy. I am a stay at home mom of a deployed service member on a limited budget with 2 boys. I do the best I can with what we have. Haters are welcome to walk in my shoes for a month… successfully.
Tonight, I encountered a person who commented that she would cut coupons "if it was for stuff she used", and commented "I ain't got time for that" (really).… I later saw her with an assortment of crap that I would never use AND she was paying with an EBT card. Whoa.
I am going to post a photo here of my grocery trip tonight. It was a small one, but I only bought things I had coupons for and took advantage of a sale of gift cards that I could use for Christmas shopping. I seriously ask you if these are things you would never buy? Be honest!
I needed to pick up just a couple of things, but ended up getting some good deals - this wouldn't happen if I didn't ALWAYS have my coupon binder with me. Of note: some of these were FREE. Eggs, 2 of the bags of pretzels, and 4 cans of potatoes. Of course I can live my life without canned potatoes but they are not junk and I repeat: FREE.
I ask you seriously, do you not EVER buy these things? If you don't ever eat this stuff I am in awe of you, but really - you are just weird :)
See the gift cards there? Buy $100 of gift cards and get $20 off next grocery visit. The fact that I can buy them before cyber Monday? - I'm sold! That's like getting $100 of Amazon crap for $80 before I even include the sales on Amazon.
Here is a closeup of an average receipt showing my coupons for the above photo, this trip was just for a short trip tonight. You should see my quarterly big trips when I'm actually trying!
I realize that there are indeed people out there who would't buy these things, but are they at sporting practices/events 5 days a week and packing lunches for kids? And still finding time to grow their own veggies and keep a clean house and do yard work and help with homework and do laundry… ALONE with a deployed spouse? At the opposite end of the spectrum from the haters we have the awestruck "lazy people"… if you are a couponer you know who I'm talking about. "Oh wow! That is awesome! Let's get together and you can show me how to do that!" Um...NO. Learn it yourself the same way I did, it will stick with you longer. These people usually just want to chat for an hour OR have you do their shopping for them. "Ain't nobody got time for that".
I am not trying to begrudge anyone who can do better than this, I applaud you! BUT, I want to give a shout out to the other moms I see couponing who are doing the same thing I'm trying to do - work for my family the best way I can, without resorting to 2000 Hot Pockets in the cart. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing, and I stand with you! By the way this madness goes for everything… I do the rewards points at stores, coupon codes online, all of it. I even get .15 to .30 cents off per gallon of gas every time I fill up just from saving my grocery gas rewards and scanning them at the pump.
One of the reasons I do this:
Sports teams can get expensive! But who can say no to this face?
One more good thing about stocking up on the cheap - this year I noticed that I could assemble an entire traditional Thanksgiving dinner right down to the turkey just from what I already have in food storage and in the freezer. We will be having turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole - all the traditional trappings… right from what we already have. Another thing I noticed, this is the 2nd year in a row the hubs has missed Thanksgiving, ugh. More leftovers I guess.
Another cool score with a sale & coupon: I paid $3.00 for this new release the kids want for Christmas, and got a $5 gift card to use next visit.
Soooo, I'm done with my rant for now, and that sure felt good, even if it made no sense :) Thanks for hanging in there, if you are indeed still there!
So where have I been? No, I haven't moved to Belize. Yet. I've been on Facebook for sure, but due to some of hubby's work/career stuff I have been laying low on the online blog presence thing… in case you haven't noticed I'm kind of opinionated and that's not always a good thing so I have to know when to go away for awhile :) Also, I have just been entering a "new season" in my life where I was having some trouble figuring out how to fit everything I used to do easily into a mere day - I can't seem to do it anymore with the boys getting older and busier. Then, there's that deployment thing...
Someone needs to tell me what to do about the Reader thing... what are you all using now? I probably went from 200 followers down to zero so I should stop now until I find out if anyone is left out there in blog-land...
Happy Thanksgiving to you!