Crafts, Scrap Booking, Parent-Teacher Conferences, bedtime stories that aren't scary......a little starter list of "mom" activities I suck at. Please add coupons to the list.
Between my tendency to be frugal and my obsession with reality shows, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I stumbled onto the show called 'Extreme Couponing.' I didn't actually watch it, mind you, I just heard the title and put 2 and 2 together. (Research isn't my strong suit.)
I grabbed the giant stack of Sunday papers beside the fireplace and went to work. Before long I had an impressive little pile neatly stacked on top of my grocery list. To add to that, I went on-line and spent 2 hours looking up store ads, noting and comparing the sales of 2 different stores. I was downright giddy with the excitement of my new venture that would surely qualify me for the list of "Good stay at home moms."
My husband always comes grocery shopping with me. He does all the math in his head and tells me which is the better deal. I push the cart, keep track of the list and replace all the junk food to their shelves when his back is turned. It's a good system.
Last night was my coupon debut. Store #1. First stop: Laundry Detergent. I showed my husband the name brand item on sale and the coupon and asked him to compare it to the off-brand we normally buy and tell me how much money I just saved him....(insert Final Jeopardy music as he silently tallied numbers in his head while I stood there beaming).....he finally said, "A penny." (I came this close to bursting into tears, throwing my envelope of coupons on the floor and running to the car.....thank goodness I'm not dramatic or anything.)
An hour and a half later, we were at the check-out and my excitement was back. While my husband loaded up the conveyor belt, I stood with my coupons and excitedly repeated to the cashier that I had coupons until he finally responded. (I think I know how a toddler feels now. We just want responded to, okay?) Grand total saved at store #1: 5 bucks. (Insert profanity of choice here.)
Next stop: Dinner at Fridays. When our bill came to $30, my supportive husband pointed out that it actually only cost us $25 thanks to my couponing. That was a nice way of looking at it.
Off to store #2 where we immediately got into an argument in the toothpaste isle over whether the coupon was for a four ounce tube or a forty ounce tube. It got ugly. And for future reference, there is no such thing as a 40 oz tube of toothpaste. Now we know.
Two hours later, we were finally ready to check-out and bring this nightmare to an end. My husband asked if I could handle checking out by myself while he went to the bathroom. (Give me some credit....of course I can.) But when neither the cashier nor myself could figure out the individual cost of a package of cheese that was 3 for $5, I lay my head on the handle of my cart and said, "I give up."
The nice woman behind me came to my rescue. I turned to thank her and noticed her super-cool coupon organizer complete with built in calculator. I'm betting her name is on the "Good stay at home mom list" and that her bedtime stories don't scare her toddler. Whatever. Grand total saved at store #2: 7 bucks. (Gritting teeth so as not to cuss in front of Mrs. Cleaver behind me.)
I finished checking out and stopped outside the bathrooms to wait for my husband. I didn't think much of the small crowd of women gathered there until my husband casually strolled out of the Womens Restroom. Wow. Let's just blame the coupons, shall we?