Couponing

It all started one night while I was sitting in bed pregnant, watching “Extreme Couponing.” I thought it was insane how much they were saving. This show must be a set up, a lie. Then I started thinking. well…… what if it’s not? What if I could save that much money too? I knew that soon I would be going on maternity leave and wouldn’t have nearly as much money as I was used to. So the next Sunday my love affair began.

It was like getting a sugar daddy. Free stuff and extra money in my pocket!! It was too good too be true.

When I first started it was difficult to wrap my mind around how they did it. Eventually I became pretty good at couponing. I learned which coupons I could match with others, where to use them, and how to get the best deals. I was getting free toothpaste, free feminine care products, free mens shower gel and shaving gel, and more. My boyfriend would soon be the best smelling/clean shaven guy around. It became an addiction. The adrenaline rush you get from getting things so cheap if not free. It got to a point where I felt like I was robbing the stores. I was walking out with bottles of dish soap that I had got for only 25 cents each, laundry soap for only 97 cents each, and even name brand shampoos sometimes as low as $1.00.

Soon my stock pile had overtaken my boyfriends closet and I made him switch closets with the baby. I had shampoos, conditioners, cough drops, razors, shave gels, etc shoved into every nook and cranny I could find in that closet. I was so proud I would bring people over and show them my mini drug store. I just couldn’t understand why everybody was not doing this.

Then I had my son and I realized why.

Couponing is like taking on a part time job. For the crazy ones a full time job. You have to spend hours to clip, organize, and plan each and every haul. You have to be aware of the stores coupon policies. I would scan websites and ads to figure out who had the best deals. After my son was born I found myself no longer having that spare time to coupon. I finally had to face it, my hobby had to be put on hold. Now almost 2 years later, my cupboards are becoming bare. I am getting low on shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, and toothpaste. It is time to start again.

This time however I am going to try something new. Instead of clipping every coupon in the Sunday papers I am going to only clip the ones that I need. No longer will my coupon binder protrude with unnecessary coupons for that “just in case moment.” I will plan for little hauls once a week rather than twice a month. It will make it easier and less time consuming. Hopefully in a few weeks, once my coupons are up to date and ready to go I will post about my first haul in quite awhile. Wish me luck and stay tuned.

**mikko

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