Oh, HE-EY! I’m feeling extremely rhythmic today. Not in a twerking kind of way, but like a really spastic butter-churning kind of way. So, get this: I totally SUCK at couponing. Wait, let’s go even further back than that. I suck at math, I suck at saving money, and I especially, and unabashedly, suck at couponing. When I was in 4th grade, I knew mathematics was not going to be my forte, my subject of choice. The super fun factoid that I had to attend summer school that summer for math infinitely solidified that notion. Unfortunately, if the subject matter at hand is that of uninteresting appeal to me, then there’s a really high, like 113% (see, not so good with numbers) chance that I’m going to zone the &*(#@ out during the lecture. Social studies? No thanks. Math? Ah, hell no. Science, Geography, Economics, Statistics? Gah. No, really. I can’t even… Language Arts? Now we’re talking. Grammar, English, Vocab??? YEP! (Being a self-proclaimed Grammar Nazi does NOT assist one in the craft of couponing) Humanities? Sign me up. Unfortunately, so many things in life depend on our innate ability to be able to number crunch. Oh! Speaking of number crunching, I can tell you in 2.4 seconds flat what 45% off of something on the clearance rack is when the original price was $19.99, $25.96, $23.97 or $10.42. I mean, come on. I am a female. That’s it, though. That’s about where my special talent for math ends.
So, a friend of mine, whose name rhymes with GINA, has been putting me on serious blast about how much money I spend on food each week. “But, N… I mean GINA, I try to use coupons; I try to save money. I TRY, GINA!” (I was so whiny that day!) So my friend brings her coupons and her really, super thick and I might add, uber embarrassing (seriously, I do not think I could whip out a 6 pound binder at the supermarket) 80 something page coupon binder, along with the store ads. “If you do this, this, and this, this, this, not this, this, and especially this, then maybe you’ll save $1.50 next trip.” Urggg. JOKING. She said it much more pleasant and intelligible than that, but my short term memory and focus is WHACK and usually when I’m paraphrasing people, it’s just more fun to make shit up.
In my defense – couponing is an immense act of congress. Gina explained how there are websites with checklists (here’s my fave) where you download which items you will be purchasing. I never found a website with a downloadable option that said: “Items in today’s store that are not on Tara’s list, but that she will, most certainly, be throwing in her cart.” Once you’ve downloaded your items onto a readable spreadsheet, there are links and information under each item, as far as if it’s a BOGO item, (I’m seriously not explaining that one) if it’s a coupon you can get online, or if it’s a coupon from an insert, and which insert(s) you can get it from. Whew. My neurons are just about to quit firing. I have about 10 more waking intellectual seconds left. There are also competitor’s coupons. Publix – which is my store of choice, accepts Target and Winn Dixie. Every now in a blue moon (chuckle), I am the lucky holder of a $5 or $10 off competitor coupon. Usually it’s something like $5 off $30, or $10 off $50. But, those are golden, because Publix accepts those, and if you won the coupon lottery, and have more than one, you can divide your transactions to reflect the coupon increments. Also, if you have an item, and are lucky enough to have a competitor and a manufacturer’s coupon for the same item, you’ve found yourself in a shit storm of happy tears. There are also phone apps that give you rebates, peelies from in-store machines, circulars that you can get from your newspaper or in the store, and digital store coupons. Flatlining.
Okay! So Gina sends me on my way – a little, fragile shell of a couponer, out into the big supermarket universe. I did not do well.
Because I do struggle with impulsivity, going through a grocery store or supermarket and just sticking to the list is LOL-super freaking hell-a not NEVER gonna happen. It just isn’t. I’m never going to be one of those Extreme Couponer FREAKS (unless one of you are reading my blog, and then I secretly love and admire you) who peruses the store before their actual shopping trip, to make sure they have EVERY last thing possibly imaginable on their list, no surprises, no stones left unturned. Now, this next statement is really going to make the hairs on the backs of some people’s armpits stand up.
Sometimes I go grocery shopping on a whim – no list, no coupons, with not much thought.
But, that doesn’t happen anymore! This time, I set forth to conquer with my super cool, very skinny, cute chic coupon wallet, had listened to GINA, and I assembled my store coupons with my manufacturer coupons, jotted down my bogos, made sure I had 2 coupons for each bogo…..ZZZZZZZZZ. I’m sorry. That’s a total lie. I did try. I was able to do some preliminary research, jot down the bogos, get a few coupons, but…I just really don’t have the time, okay – patience for this. But, I want it soooo bad, and I’m going to try, TRY so hard! Sorry, GINA! I’m not stopping! Not giving up, NOT!
I have a couponing/shopping story about grapes. Well, it’s mostly frustrating and mind-numbing. And not the desired effect I would have liked to have obtained. But, during one of my coupon treks, I was doing rather well. Well for me is at the final bill, not overspending by $50 after coupons. But, that’s never happened. Soooo, this time I was doing incredibly well – my Ginkgo Biloba must’ve been hitting the sweet spot. I get to the check out line, and golly dangit WTH, I still only managed to come out even with my initial budget. It’s like the silly little voice in the back of my head is saying “But, you have $20 in coupons. Even though, you’re probably too dim-witted to use them correctly, let’s go grab random things to compensate for that $20.” The voices in my head are so rude. So me and my hubs had been texting back and forth during said trip. “Hey, can you grab some yogurts?” Or “I’m at Target, I’ll grab the cat litter and the butt wipe.” That’s what really immature people call toilet paper. He didn’t say that in the text. That’s me paraphrasing again. So, I check out and I’m heading home. We both actually pulled into the driveway at the same time. I notice that as he is unloading his automobile (fancy word for car), there are about 3 bags of grapes that I count on the fly. I say to him, which probably would have behooved me better to just toss my grapes out of my car window on my way home, if I was a villain. However, I’m just a jackass. So, I say, very reluctantly, and oh so non-confidently: “Oh, grapes – I got grapes also, so now we have 5 bags of them.” Verbal sentence structure is also something I would be horrendous at, if it were a subject in school. In my head, my phrasing sounded very non-menacing NOR attacking, but it SO did not come out that way. So, to make this ridiculous long story short, come to find out, really, so funny – he had texted me while I was in Publix, and mixed in with our other texts of what he will get at Target, and what I will get at Publix, somehow got not lost in translation, but completely lost on my visual eye balls. Now, WT bloody H am I going to do with 5 bags of grapes? Breakfast grapes, snack grapes, lunch and dinner grapes! Movie grapes! Dog treat grapes! So I stuff them in containers and hope for the best. Will I forget to divvy them up? Probably.
So, as you see – there’s always some sort of random, idiotic surprise that I get to enjoy every single trip. Whether my anxiety is jump starting my shopping cart like it’s on Co2, or I forgot my list and it’s no holds barred with what gets thrown in the cart, which leads to the fact that I miscalculate and then have to re-regulate how I formulate my aggravate-(tion). I was on a really fun roll right there. OMG – my dog just totally farted while sitting on my lap. Now, when I look at grapes, my brain will always connect them with smelly dog fart fragrance.
I guess the moral of this really long, pathetic and now putrid story is this: I’m not an extreme couponer, or even a couponer, but I will be one day! I SWEAR! I’m never going to “clear the shelves,” buy 20 of one item and divide my trip into 20 transactions, or am I never going to push my 6 carts up to the front 4 hours after arriving at the store, while the lights are shimmering and the ‘last call’ warning has already been given, and I’m certainly, definitely never going to have $2,500 worth of stuff and the store ends up owing me .47 to bring it home. I can promise you that none of that nonsense will ever happen. BUT, I’m going to keep going, and I’m going to start giving sad, mathematical, right brained challenged people like myself future couponing tips. I will. I can help them, hold their hands, step-by-step, because it takes an army! Or, sigh…Is it just not in the cards for me to save money? Confucious wants to know! Would you take coupon tips from me? 🙂