If you've read previous posts, you've noticed my newest interest (other than Ebelskivers) is reading blogs dedicated to saving money, online freebies, etc. Why? Because to me it's a game. A very fun game. And I like math and numbers. (No laughing. Stay at home moms are easily entertained.) Well, this morning on the Today Show there was a segment about couponing, and how one lady paid $1.67 for $80 worth of groceries because of coupons and store sales. Jon and I were inspired and decided to give this "couponing" thing a shot. On the way to church we stopped into Kroger to get a Sunday paper so we could scope out the coupons. However, after purchasing the paper and realizing it contained nothing of interest, I remembered I had read somewhere that this Sunday's paper would not contain any coupons ("there's your sign" #1).
Not to be discouraged, when we got home I made a grocery list and searched multiple websites to get a nice stack of coupons. We headed to HEB, and of course we choose to go when it's super crowded: the evening before a holiday (fail #2). I had also read somewhere that HEB has monthly store magazines with coupons, so after a 10 minute search to find one, I found a whopping ONE coupon that corresponded to something on our list. A list that should have taken us 15 minutes to complete took almost an hour, comparing coupon offers with store brands to see what would be cheaper. By the time I was counting rolls of paper towels and comparing the number of sheets in regular vs jumbo rolls and calculating bla bla bla, I had had it. We also realized that the coupons in the HEB mag are no different than the yellow ones they have throughout the store (fail #3).
On to check out. I realize that my coupon for $1 off 2 packs of bottled water was only for packs of 24, and I had gotten the 12 packs. I was supposed to know this because of the small "24" shown on the icon of the water, because nothing was listed in the small print. Ugh. (fail #4) I realize our total coupon savings is a whopping $1.90. I pout and throw in a Reese's out of a feeling of failure (savings down to $1.40). Jon and I start laughing hysterically as we're checking out over how much time we'd spent to save $1.40 and people start staring. He says "what the heck" and buys a $2 lottery ticket (something we never do, it was just funny in the moment). Still laughing hysterically, we win nothing on the ticket (fail #5 - big suprise).
Lesson learned: this whole couponing thing is a fine art that must be learned and developed with patience. However, a big part of this is we've usually always purchased store brands when quality isn't affected, so even with coupons, store brands are typically cheaper than brand name merchandise. With that being said, I still think we came out on top. Take that couponing queens. One day I'll be able to join your level of coolness.
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