Since retiring, I decided to keep an eye on my spending. Switching from a paycheck to a paltry pension can made anyone a little nervous. There are trade-offs. I no longer need business clothes (actually, I really didn’t need them when I worked but that is another post). I don’t eat out all the much. On the other side of ledger, I use more gas — for trips to the gym, fantasy shopping and picking up Starbucks lattes.
In any case, I decided to focus on coupons. I have always used coupons but in a passive sense. I would clip out coupons for products that I use (only products that I use), put them in a drawer and sometimes I actually used them, sometimes I totally forgot about them but most of the time they were expired by the time I tried to use them.
I decided to be serious about it. In December, one of our local markets had a grand opening after remodeling. They included an $8 off coupon in the paper every week for three weeks. Wow! That’s a really good coupon. You needed to spend $50 to get it but you can easily spend that in a grocery trip…or so I thought.
The first coupon expired on me. Now I was really focused to USE THAT SECOND COUPON! I had the beloved husband accompany me on this trip. I don’t normally shop at this store so I couldn’t find anything. There were all these old people there waving an $8 coupon. Some of them were riding those electric carts that get in my way. I swear they were trying to run me over. That was really annoying. At the end of it all, I bought cat food and litter. Those are my “go to” items when my shopping cart doesn’t hit the required cost. The trip was successful.
Now there was an $8 off coupon for one of my favorite stores. I love when they compete with each other. Off to that store only to find out at the check-out with my $50 purchase that the coupon was only good for three days and the last day was…….yesterday. Who would print a food coupon that was good for three days??? Bummer. I bought $50 of groceries for nothing!
My favorite store put another $8 coupon in (good for only three days again) but I was quick this time. I got to the store. They didn’t have what I was looking for so I bought more…..cat food and litter.
This sequence happened again and again as the local stores were trying to out-coupon each other. I was exhausted. Although I only bought what we use, we have incredible amounts of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and oh, yes…..cat food and litter.
What is it about a stupid coupon that makes sane people react like a crazy person? I have resolved to resort to my former passive coupon technique (or I will need a storage unit!).
My latest financial strategy is the Powerball lottery! Someone has to win so it may as well be me. The beloved husband is hoping that this is also a short phase.
Artwork by denisbolduc via Flickr