Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Couponing was Born

One of my favorite thing to do is shopping for our home without breaking our bank. A few years ago we seen TLC airing a show called, "Extreme Couponing" and we were amazed how people were walking out with wagons full of groceries worth hundreds of dollars; Yet, they paid pennies on the dollar. Some didn't even pay anything at all because there were overages from using their coupons which covered the expenses of the other items on their list. I remember thinking I wish I could do that because the women made it look so damn easy. Of course it looked easy for them. They had a system that worked. In fact, many even claimed it was like a job because of the hours they dedicated into getting the coupons, looking for the sales, and strategically planning their next haul.

After watching a few more episodes, I believed I was ready. Yeah right! Anyways, to make a long story short, I tried it. My items rang up at around $80 before coupon. Yes! You read that right. Before coupon. Apparently, genius me forgot all my coupons at home. When I searched my bag looking for them, I managed to find one that was a $1 off an item. I looked at my husband with the biggest smile and told him, "Watch this!" The cashier scanned it and my bill was now (you guessed it) $79. My husband looked at me trying not to embarrass me in front of the cashier and said, "You didn't even cover the tax!" As you can was a big fail. I could hear Donald Trump saying, "You're Fired!" Honestly, I felt defeated but never retreated. In fact, I went home and literally went online to see what I needed to do in order to save money like the women on television.

The first thing to do is to ask yourself what do you hope to accomplish through couponing? What is your ultimate goal by couponing? In my case, it was to save money so we could designate any monies saved to be used towards our debts. I wanted to build a stockpile like the extreme couponers did; However, I knew I didn't want my home to look like a store either. I just wanted to feel satisfied that our needs were met and to have enough to bless others. We may not have had a lot of money but we looked well off with the stockpile we accumulated in a short time. I'm talking about within four months, we had enough household, laundry, personal, oral hygiene products, bath, hair and body products to last us for six months to a year. Now that's awesome. I started sharing my pictures on my facebook to share my joy with my family and friends. I got really good in such a short time. Nobody held my hand, put my seat belt on and drove me to the stores to teach me how to coupon. The desire to save was embedded and I did what I had to do to learn online.

What was hard is that we live in Hawaii and the clerks weren't familiar nor understood the wording on the manufacturer coupons. Neither did a lot of the managers. In fact, these stores have a coupon policy and they didn't understand the policy. So, half the time I went couponing, I was literally explaining and defining their own policy and the manufacturer coupons in layman's terms. I would get irritated at times because I should of been doing my happy dance because of my haul; But, instead, I was often teaching a manager along with the clerks. But all in all it worked out and continues to work for my family. I will be sharing more about couponing throughout this blog; However, I just wanted to share why I started couponing along with my first experience.

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