I used to be a rabid couponer. I carried my little file of coupons, clipped to the calculator like a warrior looking to defeat the enemy. The enemy being my grocery bill, I guess. But I kind of got away from that, for a lot of reasons. I still use some coupons, maybe 5 or 6 on average, in a weeks shopping. But things have changed. My Mother and I get 3 Sunday papers between us, and swap the coupon flyers, then I take them to work for the girls there. But there are some weeks that I only clip one or two coupons. It seems like all of the coupons are for things that I just don't buy! So, just for fun, I did a little informal inventory of what exactly was in those 3 circulars this last weekend. Almost 1/3 of the coupons were "personal care items" shampoo, body wash, lotion, razors, shave creme(gel/mousse)and hair color (lots of hair color!) etc. I hardly ever clip those, because they are all for the more expensive brands, and I don't buy them anyway. Even with the coupon, the bargain/store brand tends to be cheaper. Remember, I'm shopping the dollar stores here in rural America, I'm about 20 miles from the nearest big box, or drug chain. Next came what I call household stuff,about 1/4 of the total, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap, floor cleaner, furniture polish, and smelly stuff (or anti-smell stuff)! Good grief, we must be the smelliest nation on the planet! Scented oils, scented candles, air freshner, carpet freshner, pet freshner, furniture , shoes, etc. etc. All that anti-smell stuff was more than 1/2 of the household category. I clipped exactly 2, Tide laundry soap, and Ajax dish liquid. What a waste of a tree. The rest was food. Lots of lunchmeat, boxed dinners, seafood (must be fishing season somewhere), try something new, (everything is new!), but I have noticed that lots of those coupons require you to buy 2 or 3 products to get the discount, especially cold cereal. They have been doing that for a while. I don't have room in my cupboard for 3 or 4 boxes more! Besides, I buy most of my cold cereal at the dollar store, and mostly their store brand. I must say that I am deeply in awe of those shoppers who combine the coupons with sale items (you know, you see them on TV) and come out of the store with $232 worth of stuff, and they only paid $63.42! To me, thats like knowing how to beat the stock market, we all know it can be done, but it's just so darn much work you won't catch me doing it!
Viewing the 'Shopping' Category
I noticed something in the grocery store today. Potatoes were on sale $2.59 a bag, whites or bakers. So I picked up a bag of white potatoes, and it felt a little lite. The white potatoes were only 8# to a bag, and the bakers were 10#. Now they usually come in standard sizes, 5#, 10# sometimes you can find 20# bags. I wonder how many shoppers didn't realize until later, if ever, that the whites were a smaller bag. They were both in the same display, although I did notice that someone had crossed off the line on the sale tag that gave the weight. I know that many other products have downsized the amount of product, while still keeping the same packaging and price, but these are locally grown potatoes, so they had to have come right from the grower like that. Good Grief!
So pull up a couch, and listen in as we do some free association. You should know that I get the title of my blog from my 2 best girlfriends. We have known each other for more than 40 years. Oh boy, that cat is out of the bag now. So to those of you thinking that I was some young, hip chick (do people say that anymore?), yeah there was one of you! I could tell... Gotcha! Anyway, we try to get together once a month for breakfst/lunch whatever, and hash out the problems of the world, and our households. We call it girltherapy, very effective, and much cheaper than a real therapist. Wait, wait, another thought floating by..... Mmmmm, I can smell the lasagna that is baking for supper... went to the big craft store tent sale with my Mom and Sis today, we go every Summer, but this year fewer shoppers, smaller clearance selection, and no big discounts. I guess if you can't afford groceries, you don't buy yarn. I spent $12. The groceries are safe for now.