If there was anything that was sacred in the family, it was the savings books. (from Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield)
I still cannot see Noel Streatfield’s name without thinking of You’ve Got Mail and saying it just like Meg Ryan does in the movie, sometimes to myself and sometimes out loud. But that’s beside the point.
I have a new obsession, a bona fide addiction. My name is Kristi and I am a Cheap-a-holic. In the past three weeks I have collected a veritable mountain of coupons. In the past three days, I have used them to provide goods for my family for next to nothing. Being in the landscaping industry, February is a pretty slow month for us and living on a variable income is hard even in the busy months. I started clipping coupons under the encouragement of a friend who was getting great deals and after watching a short clip about extreme couponing on a morning show. I thought it might save us a bit here and there. And I thought my friend was a tiny bit obsessed.
But then, after a couple of weeks of clipping and saving coupons, I walked into a drug store armed with a small stack of them and a Visa debit card my husband earned with business purchases from an irrigation supplier (so, no money out of our family budget at all). I handed the cashier a body wash, two packages of bar soap, two deodorants, and a few coupons. My total was $4.95!!! Then she handed me a receipt with $3 store credit back! I walked back into the store and bought two small packages (31count) of diapers for a total of $5 after coupons. I used the $3 register rewards and my total out of pocket for both packages of diapers was $2.15!!!
That’s all it took. I am now totally obsessed. Retail prices are totally out of the question for me. How could I ever pay full price for diapers again now that I know how to get them for less?
Yesterday I got three boxes of fabric softener sheets for free + sales tax. Today I bought a 180count box of diapers from amazon.com originally priced at $34.54. After coupon codes and subscribe and save discounts, my total was $7.27. But I had a $20 amazon gift card from livingsocial which I got for free for referring three friends. So that comes to 180 diapers for free and no sales tax or shipping! Do I even have to say what that means for our budget in our lowest grossing business month?
You may see my rear end hanging out the door of a recycling bin as I lean all the way in to pilfer discarded Sunday papers. This may prompt you to organize some kind of intervention. But I’ll just say, I don’t need help. I need coupons!!!!