September 6, 2011

A Harmless Addiction

During my maternity leave, I watched a lot of TV. Too much.

My favorite channel was TLC, which stands for The Learning Channel, but to be honest I didn't really learn anything at all. Except that when selecting a wedding dress, if one wants to hide a flaw, they shouldn't necessarily cover it up. Amen.

One of those vortex shows was "Extreme Couponing." The amount of greed on that show floored me. Why anyone needs to buy 40 cans of soup at one time is beyond me, but regardless of the crazy gluttony I was intrigued. You guys: diapers are not cheap. Neither is the shopping habit I developed during my two months of feeding Clara, trying to sleep, and fighting ennui. Let's just say that my credit card is tired.

I've always looked at the coupon inserts and thought, "Cool," before jumping to the comics. But this show actually made me think a little bit about them. I mean, if I can save $1 on something I was going to buy anyway just by pulling out my scissors... what's the big deal?

One day I started reading some blogs and looking at message boards, and of course there is a crazy couponing community out there. But once I weeded through the crazy, I found some balanced points of view. I also found ways to get stuff super, super cheap.

For example: this weekend, I bought 3 bottles of shaving cream... and they were free.  FREE! I paid nothing. I printed a few coupons and waited for a sale. The end.

I'm what I like to think of as a reasonable coupon clipper. I won't clip a coupon for a product we'd never use, just because it's cheap. I only "stock pile" items we really, really use, and stick to my guns on what those are- laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, dish soap, toiletries, etc. I don't clear a shelf and leave them empty for other shoppers. And, I've promised Neale we won't be building sheds or elaborate shelving units to house the things I've bought. Because I don't want to be that person-- that nutty, crazy person that spends 30+ hours a week on this shit.

So, I spend about 1-2 hours each week (cumulative) printing, clipping, sorting and scouring websites and weekly fliers. In 3 weeks I've saved us about $200 and we don't have to buy shampoo, conditioner, body wash, baby formula or shaving cream for at least 2 months.

There. I'm glad I got that out. I'm feeling slightly vulnerable and only a little crazy. Fortunately I have more money for my therapist now.


  1. GIRL...you are too awesome...I say "clip away"...maybe you can give me some pointers sometime..Kenny does wash his hair a lot...LOL...


I hope you say nice things, but if you don't, I'll get over it eventually.