Dane Cook: slightly obnoxious. But his whole skit about asking a girl out to Burger King (his workplace in the skit) -- “Wanna go to the BK Lounge? I’ve got coups. . . .” – still tickles my funny bone. And lately it’s been ringing just a little too true.
The other day, Andy and I were in the checkout line at Cub and the lady in front of us was buying cases of Spaghetti-Os and tomato soup. “School lunches,” she explained. “When they’re a good price, you’ve got to scoop them up.” We were both horrified. Her poor children were going to be eating nothing but tomato soup for the next year and a half once that cartful made its way home. And all because of their mother’s extreme budget consciousness. Then I realized I had two coupons which I’d printed from the Box Tops for Education website resting atop our pile of groceries. (Why am I clipping Box Tops for Education anyway? I have no children . . .. But that’s another blog for another day.) I should probably stop judging other people’s cheapness then, eh?
I don’t know what’s come over me. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the summer season wrapping up and the impending cut in my paycheck that brings. Maybe it stems from reading just one too many mommy blogs.
But whatever it is, there’s no denying, I’ve become a coupon clipper.
To think that just months ago my friend Sarah and I were having a giggle at a friend of hers who likes to keep her coupons organized in a mini accordion folder. Now? Well, it kind of sounds like a good idea . . .
I’ve taken to leafing through coupon booklets, scouring websites for deals, ripping off coupons of products I buy that I normally would have thrown away without a thought. Can’t make the online coupon printer to work? Have them mail it to me.
Is this the life I chose? A life of saving 50 cents when I buy 2 of a product. Of smacking down a stack of coupons on the conveyer belt for the poor small town checkout lady to reckon with?
My mother used to write her grocery lists on envelopes so she could slip her coupons inside to keep them safe and so she’d remember to use them at the checkout. She doesn’t do that anymore nor does she squat way down to the grocery store floor to read the label to determine which size of ketchup has the best price per ounce. Nope, she’s done with the grocery groveling behind her and has handed it down to me.
I’m not a brand loyalist, I’m not a discount shopper, I generally buy things when I need them and to be honest we don’t eat a whole lot of the pre-packaged food which generate the majority of coupons. Still when I see a coupon for $5 off cheese (and we eat a lot of cheese) I want in on that. I simply don’t want to spend money when it’s unnecessary. And as someone not thrilled with the food industry, it only seems fair that the big corporations should give me a break every once in a while.
I can rationalize this until the cows come home, but I’m still worried about what all this coupon clipping really means. Conscientious consumer? Or just one step away from crazy lady?