March 7, 2010

Couponing


I have been astonished at how much our grocery bills have shot up over the last few months. Every time we are at the checkout, Joe and I are murmuring under our breath, "That can't be right? What did you buy? I dunno, what did you buy?" And there are times where we do find that we were charges an extra $80 because the checkout guy rang up 90 lemons when I only bought one, but that is the exception.

So I am thinking can we really afford to spend this much on groceries every week? If you know me, you know I am ridiculously cheap and thrifty. My mom is embarrassed by it, but I am oh so proud of it. I think if it is part of the reason that we can afford our house and our land being just out of school. We scraped up and saved when we were a family of 5 living on a grad student stipend and came out the other end with a nice little savings account for our new nest.

But I don't want to stop being thrifty just because we have arrived with a house on a farm. And I don't want to get ulcers from trips through the check out line. So I have been researching other people's coupon programs. I have couponed in the past and have found that a) with a manufacturer's coupon it is still almost always cheaper to buy the store brand and b) most of the coupons are for junk that I wouldn't feed to my growing children anyway. We don't eat fruit snacks of pop tarts or drink Capri Sun (okay, once in a while we drink Capri Sun, but only on very special occasions). So I have found it to be not worth my time and effort.

But I have found these Utah chicks on-line and they address both of those problems plus, since the are from Utah and likely Mormon, they also address food storage. They claim that they can buy a week of groceries for a family of 5 and add to their food storage each week for $50. I am a skeptic. I do not believe them! But, they offer a free couponing class and I have contacted them to host one in my home. I figure that I will try their plan for two months and see what the results are. Either I am saving or I am not. And the class is free, so it can't hurt. What I can't figure out is why they are doing this for free? What are they getting out of it? I have Googled them and others like them for scams and fraud and cannot find a thing. I suppose if they show up and try to sell me something, I can just say no thanks!

My willingness to accept freebies and actually say no thanks humiliates Joe, who once about died when I took Hannah Jane to get our free 8x10 portrait at the Picture People and then asked them if they could let me go get my husband to help me choose. Oh, and he got really tired of me going to Victoria's Secret to get free underwear once every two weeks for about a year and never buying anything else. I figure they must be keeping records of what I did and did not buy, and if they wanted to keep sending my coupons for free stuff knowing full well that I had never spent a penny in their store because of it, well...I'd be nuts not to stock up. Right? Joe hates the act of getting the freebies, but he admits in private to being glad that his wife is so thrifty!

So, in the name of remaining the thrift queen, I am going to do this class thing. If you want to join us for the class, stay tuned and I will post the date when I get one squared away. And I will post what I learn and if it works or not as well, so if you are thrifty and out of town, no worries. I'll be sharing! I'm ready to save some money and keep growing that nest egg!!!

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