Thursday, June 09, 2011

It's quiet... TOO quiet... Plus meditations on couponing

When nothing explosively bad has happened for a while, I start getting antsy. If both my car and Boyfriend's car have had no accidents, major repairs, or green smoke in a few months, I start assuming that it's right around the corner. No pet emergencies? Somebody's gonna eat a spool of thread any day now.

So it is with trepidation that I report that all has been normal for several weeks now. As long as nothing terrible happens, we get by fine on my salary and Boyfriend's unemployment, and I'm even saving some money up from all my extracurricular activities. But I hate to plan too far ahead, or use that stockpile of cash, because I'm sure something will come along to deplete it. For now I'm just hoarding. Boyfriend has a short term contract for now, and several interviews, but I'm not counting those chickens yet.

Speaking of hoarding, I haven't seen the TLC show on extreme couponers yet, but people keep telling me I need to, and from what I've read about it, I think they think I'm going to go right past being able to be on that show and going straight to being on Hoarders. I swear, people! I know I am not NEARLY as bad as I could be. Trust me. There are some websites that I look at now and again for coupon matchups, since they'll put up printable coupons and give suggestions for how to stack your coupons to get the most out of it. (If you're interested, I use Saving in Akron for the Giant Eagle matchups, and Coupon Katarina for the Kroger matchups, since they're both near me. And sometimes they assume you have NINE of one coupon. I thought at first that that was just nutty, until I tried to buy some coupon inserts from my favorite site (unironically titled Whole Coupon Inserts) where I purchase two of whatever wasn't in the local paper that day. There was literally a run on the store - they were cleaned out of the May 22nd circulars. The next week they started a subscription service where you could get ten of each circular each week. Apparently this has been very popular. Now, I am not so obsessed that I don't realize that spending $20-40 each week just on the coupons themselves is probably not a smart move when our whole food expenditures for a week rarely go above $100. (And we buy pie regularly.) But there are definitely people who do this. Had I six children, it would probably make a lot of sense. Since I have 0 children, although the dog would dearly love eighty-three bags of Doritos, all that kind of coupon obsessiveness would do is fill up my basement. (Although I am currently trying to get some shelving units off Craigslist to hold the bounty.) I do send stuff off to the food bank, but I generally only buy food-bank stuff if it's a) cheap or b) something that the food bank really wants, like peanut butter or pasta.

I do feel pretty good about my recent couponing hauls for the shelter, though - I have nearly an entire paper grocery bag full of various toiletry items - toothpaste, body wash, etc - but it's mostly tampons and sanitary pads. Men will not get this on quite the same level, but I really couldn't imagine how much it must just unbridled SUCK to be too poor to afford them. (And these aren't store brands, either - it's the good stuff!) So I am pretty pleased that I was able to get so many, even if they were a little more expensive than the stuff I usually buy for charity, since I feel like they'll really come in handy for some beleaguered woman.

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