I went back out shopping tonight and am happy to report that my drugstore shopping for the week is adequately completed. If possible, I will hit at least one or two more Rite Aids, time and weather and circumstances permitting, but if I can’t, then I will not fret too greatly about it. When I first started couponing, Walgreens was my favorite, followed by CVS and then Rite Aid. The deals were usually lackluster and the store clerks hated me (unfairly!). Now I pretty much hate Walgreens and find myself in Rite Aid several times a week. I guess the deal love comes and goes.
Anyway, at Rite Aid tonight, I received a lovely comment that I took as a compliment. One of the cashiers kindly remarked, holding the huge stack of coupons that I had used, that this shopping trip must have taken me hours. I was pleased by that because you know what? IT DID. Compiling that many coupons and making notes on that many deals takes time, not even counting the time it takes me while I’m at the stores themselves. We had a short conversation about how useful a saving-money hobby is compared to other hobbies that I’ve had, and then I waved goodbye and headed out the door.
It was later, in the car, that I realized that I actually appreciated that an outsider recognized just how much time and effort that I spend on couponing. I enjoy it–less than I did at first but it’s still like a giant game to me. There’s often a bit of implied “you must have so much free time on your hands if you can do this because I just don’t have time to fool with coupons” vibe when people talk to me about couponing that drives me crazy. It’s in part to the way that I shop that I am still able to staying home with my child. I spend maybe ten hours a week on it, averaged–more this week but less last week. It evens out. But hey, compared to working 40 hours a week (or 37.5… hey, I worked for the state) I figure it’s a bargain at twice the price. ;)
When I became a stay-at-home-mom, I promised I could save our family money by shopping sales and maybe even using a few coupons. I had no idea what I was getting into. These days, I am on a first-name basis with the cashiers at the local drugstores, I haven't paid for toothpaste or shampoo in over a year and I spend my free time here, helping others do the same. So please, make yourself at home while you learn how to save, and when to spend!