Have you ever seen the TV show where people have enormous amounts of coupons and end up getting money back from the cashier when they are finished with their grocery shopping? This show baffles me. Friends and family see this and wonder why we actually have to pay for our groceries. I tell them that show is not really real, even though I really do not know if it is really real or not. I made up this explanation to defend my evolving lack of talent when it comes to coupon clipping.
When I first began clipping coupons, I looked through the Sunday newspapers. I used to make a pile of coupon booklets and diligently go through each page and cut out all the coupons I thought I would need. I did this even if it wasn’t right before I was going to the grocery store. Imagine how organized I was. I then arranged those coupons in my coupon box. Some people have their coupons organized in categories, like produce, dairy, cereal, etc. Okay, I used to do that a very long time ago, because I had little dividers, but I don’t anymore because the dividers ended up getting lost on purpose somewhere.
I recently noticed that since I have been clipping coupons for a while now, that I have changed my clipping routine. Sunday is no longer designated coupon clipping day. Any day I go to the store, I might dig through accumulating piles of newspapers just before I head out. I grab the coupon booklets and rapidly page through them to see if there are any worthwhile coupons. I clip some or else I just leave the booklets in the pile for me to look through next time, hopefully before their expiration dates.
Sometimes I find coupons that are so valuable that they end up being admitted to the coupon box for future use. Nowadays my coupons are categorized in reverse chronological order. New coupons to be admitted to the box get to have their place in the very front. Even as I am trying to search for new coupons, I do look through the precious box in case I find a treasure there.
Recently I have noticed that coupons are mostly for worthless stuff. I feel lucky if I find a coupon that I can actually use. The fact that I am not having much luck finding coupons should discourage me from even looking. But it hasn’t. If I did not search for coupons, I would wonder if I was missing my chance of finding a really good deal. Yet, deep down I wonder if trying to find coupons is a waste of time. Is the actual 25 cent coupon really worth the time spent trying to find it? Plus all this accumulation of coupons makes it necessary to take on the task of tossing away the expired ones.
Honestly, the thing that makes me a coupon clipper is seeing how much money was saved after each trip. I instantly look at the bottom of the receipt. I need to know how much money was saved and what the percentage of savings was. Even though my coupon clipping talent has not evolved to the Internet or even gotten any better over the years, putting these helpful facts on the bottom of the receipt will forever keep me clipping.