Tag Archives: confessions

Extreme Couponing Did Not Work For Me!

Extreme couponing did not work for me. I put in a lot of effort. I cut out coupons until my fingers grew calloused. I tried (and failed) keeping the coupons in binders. I joined coupon groups and obsessed over sales ads…for hours. HOURS! I went shopping almost everyday.

Extreme Couponing Did Not Work For Me
Extreme Couponing needs the kind of love and devotion I don’t care to give.

The truth is, I spent more money than I ever saved. I bought more food and deodorant and shampoo than I could possibly consume before the expiration date. I’ve recently started cleaning out my pantry and the cabinets under my sink. I have really become aware and shocked about how much “stuff” I have wasted due to my adventures in extreme couponing.  I have several brands of deodorant and toothpaste stockpiled that nobody even likes. It is expired. All of it!  When stores have big sales it’s probably because they need to get rid of the excess merchandise, which means it’s likely close to expiring, at least closer than some other products are. At least that is my theory. I mean, toothpaste is usually good for more than a year or so, isn’t it? Mine wasn’t it. After closer inspection, some of it expired only a few months after I purchased it. I never should have even put it in my stockpile, or bought it to begin with.

I’m feeding expired cereal to my chickens. They love it. I have box upon box upon box of expired cereal. I wish I had just donated it before it expired. I think to be good at extreme couponing you really need to be highly organized. I mean, TYPE A to the max. You need an inventory list just to keep track of the food. You need a coupon system that helps you keep everything in place too. You have a lot of coupons to keep track of and to organize every week. You also need self-control. Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean you need it or even want it. Buying stuff just because it’s cheap is still a waste of money.

I never got anything for free. I never walked out of a store with a cart filled with things I didn’t have to pay for. I was never handed money back without paying a dime first. I think these coupon deals are the stuff of TV legends. Most stores have a lot of rules regarding coupons. They have limits and policies that vary from cashier to cashier and store to store. Not to mention,  there were times I was treated badly for using a handful of coupons in one transaction. I was often asked, “How much cereal can you really eat?” I think they just stamped my forehead with the word “gluttony” as they moved my excessive shopping haul across the conveyor belt. It was sometimes pretty uncomfortable. They also questioned my coupons a lot. They assumed they were fraudulent. I don’t think I ever used more than 14 coupons at a time, so I can imagine people who use even more get the stink-eye pretty often. I actually wrote a letter to the CEO of one of our super market chains because the cashier was so rude to me. Which leads me to how much time is spent on extreme couponing.

Time is the biggest expenditure. You spend time collecting coupons, cutting them out, organizing them, and organizing each shopping excursion with a flyer, a calculator, and a list. You spend a ridiculous amount of time going from one store to another. You spend time arguing with cashiers and looking up store policies, writing letters, searching for online deals, making a stockpile, arranging your mountain of merchandise…keeping track of when it expires. It’s like a full-time job. Except, a full-time job probably pays better.

I still use coupons. I look through flyers. I spend a little time each week organizing what I need to buy and buying it, but I no longer do extreme couponing. It’s just a waste of time and expensive for me. I don’t have the ability or the patience to keep my shopping missions that organized. Plus, I really don’t like shopping that much.

Over the holidays I will put a little more effort into getting a good deal. The thing is, if the effort out ways the joy, use, or value of an item, I’d rather just go without it. There are other things I’d rather put my time into. Plus, to be a good extreme couponer you have to truly love shopping because you are doing it all the time. It’s a lifestyle.

I’d rather be blogging.

I guess that’s why extreme couponing did not work out for me.

 

Have you ever tried extreme couponing? How did it work out for you?

 

 

I Never Sneaked Out or Snuck Out When I Was A Kid

playing piano

I never snuck out of the house when I was a kid. Not even once. That was the kind of kid I was. I did what I was told, laid low, waited to grow up, and daydreamed about being the kind of kid that actually did sneak out to meet boys or go to wild parties or to drive to Canada. Dreaming about sneaking out seemed safer. I wasn’t a big fan of being grounded for weeks and I was busy anyway…with drama club. Yep, that was the kind of kid I was.

Of course, as an adult, I haven’t really had a chance to sneak out. I mean, before Tiny-Small was born I came and went as I pleased. I was never in a situation that required me to sneak out. After Tiny-Small was born I couldn’t sneak out. Since she is with me all the time sneaking out is impossible. She’s much too loud to pull it off. Even when we sneak around the library she can’t help but yell out, “Look, Mom, there is a girl!” I suppose I could sneak out without her, but the crying would probably give me away. Besides, I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t sneak out on my child and leave her wondering where I went. I usually just tell her I am leaving, give her a quick kiss and a wave, and everything goes smoothly.

So, in reality, I spend much more time trying to sneak into things than I do trying to sneak out of them. I try to sneak into the bathroom alone. I try to sneak into the box of cookies in the cabinet and then try to sneak into the closet to eat them. I try to sneak in reading a few chapters of my book. I try to sneak in a quick shower, a cat-nap, a phone call. I try to sneak in a few extra vegetables into Tiny-Small’s fruit smoothy. I try to sneak into Twitter chats about fashion and blogging. I try to sneak into painting workshops and online art groups. I try to sneak in a few moments with friends. I am usually sneaking in and almost never sneaking out.

One time, in my twenties, I snuck into a movie theater to see a movie with a friend. After sitting there for three minutes I felt so guilty that I got up and snuck out to pay. I kept asking myself if this movie was going to be worth getting arrested, going to court and then spending the rest of my life in jail. That’s the kind of dramatic thinking that goes on in my head. Every wrong doing results in jail, death or deportation.

My childhood did not provide me with the experiences needed to successfully sneak in or out of anything. I always get caught with my hand in the cookie jar. The dogs lead everyone to my hiding place in the closet and the fashion ladies on Twitter spot me from a mile of Twitter feed away. I am pretty sure I will never have a career as a bandit or a ghost or a social media lurker. I can’t stop myself from commenting or from rattling my ghostly chains. I always have to add my two cents. I’m no better than Tiny-Small when it comes to being quiet or not crying out loud. I shuffle my feet too much, breathe too loudly, or can’t stop myself from speaking. I worry, excessively, about what my sneaking around means or who it might hurt, or if it might end in some sort of deportation. If you haven’t guessed yet, I am also really bad at telling lies. I can’t cope with the guilt, obviously.

Another time I snuck into Tiny-Small’s Halloween candy and ate some. I felt so guilty I replaced it with some other candy I knew she would like. It’s still sitting in a bag on the broken dishwasher because she has forgotten all about it. I should have just eaten it long ago.

I’ve had to cross “sneaking out” off of my life list. I’ve given up on being that kind of kid (or adult). I’m never running off to Canada with a young man on a motorcycle or to join the circus. It’s just not in me. Besides, I am having much more fun trying to sneak into things anyway. I am also having fun learning all about the grammar I missed in school. I mean, is it sneaked out or snuck out? I discovered both are used and there is substantial debate over it in the writing world. I just sneaked into Writers Digest to get some answers and then snuck back out again. Because, you know, that’s what kind of kid I am.

 

Monday Memories

This is part of the Monday Memories series created by Quirky Chrissy. Check out First Time Mom and Dad because she came up with this weeks prompt about sneaking out, so she probably has some good stories to tell!

 

P.S. Thank you to Molly Field for telling me my Follow button (at the bottom right of the screen) was broken. Turns out I had the wrong plugin installed. I apologize for my technology issues and can confidently tell you to click it now (if you want to) because it works. I fixed it. Yes, I am taking a bow. I feel sort of amazing right now for getting that mess sorted out. Also, if you discover a problem with my blog don’t hesitate to let me know. I love to fix things!

 

I Am What I Am

Who are you? I am what I am.

sticking her tongue out
Tiny-Posing for the camera!

My friend Kelly from DeBie Hive tagged me to answer 25 questions and since I am practically sleepwalking through this morning I am completely grateful. I’ve been staring at the blank screen drinking coffee by the gallon and I am not getting anywhere. It’s just one of those days where you wake up from a bad dream and feel more tired than you did before you went to sleep. I am thinking in images and not words. Thank goodness for lists and directions and friends who are REALLY Super Heroes no matter what other people say.

Here goes:

1.  Where were you born?  I was born in New London, CT. Yay…not sure what else to say about it.

2.  Were you named after someone? No. My mom liked writing my name in cursive because she thought L’s were pretty.

3. How many children do you have?  One. She’s my favorite, obviously.

4. How many pets do you have?  3 dogs (large, medium, and sort of small), 2 cats and a homeless stray cat that refuses to leave, and two chickens.
5. Your worst injury.  Does childbirth count? Oh wait, that’s not an injury. Probably when I stepped on a nail and it went through my foot.
6.  Do you have a special talent?  Most of my talents aren’t special. I am so average it hurts. I can burn food like a boss….
7.  Favorite thing to bake.  I love to bake. I can’t pick one thing. Bread, cake, cookies, muffins…I LOVE IT ALL!
8. Favorite Fast Food.  French fries, coke, hamburgers…I am going to go with the green chili cheese burger from Burger Time or Lot-o-Burger.
9.   Would you bungee jump? Heck no. I have no desire to do that. Not ever.
10.  What is the first thing you notice about people?  If they smile.
11.  When was the last time you cried?  A couple of days ago when I watched this: High School Basketball Player Passes Ball To Mentally Challenged Player On The Other Team
12.  Any current worries.  I woke up worried about choosing whether I was an artist or a writer. I’ve been worried about where this blog is going and if I am driving it in the right direction. Then, my friend posted something on her timeline saying, “I don’t have to choose. I can have both.” so that has been my mantra this morning.
13.  Name 3 drinks you drink regularly.  Coffee, water, more coffee, Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water (I am addicted).
14.  What’s your favorite bookA Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)  
By Betty Smith (the most American and generic name I have ever seen). My Grandpa gave it to me when I was 16. I have read it three times. The idea that everyone should have something to waste has always stuck in my mind.
15.  Would you like to be a pirate? No. I think my fear of sharks would keep me off the boat. Maybe I could be a dragon instead, or a unicorn…or an artist.
16.  Favorite Smells.  Bread baking, cake baking, fried dough at the fair, laundry that has been dried on a clothesline, Thanksgiving.
17.  Why do you blog?  I want to make people laugh, think, and pay attention to me. It’s the only place in my life I get to be a STAR (even if my star power only exists in my own mind). I also like conversations and community because I live in a rural, small town where I don’t fit in all that well and sometimes I get lonely. Plus, I like learning new things which happens daily around here.
18. What song do you want played at your funeral?  I fell into a burning ring of fire….The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow….Maybe we should just stick with a poetry reading. I can’t think of any appropriate songs.
19.  What is your least favorite thing about yourself.  I’m too sensitive and get my feelings hurt too easily. People say I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Or call me a cry baby. Yep, even the good things make me tear up.
20.  Favorite hobby.  Painting, writing, singing with Tiny-Small.
21.  Name something you’ve done, you never thought you would do? I was in a play and sang a solo, I went to South Africa, I completed a Master’s Degree, I live in a dome, I moved to New Mexico…maybe I should just list my entire life. It’s all been a bit of a surprise to me.
22.  What do you look for in a friend.  Someone who makes me laugh. Someone who does most of the talking. Someone who doesn’t need my attention 24-7 because I like my space too. Someone who does not thrive on drama…this is why I have so few close friends. They are hard to come by.
23.  Favorite Fun things to do?  Traveling, dancing with Tiny-Small, eating dinner with Jim, painting, blogging, reading blogs, making bad jokes on Twitter.
24.  Pet peeves. When people leave the kitchen cabinet doors open.

25.  Whats the last thing that made you laugh?  Tiny-Small singing “Jingle Bells” while eating French toast with her dad at the breakfast table this morning.

 

Now I am supposed to tag a gaggle of other bloggers to answer these questions so I am going to…cue evil laughter, or if you are stuck like me today…tears of joy!

1. A Faded Ginger 2. Quirky Chrissy 3. A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall 4. Words For Worms 5. First Time Mom and Dad 6. Bear And Lion Mama 7. Family Mobile Apps 8. Still Life Miniatures 9. Little Red Writinghood 10. World’s Worst Moms.