There’s a show called “Extreme Coupons” in which a person will go into a grocery store and buy $600 worth of groceries and spend only about $20. They have ingenious ways of achieving this through methods like double couponing (they don’t do that around here), having a coupons worth more than the product and the excess can go toward another purchase, and then there are in-store specials where you do things like transfer a prescription to their pharmacy and they take $20 off your grocery bill. To prepare, these people spend up to 40 hours a week clipping and collecting coupons. They keep them in binders and have them organized better than the IRS. (That’s not saying much but you get the point.) In the end they have a massive haul but when you look at it, they must have to order pizza a lot because I don’t see many actual meals there. Sure, they have 200 tooth brushes, 20 bottles of detergent, 30 boxes of cold medicine, 16 boxes of Cheerios, 10 bottles of toilet bowl cleaner and 12 cans of disinfectant spray, but what’s for dinner? It’s easy to poke fun at these ridiculous situations but then I take my moment to reflect. I start to think about myself and realize if I had more time on my hands and more compulsion I would not be too far from where those people are. After thinking it over, I hate to pay full price for something. It makes me physically ill. If I buy something that I know there is a coupon for or a sale usually on, it will bother me. If I go to a movie, I always try to get there just in time to catch the matinee because I see no point in paying more to see the same movie. When my shoes broke (literally) for work and I had to buy new ones right then, they weren’t on sale. So I watched the ads as the store had a price match for 30 days and sure enough, they went on sale and I took my receipt in for my $10 credit. There is an ad section in the back of my church bulletin and my favorite haircut place routinely puts $4.00 off coupons in there. I needed a haircut today and looked at the back of the bulletin. There was no coupon where it should have been. Having already put off my haircut for a month I went and bit the bullet. When the stylist was done I mentioned it was a shame they took the coupon out. She said they didn’t take it out. It was just moved to the inside section. I hung my head and paid full price. When I returned home I looked at the bulletin and there it was in black and white. You may say it was only $4.00 but to me it was like I took that money and threw it in the garbage. I am bummed. Then I went to fill out a $5.00 rebate for some insoles I bought but the receipt was missing and I couldn’t do it. I refuse to order a pizza without a coupon or deal of some kind. I buy a specific manufacturer of cars because my father-in-law retired from there and I get a family price. When my windshield needed to be replaced I scoured the yellow pages (the real ones made of paper) and found a coupon for a discount. If I go grocery shopping and find out after I get home that I did not give one of the coupons to the clerk, I will seriously consider going back and having it adjusted even though I know I will waste more money than that in gas just going there. If I don’t go it will haunt me and if I do go I’ll feel pathetic. Perhaps it would not take such a great push to nudge me over to the dark side.
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