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Monday, May 18, 2009

COUPONS & SHOPPING



WHY don't they make coupons like this one for people like me?

I HATE shopping. 

I know – you're thinking, WHAT!??? A woman who hates shopping?

Yes, it's true. I've always hated shopping – ALL kinds of shopping. My mother used to drag me to the store with her and find me sitting on a bench or on the floor somewhere begging to be let go.

Fortunately I have sisters who enjoy the circus attractions where crowds of bargain hunters spend massive amounts of money to look like the latest screen goddess. I, however, decided long ago, that when I had children of my own, I would NEVER take them shopping – I would let my husband do it. 

Two husbands later I realized I would forever be stuck with the task of shopping. Oh, how I would have loved to have had the Internet back then. Instead, I dragged myself to the store, memorized the contents of each aisle (so I would know exactly where everything was located), and told myself what a genius I was, because I had discovered a way to make my shopping experience a little more tolerable. But just when I was getting comfortable with product placement, the grocery store would switch its products. My experience became more like a job.

I made lists and I clipped coupons to expedite my shopping trips. That helped, until I realized I was spending more by using the coupons than I was by not using them. You see, if I saw a $1.00 off coupon, I thought only of savings. It didn't occur to me that I would never purchase this product without a coupon.

Ultimately, after I had amassed enough coupons to fill an encyclopedia, I learned to clip coupons ONLY for the products I used. But that became a problem, too, because then I had to sort through them to find all the ones that were expired.

So I bought a file folder with months labeled at the top, which only added to my problems, because when I forgot about them, I would find coupons that I should have used the year before.

Years later, I finally developed a system that worked. Coupons get placed in my wallet where they have only so much breathing room. Once the wallet becomes too thick, I sort through the few coupons left, and throw out the rest.

I HATE throwing anything away, though, so that last sentence was an absolute lie. I hoard everything. I recently found a coupon from 2003.

By now you're probably wondering HOW this helps the single parent. Here is my answer – don't you suddenly feel better about your organizational skills?

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