I have never been one to really use coupons. I do use them at restaurants, but I have never clipped coupons to save at the grocery store. I have always been interested, but thought it seemed too complicated and not really worth the time and effort since a.) I try to eat fresh food, and there are no coupons for apples, and b.) I buy the store brand of a lot of things, or clearance, etc. or at the opposite extreme I buy really nice organic gourmet things which also have no coupons. This year we have been trying to build up our year supply of food storage and in my wanderings on the web I have come across many blogs and other sites with tips for spending hardly anything at the grocery store through wise coupon use. Oooh, I would like to spend less on groceries. So first I had to get some coupons which was as agonizing as I could possibly make it. Next I painstakingly copied the experts' organizational methods and still have no idea how to find the right coupons. Finally I looked at the store ads and armed myself with a plastic sleeve which contained a grocery list of only amazing deals and a neat stack of carefully clipped coupons to make those deals truly spectacular. I had a very busy day yesterday with orders going to the post office, picking up kids, cleaning the house, preparing my Bradley lesson, making dinner, etc. but decided to run to the store around 5:00 since some of the sales I had synced up were ending yesterday and if I didn't go then I would have to start all over again. I went inside with the three youngest, which I suspect was my first mistake, and we ran around looking for just the right items. Our cart was filled with multiples of the same product, time was running short, and we made our way up to the cash register. I was nervous and excited as I anticipated the glorious acknowledgement of my efforts -- the receipt! There were some things I had decided not to get so I pulled out the coupons to remove the ones I didn't need. What? Wait a minute! Where are the amazing salad dressing coupons? And the magic eraser? And the peanuts??? Of course I still had the coupons for the things I wasn't buying, but out of the things I did decide to purchase, I had only ones for two items! I had multiples of those so I hadn't realized that some of my precious, precious coupons were missing! By the time this realization was confirmed (checked purse 25 times, shaken out completely empty transparent sleeve in hopes that something was hiding in the corners), the groceries were already being zipped through. I asked if the transaction could be suspended since I was missing some COUPONS, but he said that I could bring them back in with my receipt. Okay. Deep breaths. They are probably in the car and just fell out. Take kids out to the car, scramble under the seats, no coupons. They are probably still at home on the dining table. Get home, look all around, no coupons. I guess I didn't notice 50 coupons trailing behind us as I tried to keep baby safely in seat and was repeating "No gum. No brownies. No sugar cereal. No fruit snacks." to the girls! No wonder I was a bit befuddled. I figure I lost about $20 worth of valuable coupons somewhere and I doubt that anyone will treasure them as much as I did. And to be honest, I didn't really need that many bottles of salad dressing, but they would have come out to .17¢! I guess I will return them.
To sum up: my initial foray into the dark underbelly of Coupon World ended in complete disaster. Should I even attempt round 2?