How Couponing Is Changing My Life For The Better
Last night, a friend I'll call "Jim" dubbed his wife the "Coupon Queen" because she saved $700 on groceries last year by clipping coupons. No offense, Jim, but your wife's coronation is a fraud. My next door neighbor, a stay at home mom named Suzanne, is the real Coupon Queen, saving over $7,000 in coupons last year.
My mother clipped coupons. I always admired her for that, and I really do want to be like her when I grow up. However, the coupon clipping thing just never turned me on. I resented being in the check out line behind coupon clippers who were just holding up progress (it is all about me, after all) and honestly, I just never saw myself as "needing" to clip coupons.
When someone started gabbing about how much money they saved using coupons, I quickly found an exit from the conversation. I'm not sure why. Could it be I was just jealous that someone else wasn't as lazy as I was and actually didn't mind spending an extra hour a week making grocery lists in order to save a few bucks? Imagine that …. Me? Stubborn and unteachable?!?
That was then. This is now.
I Got A New Attitude [Hum to the tune of Patti LaBelle's hit.]
My attitude changed a few months ago when Suzanne, my new next door neighbor and the real Coupon Queen, came over with a batch of "welcome to the neighborhood" blueberry bread. Of course, I invited her in, and don't you know the first thing she started chatting about was coupons.
Coupon Queen explained that she saved tons of money every year by clipping coupons. Furthermore, as a stay at home mom, it was her job to make sure that her family never ran out of anything. How nice.
The bread was delicious and such a thoughtful gesture. For the next few months, our daughters developed a nice friendship while Coupon Queen and I chatted now and then about anything having to do with little girls.
Then early this month, on Triple Coupon Thursday, Coupon Queen and I ran into each other in the driveway. She proudly showed me a receipt for $1.50 from our local grocery store. Here we go again.
Upon further inspection of the receipt, I saw that Coupon Queen had paid $1.50 for $120.00 in groceries.
In invited her in again. This time, for an inquisition.
I Am Now Officially Frugal
After spending several hours with Coupon Queen, I have managed to save about $300.00 on my grocery bill in just the last 3 weeks. That's right, before Coupon Queen, I did not know how to grocery shop. Here is some proof of my newfound frugality:
- Using coupons, I paid .25 for a large bottle of brand name household cleaner
- Using coupons and an immediate in-store rebate, I got 4 tubes of free tooth paste
- Using a coupon, I paid .75 for one of my favorite brands of deodorant (regularly priced at $4.99)
- Using a mail-in rebate form, I got 2 lbs of fresh salmon for just $6.00
- Using a mail-in rebate form, I got $3.00 back for buying pizza. That's right, I got 2 family sized pizzas, and after coupons and mail-in rebate, I got $3.00 back (well, $2.63 after counting the stamp).
So what does this have to do with being Indie? Only everything. See, the whole idea of managing a home and a business simultaneously is that to stay afloat, you have to save more than you spend. You want to pay yourself, of course. But if you can pay yourself a little less because you are a good steward of the money your business pays you, then you'll have more to invest in expanding the business.
And isn't that what we have to do as Indies? As we manage our businesses and our homes, in the end, it's all about keeping more money than we spend.
Back to Coupon Queen
Coupon Queen is a little on the shy side, hence the generic picture at the top of this post. Coupon Queen seems to think that everyone already knows this exciting coupon stuff. I'm not sure why she thinks that. Is she right? Was I the only person in America who did not know this stuff?
Would You Like To Talk To Coupon Queen?
Do you coupon? How much do you save in coupons? Can you beat Coupon Queen? Would you like me to have her as a guest on Indie Business Radio? Please tell me what you think because Coupon Queen will only agree to be a guest if you tell me you want to get all of her tips.
If you don't, that's fine with me. Just mail your Sunday coupons to my address, which I will gladly give you if you ask. I will reimburse you by trading some consulting time.
Meanwhile, Coupon Queen will be reading your comments to this post in between time spent planning her next island cruise, made possible of course by clipping coupons. Please tell her what you think.