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Frugality

Katie the Coupon Queen

My Katie and I have been discussing my muses of late, particularly my personal opinion that I wanted to encourage people to find ways to give the corporations less money. I thought my words had fallen upon deaf ears but then something interesting happened.

For a couple of weeks I heard Katie watching episodes of some show about extreme couponing. I was amused at the fact that my daughter, of all people, suddenly seemed interested in people clipping coupons and saving money, but I let it go, reasoning that she was probably trying to understand some of her mother’s eccentricities.

When she came home the other day with a bunch of coupons, I started to grow concerned. I’ve attempted couponing in the past and I had spent more money acquiring the coupons than I saved. I kept my thoughts to myself; there are things people should learn from experience.

Sensing my skepticism, Katie collected her coupons and dragged me to the store with her yesterday. Her plan was to stock us up on things we actually use while spending as little as possible.

I thought she was on a fool’s errand as I tagged along.

To my absolute shock, my daughter managed to shave 1/3 off of her total bill with that stack of coupons – and that was at the store on the corner! That particular store is known for its higher prices; we both try to avoid it whenever possible for that reason.

Now, for the first time in years, my daughter and I are having conversations about homemade laundry detergent, expiration dates, and reasonable stockpile levels. She has no desire to buy things that will go bad before they are used.

Her argument is this: at the moment, it is hard to purchase certain things without giving your money to the corporations that are running our government, so why not use coupons, specials, and selective stockpiling to give them as little as possible?

I must admit that she has a point.

Have you ever had luck with couponing? If so, do you have any tips that you can share? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

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4 replies on “Katie the Coupon Queen”

I found couponing worked best for me when I filed them by expiration date. That kept me from missing out while letting me look through future dates for things I needed to buy now. I was also surprised to learn that some of the best in-store sales were at Walgreen’s drug store’s grocery section; who thinks of Walgreen’s a place to buy groceries?

Walgreens? That’s interesting! We don’t have a Walgreens in this area but I have discovered that there is a store in my area that isn’t considered a grocery store to be quite the same. My daughter went there and between the sales listed and her coupons ended up saving quite a bit of money. I find it fascinated that we can do that.

I do not coupon but I do watch for “sales”, I basically purchase the same items all the time. I know when it is a “bargain” plus I rarely buy anything but generic and since all “generics” are not equal in taste, I just buy at WalMart (gasp).

Dear Sam,
As much as I detest WalMart, in many areas it is the only place available for people to purchase certain things that they need locally. Given that certain items cannot be shipped at a distance, even I, as much as I hate them, may be forced to use them on occasion. I can only hope that, if enough of us band together and resolve to spend less at their establishment, that this situation changes.

Having worked in a factory that produces some of the food that WalMart sells, I know for a fact that they are extremely picky about the quality of their products. There are several products that I used to purchase on a regular basis before I decided to initiate my own personal boycott. I’ve no idea how I will handle this when my current supply runs low.

That said, my daughter has no desire to follow my personal plan to boycott WalMart. She used her coupons the other day at the store and ended up with a stockpile of things she uses, at some points acquiring these items for seven cents apiece. So while I have no desire to use this company on a personal level, I have no right to judge anyone who does. All I can do is the best I can and hope that others will slowly work out alternatives as they move forward.

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