There she stood, smack dab in the middle of the aisle, studying the pages of her three-ring binder. She was lost in concentration, oblivious to the fact that I didn’t have enough room to maneuver my cart around her.
Another extreme couponer. It must be triple discount day at my Harris Teeter, I thought. Oh no. Clogged aisles and long lines at the checkout. I resisted the urge to slam into her and instead took a moment to study the contents of this woman’s cart.
And, oh yes, it was a woman. I have yet to see a man with a notebook or even an envelope stuffed with coupons. Saving money with coupons seems to be a woman thing.
Her groceries looked to be the standard stuff – canned goods, milk, eggs, Hamburger Helper. Does she really have a coupon for all that, I wondered. How in the world does she do it? Where does she find these coupons? Where does she find the time to clip these coupons?
Suddenly I realized the cold, naked truth of the matter. I wasn’t so much annoyed by this couponing shopper as I was jealous of her. I wanted to be the one who gets $218.43 worth of groceries for $35.13. In fact, I intend to put that goal on my bucket list.
People who know me well know I love a coupon. My friends and family even kid me about my fondness for a discount. Hey, just because I got hooked on the Hilo Hattie coupons from the cruise ship in Hawaii the other year doesn’t mean I have a problem. My youngest daughter recently laughed when I showed up in Charlotte with coupons for an antique sale. We saved $1 each off the $5 admission price.
“Mom, when are you going to quit using coupons?” she asked.
“A dollar saved is a dollar earned,” I answered primly.
She didn’t say anything else after I gave her a five for her admission (my treat) and using her coupon, she was able to pocket a dollar in change.
So yes, I have a history of couponing my own self. But these ladies in the grocery store have taken saving money to a whole new level, and I want to be just like them. At least once in my life, I want to look at the people in line behind me at the checkout and say, “You might want to choose another lane. I’m going to be here a while.”
Write to Patsy Pridgen at firstname.lastname@example.org.