Imagine if you will, you are driving into a paved parking lot.  You find a great space, you turn everything off, get out, lock the car and head into the store.  The manager of the store greets you, offers up a friendly, “Hello” and hands you $12.00 cash and says thanks for coming to our store, please accept this money to help go towards your bill as you check out.

That pretty much happens to me all the time, every time.   Hello, welcome, here is $1.50 to spend while you are here.  Hi there, please accept this $8.50 to spend in our store.  Welcome to the grocery store, please take this $2.45 in cash to help towards your bill. Thank you for shopping with us today.

Well, it doesn’t go quite like that, oh in my mind it does.  Yes, you all know I use coupons.  They have to be clipped or printed on paper for me to count them.  I do not add up all the “store savings” the paper receipt says at the end of my shopping excursion.  I keep track on my calendar by shopping trip, then at the end of the week or month, I tally it up and circle it.  End of December I run the numbers and hopefully will do a little happy dance.  Some months, life takes over and I don’t do a stellar job……May 2012, I saved $15.39.  However, remember if the store manager handed you $15.39 CASH as you walked in the store, you would say a hearty thank you.  We also do not purchase dog food or treats (make our own), laundry soap (again, make our own), do not buy boxed cereal or products, we do not buy frozen boxed food, we do not buy shampoo or conditioner (order sulfate free), we do not purchase bar soap (buy hand-made from www.AromaSoapLab.com).  All of the items I mentioned and then some, offer up tons of coupons, so I really have to work to find the ones that we can use.

No. I am not an extreme couponer.  Sure I will purchase some items for college or military care packages and use coupons.  Yes, we donate to the local food bank twice a year, no I do not have a stock pile “room”.  We have a pantry like everyone else.  This year I  did not put couponing at the top of my to do list.  I spend about 10-15 minutes a week clipping coupons.  We buy one Sunday paper and I order some from eBay.  End of each month and end of the year I have to toss out quite a few expired ones.   DSC08079

So to all the folks who say, “I don’t have the time, I am too busy”, “doesn’t add up enough for me to bother”, “we don’t get the paper”, “not worth my time”………………get a load of these numbers:

2009 – $1,394.94

2010 –  $1,794.67

2011 –  $1,442.82

2012 –  $1,266.28

A Grand Total of $5,878.51, money saved by using coupons over a four-year period.  That my friends is most worthy of a HAPPY DANCE!  Yep, it was worth my time.  WooHOO!!