Adventures in Couponing

So I am sure all of you already are fully aware that I LOVE to shop....OBSESSION! And unfortunately my true princess status hasn't been recognized yet so I have to use that ugly 6 letter word......budget *shutters*

Oh how I long for the days where I can just walk into Bloomingdale's and just purchase that $500 pair of shoes that I will only wear once.  I dream about the days where I won't have to hock a kidney for my coveted Louis Vuitton that I have been drooling over for YEARS. 

I wanna be a billionaire so friggen bad.....

Over the years, my shopping addiction and my budget haven't always seen eye to eye.  I want the finer things in life....I NEED the finer things in life.  This brings me to the most wonderful four letter word I have ever heard ......S-A-L-E! I am all about a sale....I thrive on it!  I can rip a clearance rack up like nobody's business.  Give me an extra percentage off and I might salivate.  My math skills in percentages are AMAZING!  I am all about finding a great deal.....

Enter Extreme Couponing.  I have heard MANY things about this show for weeks before I actually got to watch it.  I sat enthralled by what I was seeing.  My eyes remained glued to the tv as I watched these people do something I have only imagined....shopped for almost nothing!!! It's like the clearance of all clearances.  I said my whole pregnancy the Food Network channel was porn for preggos.....well this show...is porn for a shopper!

I'll admit, sometimes I am SHOCKED at the hoarding.  Honey if you have one bajillion bags of cat treats and you don't own a cat...it's time to either buy one or get your head checked out by a dr.

So many logical questions arose during the show. Where do they get these coupons?  How many do they end up throwing away?  What store actually LETS them do that? Who the hell needs that many cans of Spam? 

But most important...how do I DO THIS?!?!

I was on a mission....I'm a smart saavy shopper...I could do this.  Not ANYWHERE to the EXTREME that they do...but on a smaller more manageable scale.  I don't need 75 packets of taco seasoning but maybe having two or three would be nice. 

That's it...it's on!

I went and bought my newspapers last week.  I'm probably already failing because I paid for the coupons but the idea of wearing Sweet Pea in the Baby Bjorn while I dumpster dive for coupons was a little too much (and a little too gross).  I clipped my coupons, separated them and made piles!  I noticed my local supermarket was doing double coupons up to $2!!! THIS IS HUGE.  So I sat and researched, made a detailed list, grabbed my coupons and was ready to go.  I read the coupon policies before so I knew what I was up against. 

Here we go....

We went to the store today and started filling our cart up with the items.  I was walking on air...this was FABULOUS and fun!!!!  Just as we finished, I told my husband to start loading our ONE cart up onto the belt while I ran to get this weeks paper.  Half of my cart was loaded on the belt as I returned and noticed the DREADED sign!  I swear it was like the apocalypse.  20 COUPON LIMIT.  I almost threw.up.

It was our turn and I had WAY more than 20 coupons....I counted them quickly and had over 40. 

This is what went on in my head:

Ok we just have to split it into two orders.  Where is the detergent? OH SHIT HE IS SCANNING ALREADY. QUICK! THINK FAST! OMG! 

Enter MAJOR hyperventilation mode!  My brain couldn't process the separation.  I tried to work it out with my husband but each item he scanned, the beep felt louder and louder.  All I kept thinking was how I was FAILING at shopping.  This is MY sport....I'm Olympic gold at this and I am FAILING. 

The cashier....AWESOME.  He talked me through it...seriously...sweet young kid!  He wanted me to use the coupons!  He mentioned the show...he wanted to see how low I could get it!

Game back on......

I made some mistakes.  I didn't fully understand the process but hey Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm learning.  We got our $250 dollar order down to $90!  That's nothing to shake a stick at!  I didn't go crazy....we won't be eating Tuna until 2031.  I got enough for us....for my family to be comfortable.  I vowed in my head before I started this that multiple times a year I will clean out and donate what we don't use and I will NEVER take what won't be used (hear that crazy non-cat owner lady?!?!?).

The cashier...bless his heart....said I should be on that show.  I felt the inevitable nervous breakdown ensuing.  I couldn't handle ONE cart...I could never do 3 or 4 carts full. If necessary, I will have to make smaller trips.  Shopping is exercise anyway right?!?! 

Now if I could just figure out where to get more coupons......