Posted in coupons

The Waiting (and Savings) Game

I ordered some $5 Gillette coupons last Saturday and now I am waiting for them to arrive so I can do some “super shopping” in Dubuque. We planned on going through Dyersville to get there, where I could possibly do a little double-coupon damage.  I had high hopes the coupons would get here yesterday afternoon. I diligently went through my coupon box yesterday morning, organizing in anticipation for some other sales, but I told the kids I wasn’t going to drive all the way to Dubuque until those $5 coupons arrived.  Yes, as pathetic as it sounds, I plan my life around the coupon sales.

When the coupons did not arrive in the mail I felt restless.  I’d planned a super shopping spree that was now going to be delayed, and that left me feeling a little at odds, nervous and anxious.

There is enough waiting in my life as a writer, thank you very much.  I am waiting to hear about contests I’ve entered, essays I’ve submitted and even a grant I applied for. Sometimes in the writing world, not hearing back IS the answer and the answer is  NO.  I submitted something in February to a magazine that advertises in their submission guidelines the fact that if you haven’t heard back from them within an eight-week time frame, you can submit elsewhere. I haven’t heard back so now, yes, I am submitting it elsewhere.

C. Hope Clark, an author and editor of FundsForWriters, addresses the concept of “waiting” in a recent blog entry;

http://tinyurl.com/2vjr2xv

While the waiting is annoying, her blog posting made me think about it from the perspective of the editor or judge. I can take her advice and just keep busy submitting, and working on my proposal, instead of sitting and waiting. That is what I have been doing the past three rainy days when my sister and I could not take our usual 7:00-8:00 morning walk.  Writing. Editing. Submitting. Three hours one morning, two hours another. One essay submitted, more work on the proposal.

But back to the coupons, and the incessant waiting for them to arrive so I could go shopping!  What could I do in the meantime? Nothing? A “regular” grocery run?  There is that, but then I have been an extreme couponer for so many years I now find it difficult to spend too many days in a row without imbibing in some kind of sale, getting something, anything free.

Is couponing an addiction?  Was I at odds with myself, irritated and anxious because I had gone too many days without the “fix” of extreme couponing?

I hate admitting that I might, indeed have a problem.

When the coupons didn’t arrive in the mail, I drove to our local Walmart to see if I could find some super deals.  Other than another 5 free Carefree pads and 10 packs of Mentos gum I found on clearance that I used coupons on, I didn’t get the fix there.

So I headed to Fareway, where I was thrilled to discover a pad of 50-cents coupons good on Ortega taco seasoning, seasoning that retails for only 59-cents at the Dubuque Walmart.  Has it come to this? I get my thrills from 9-cents taco seasoning? After adding milk and bananas to my cart (the two things I’d needed or wanted there) I hunted for another good deal; any good deal that would make my day.

That’s when it hit me; this might actually be a sickness.

In researching for my book, at least two couponers have described themselves as OCD, obssesive-compulsive, in their life and in the hunt for good deals. Perhaps some of us are wired to respond to that little surge of adrenaline one gets when the coupon matched with the sale price equals FREE. I have no doubt that the emotional satisfaction is as great as the monetary when it comes to couponing.

So, is this a sickness, my constant hunt for the good deal?  Not everyone will be as excited as I am when those coupons finally arrive and I head to Dubuque to pick up razors that one store will give me gift cards for, another will reward me with catalina coupons when I buy them.  Some will scoff or shake their head if I post pictures, and at least one or two readers of my blog will actually roll their eyes  when they see that day’s posting.  Will that posting be tonight? Tomorrow?  Only the mail delivery can tell us.  As I sit here, anticipating the mail, wondering just when I can head to Dubuque, I have to admit: Yes, I am addicted to this.

As my friend Lisa E. wrote when she filled out my coupon questionnaire.  “My daughter says I’m addicted to couponing. So what? There are much worse addictions.”



Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

One thought on “The Waiting (and Savings) Game

  1. Mary-
    I laughed over this, I scroll down very slowly on your blog, and I didn’t see the end till I was laughing, because believe me friend, I felt for you all the way through the blog. I too was looking for my covergirl coupons last week, the buy 1-1 free coupons to use at Rite aid to get 2 free with each coupon. They didn’t come until Friday, so I could only use a few, which was ok, 8 bottles free is a buy in my book. But anyway, I have a picture to send your way, Stacie is in the picture holding up a sign after one of my shopping spree’s, and that is the daughter who told me I am addicted to a “FREE” shopping trip. Like I said before, there are worse addictions.
    I was shocked you “quoted” me, but isn’t it the truth? Only true coupon shoppers understand our way of thinking. Thanks for the laugh, I just had a week like that last week, this week has gone smoothly so far :o)

    Lisa

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