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Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Nickel Here, Dollar There

Nickel here, dollar there

I’m sure I’m mentioned my penchant for using coupons. I know I’ve written a couple of articles on the subject. We’re all interested in saving money, right?

When we were first married, my husband hated my coupon box. Now he’s interested enough that he won’t go anyplace without our treasured Entertainment book, he keeps various tear outs in his car for emergencies and here’s the latest: HE SIGNED US UP TO TAKE AN EXTREME COUPONING CLASS that our local newspaper is hosting!

Yes, it fell during his day off/vacation-so he told me, “I’ve signed us up-we get a gift bag and we may learn something.”

Really? Is this the same man who told me, “Do you have to do this? How much could we be saving?”

Oh what a difference 30 years and the loss of a mate’s “day job” will do!

Last year, our total savings came to $2,898.72. Tidy sum, no? Well guess what? With hubby hoarding points in the newspaper’s “deal of the day” game, our various coupons which we used during sales, so far for the first 6 weeks of 2012-our savings are a very impressive $1,085.

Yep, you read that right-over a thousand dollars! This included a totally free hockey game with parking for 4, two concerts at a local venue, various dinners and a whole lot of food!

Now you’re probably thinking-Carine’s gone mad. She’s probably got one of her kid’s old rooms stuffed with shelving and has her own personal “market” going on. Nope. I’m not like the extremists you might witness on the TLC series.

I will not buy junk food, just to have on hand. Don’t eat it, don’t need it and I certainly don’t want it-even if it’s free. Plus, standing there in line holding my breath just sounds silly.

But I will hunt around for the best deals I can on things I use. Take Fiber 1 or All bran cereal. I know I’m not in the minority of those of us over 50 who have taken to eating either one of these for breakfast or have taken on a whole new relationship with double fiber English muffins and/or breads-so I know that the cheapest place to get the cereal is Wal-Mart; if I’m lucky-sometimes Big Lots will have some. But Wal-Mart accepts coupons-so it’s a real boon for us. We’ve got 4 boxes outside.

When I’m so inclined, I’ll make some muffins with the stuff.

What I do wish would happen is that there would be more coupons for things in the “fresh” food aisles. You know-veggies and fruit. Can’t seem to catch a break there, but I hang out in our local Sprouts way too much for Steve’s liking.

While I was visiting our daughter last, my husband decided to use some coupons for frozen vegetables. Maybe it’s me, but no amount of rhetoric about this stuff being “even better than fresh” is going to convince me.

It’s watery, it doesn’t look or taste as good as fresh and why he would even think I’d be happy to have a portion of my valuable “real estate” in our freezer taken up with a package of frozen peppers is just beyond my comprehension.

My only hope is to make a pot of soup and hopefully the broth and spices will somehow mask the mushiness.

Why am I on this rant today? Probably because we are about to escape to our second favorite state of Arizona (another thing that my husband is really pushing is for us to sell everything and start anew there, really? At age 55 and 54 and about 5 chronic diseases between us?) and I’m down to 4 pounds of carrots and 2 apples in the fresh food drawers. I’m having to possibly accept that I may have to use some of those frozen veggies in my dinner tomorrow night.

Of course, I am scheduled to bring Pepper over to our daughter-in-law. He’ll be spending some time with the fur grandkids while we’re gone. Our son is already with his sister and nephews-so hey, she has to eat before she gets down to her evening nursing studies and so do I, maybe I can convince her to grab a $5 sub meal at the local Subway.

And yes, there’s a coupon for that.

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