Friday, February 3, 2012

How Low Dare I Go?

I am in a coupon desert.

I used to get my coupons from the inserts that we'd pull out of the Sunday papers at work, but at new job, I don't know if someone has already called dibs, so I haven't asked yet.  What I have done, is noticed that in front of this building with a menorah on the roof that's on my walk to work (I obviously work in the Jewish part of town), there are scads of coupons scattered on the sidewalk every Monday.  Aside from being a bit dusty, these coupons are perfectly good, and I could just scoop them up and stuff them in my bag and no one would know, right?

But that's how crazy people behave.
Ummm, no.
It's weird because I don't even really use coupons that much, but having a few for the few items I use them on, is like a security blanket.  I've been not allowing myself to buy yogurt because I didn't have a coupon, but I really like yogurt! It's handy to bring to work, and good for me.  So why all the self-flagellation?

I think I'm equating my lack of coupons with our spending way too much on groceries lately, but we'd still be spending too much even if I did save us $10 per trip.  I'm blaming myself for not caring enough, when the actual circumstance may be that I just don't care that much.

I'm trying not to have the salary overconfidence that might dupe me into thinking that now that I work 'full-time' I have money enough to fritter away on lavish grocery purchases, but I just can't bring myself to get all worked up about it at this point.  Yes, January was an extravagant month, and yes, I need to get back on track for February, but hunting down sales and picking up coupons off of the sidewalk, that's stepping a toe in cheap territory--even though the sight of those unused coupons tugs at me.

To sum up:

  1. The dirty coupons are staying on the ground, even though I want them.
  2. I need to buy some lentils and dried beans because those are tastey, hearty and cheap, then I won't feel so extravagant for my yogurt purchases.
  3. I'm meant to be enjoying my wonderful new life, not berating myself for splashing out a bit!  I'm settling in, it's an adjustment period, and I'm worth it.
I got a great deal on hair dye today--2 for 1 plus reduced price.


  1. What yogurt are you buying that is so extravagant? I buy the big container of greek yogurt (not the chobani one though) or the regular organic yogurt and in general, they aren't more than $3.50 tops (The greek one, that is the sale price though).

  2. Well, picking up the coupon inserts would be a "good neighbor" thing to do, even if you just chucked them into the nearest recycling bin - who needs litter?

    And if you don't use the coupons yourself, you can send them to military families overseas to use at the PX/BX/Commissary (USAF brat here, so I know) - see Overseas Coupon Project: . You might even be able to talk up OCP as a group project at work! Adopt a base, collect & sort coupons (up to 2 months expired) into food & nonfood, get the right box & customs form at Post Office, send at regular US postage rate.

    As to the yogurt extravagance, look into crockpot yogurt recipes, using high-quality plain yogurt as starter. With a set of reusable glass containers with lids to hold portions, you add your own jam or fruit to taste. Frugal and clever!

  3. @BrandiRae I don't necessarily think I'm being extravagant, it's just that the cost of groceries has gone up and the size of those groceries has gone down. I feel like I'm at the store all the time!

    @Katy That's an interesting idea, for sure. Thanks for the tip!!