Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Not for the fainthearted...

Last night I attended a free couponing workshop. (Mom, you can pick your jaw up from the floor now.) I never thought I'd go to one of these things. I mean, really? But a friend of mine invited me and I thought it couldn't possibly be that bad and it was free afterall. I was so wrong - couponing is not for the fainthearted.

This workshop was started by 3 women in the area who all have 6 or more people in there family and spent about $600-$650 a month for groceries. They give this workshop several times a month all around the area. Last night had about 200-300 people in attendance. It was a crazy experience - like a Beth Moore event only with dudes there too. You know, the too much perfume, perfectly styled hair, crazed and excited giddyness of stay at home moms to be at a chick event without their kids to worry about. (not that those things are bad at all - just overwhelming in large doses for those of us not falling under any of those categories)

Anyway, I thought the event, which started at 7 would end around 8:30. At 8:30, we were only partway through! The event ended at 9:30! 2 1/2 hours of learning the ins and outs and ethics of couponing. Of building a stockpile and then using coupons to buy to replenish the stockpile vs buying items you need today. Of learning the schedule of coupons for Publix, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, etc, etc. These women have worked out a deal with the area Publix's so that these women post on their website the coupons that will be in Sunday's newspaper so you know if you need to buy extra copies of the paper. They also have worked out a deal with the newspaper so that through using their discount code, you can get the Sunday papers delivered to your door for halfprice - AND you can get up to 10 copies of the paper (which all the workshop ladies do of course!) Then there was the learning how to organize and file the coupons.

And if you had purchased a newspaper subscription last night, you would have gotten your very own little coupon file complete with a tiny stapler (for your benefit), staple remover (to remove said staples before handing to the cashier), and hand sanitizer (because the lady leading the workshop is a self-proclaimed germaphobe)! How did I refrain??

The first 3-4 months of couponing they said, expect it to take about 3-4 hours of prep time each month (but you should shop every week so you don't miss a deal - and go the same day each week) and several hours in the store each week! Really!?!? I don't have that much time! That's why I go grocery shopping at sunrise on Saturday mornings or after often I'll go shopping late in the evening because it's the only time I have. That's why I buy for 6 weeks at a time. I don't have 12 hours a month to spend cutting out paper - and if I did, I would pick up scrapbooking again.

The lady leading the workshop got so excited about this entire couponing "adventure" ; she sometimes had to catch her breath because she was so elated about getting 2 jars of spaghetti sauce for free using a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale at Publix or not having ever paid for toilet paper since 2007. And while it seemed to really excite most people in the room free toilet paper just doesn't excite me.

And when they unfurled their receipts and they flowed down like something in a movie when a spoiled little brat presents his Christmas list...oh man! You would have thought there was going to be a Pentacostal/Tammy Faye Baker moment - and there might have been if the night had lasted much longer, or if a piano had been around that someone could bang out the same 4 chords over and over until everyone in the room got moved to tears over free toilet paper and razors and spaghetti sauce.

Needless to say, I didn't buy into this couponing phenomenon. I did however resolve to start buying a Sunday paper and at least try to cut coupons and use them. I don't think I'm anywhere near ready to start "stacking" manufacturer's coupons with store coupons, or worry about "overage" or any of the other overwhelming things discussed last night. I'll be doing good if I can use 5 coupons every time I go shopping. And so this is my goal. We'll see how I do. Maybe it will escalate from here - maybe I just need a taste of this addiction and I too can be a compulsively crazed couponer.

But I did walk away having learned something last night and it is this..If we (I) could be so excited about Jesus and showing His love to a lost world as these women were about couponing - we could radically effect change in the world. I want to have the same enthusiasm level as these women had last night - just over something more substantial and eternal than coupons.


Crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crystal said...

I get excited if I save 5 dollars.

True if we were as excited about our Savior as our saving.

Andy said...

She hasn't paid for toilet paper in 4 years? insane!

Maria said...

BA HA HA HA! I can just hear the organ playing in the background! I don't think I could have sat by you during all of that. I want to be like you and only shop once a month. Do you plan out meals for that long? Do you drink milk? How do you do that?

Andrea said...

Omg Rachel. This was hilarious! I can So see you uncomfortable as all the big haired, capri wearing ladies were surrounding you with tales of the $.20 napkins!! I'm just sorry I missed it.