The other day I came across the blog of a friend of a friend who, from the sound of things, is a domestic goddess extraordinaire. I bet she's one of those moms all the other moms hate because she's so good at everything, always looks perfect, and makes it look easy. Like teddy bear soup. Between raising her Gerber-baby-food-commercial-cute kids, putting together the the most adorable house ever and taking care of her husband, she's also a coupon clipping Queen.
The last one is what's inspired me. (Sorry friends, but I'm in no hurry to tackle the rest of those domestic hurdles anytime soon). This coupon thing though, I can do that!
She claims that she can feed her whole family on $50 a week. If that's true it's pretty darn impressive because she listed some of the things they eat and its all really normal, every-day stuff that we eat too...and it's all brand name to boot. I've tried--with varying degrees of success--the money-saving maneuver of buying the cheaper, "store" brand for some of the more simple commodity type things we consume. Eggs. Cheese. Dish soap. Seriously, who cares if you use name brand soap? Not this girl.
Now, I think we can all agree that there are some things that you just can't be cheap on--ketchup for example; you gotta go with the Heinz because everything else is crap. It's a fact. But I really thought there were lots of things I could get away with buying cheaper because who cares what the label says? Zack supports my money-saving in theory, but when it comes to actually doing it, I don't think I've quite convinced him yet. He's all about some expensive toilet paper and paper towels (I didn't realize when I married him he had such a sensitive tush) and last week when I brought home some Wal-Mart brand cheddar cheese, he complained for a week that he thought it might be radioactive and that he could feel his insides glowing. He calls it our "government issue, cancer-infused, cheese-flavored product," and says that it'll still be equally edible when we're eligible for social security.
The good news is, at least he's not melodramatic.
We've compromised by buying moderately priced toilet paper and paper towels, cheaping it on the soap and cleaning products, and then springing for the good stuff when it comes to ketchup, cheese, and cereal.
And man oh man, can we eat some cereal. By "we" I mostly mean him, but I've been known to eat a bowl or two of cereal for dinner several nights in a row, so I'll take some of the credit here too. My sweet husband though, can eat cereal like none other. I wish there was a cereal eating contest I could enter him in because no doubt, he'd bring home the gold. We go through cereal like most people go through, well...toilet paper. We're talking upwards of four or five boxes a week. Maybe not quite a box a day, but darn close.
I had to put this in as an homage to Zack's current cereal of choice. We could never find any of these in Lexington and he thought they had quit making them altogether. Of course, when you come to the food mecca that is New Orleans you can find every cereal known to man, including the Count Chocula-Boo Berry- Franken Berry trio.
It's our cereal consumption that has me the most excited about cutting coupons. There are all kinds of coupons for cereal out there that I never really paid attention to. Super-mom claimed that she cut her weekly cereal bill from $22 to $5 just using coupons, so I'm determined to give it a shot. I've already found and cut out a bunch of coupons that I plan to use on my next trip to the grocery store. I'll let you know how it goes.
I think what all this coupon cutting boils down to is that I'm kind of a tight wad when it comes to my own money. Really! Some of you are probably falling off your seats laughing at that statement I know, but hear me out. I can shop with the best of them and I'm really, really good at spending when its someone else's money being spent. I'll quite literally shop 'till I drop then. But now that I've got my own big-kid job and I'm making my own money I'm starting to find that I can't enjoy reckless spending nearly as much as I used to could. It feels somehow irresponsible to go buy five new pairs of shoes when i know there are bills to pay and groceries to buy.