So, I've been couponing, rebating and penny-pinching for a few months now and I thought I would take some time to reflect on how things have gone since I started down the path of "thrifting."
My biggest concerns when I started down this road were: 1.) it would take up too much time; 2.) I would end up spending more money to save money.
So, how have I done?
1.) I don't find that it takes up too much of my time. However, to be fair, I suppose you'd have to ask my husband and children. Yes, I do park my kids in front of Playhouse Disney from time to time so that I can print, clip and scour for deals. But, I estimate that I spend only about 1/2 an hour a day doing this. Admittedly, it is a bit longer when I add in putting it on my Deals Page. But, this is for all my readers (you know...all 5 of you), so how could I count that?
Actually...let me just admit that I kinda enjoy it. It makes me feel like I have a grown-up job and that I'm being helpful. (If that's not exactly true, I don't wanna know!) In fact, I feel like it's my mission, in the way that some other (crazy) mothers feel like creating a cozy and spotless living home is their mission. So, lately when my husband asks why the dinner has not been started, I vaguely wave him towards the kitchen and say, "honeeeey, I'm working!"
2.) I have to be honest and say that I'm not really sure whether I've spent more money than I normally would have in order to save money (which can be counter-productive). I would tend to say I have done pretty well. I actually think rather than technically just "saving money," my thrifting has allowed to buy more/other things we have needed but couldn't afford. I guess you could look at it either way.
I know that I have definitely had to learn to "walk away" from a really great deal because either: a.) I didn't need the product or didn't know anyone who did, or: b.) We just didn't have the money to spend on that item even though the coupon was about to expire. I have become really good at checking for products and when I find they aren't a good enough deal (or are not on sale which makes using the coupon(s) an amazing deal), I will leave the appropriate coupon on the product for some other lucky soul to find. (If you shop at either of the Clovis Targets, you're welcome!)
I know that I still have a lot to learn about the "ways of saving," but I've really enjoyed the journey. I cannot tell you the sense of pride and satisfaction that filled my heart when I used my $.48 Rimmel eyeshadow today. Not only did I save $4 ($2 off Target coupon & $2 Rimmel coupon), but I really needed a brown eyeshadow palette.
I'm almost completely unashamed to clog up an entire Target lane for 15 minutes (lane light getting flicked to the off position) while the harried clerk (and sometimes the CSM) tries to sort out my BOGOs, free gift cards, and sheaf of coupons. I only break out in a light sheen of sweat now as I try to make sure each coupon scans correctly and I get my due.
When I am strolling out with my cart and realizing that I saved $60 or $80, I am almost able to meet the eyes of the poor lady who got stuck in my vortex of discount shopping.
Today, I was feeling pretty good about my $43.98 worth of purchases that included 5 Nabisco 100-Calorie Packs (I only paid for 2) and eyeliner for $2.99. In fact I must share a photo of my loot:
Even though I know that there are frugalistas out there who probably could have gotten it all for like $3.95, I felt pretty proud of myself....you know, the "good" kind of proud. The kind of proud that I imagine I would feel if I canned my own jam (I will one of these days!) or made my own laundry detergent!
Why? Because I'm being proactive! I'm working "my job" for all it's worth, and I'm feeling pretty darn fulfilled. Okay...and maybe a little buzzed from my "shopper's high."
So, my verdict? Thrifting...I dig it. I'm pretty good at it. I like how it makes me feel. And, I'm not going to stop....
(Whoa...I just re-read that last sentence. Ummmm...on second thought maybe someone should check in with my family to see if I'm delusional and if an intervention is needed.)