Thursday, January 1, 2009

Coupon Mania

by Amy Platon

Well, I just got back from a mid-week grocery stop. It was the pinnacle of my coupon experiences thus far. It’s amazing the rush I got at the check out register. Turns out I saved $63 and spent $41 out of pocket. Easy math, I saved sixty percent on my grocery bill.

Wanna know what I bought? Well, two boxes of cereal my husband can’t get enough of. Two boxes, plus two coupons on granola bars (both on BOGO, BTW). I had a competitor coupon for spare ribs at buy1 get 2 free. Another competitor coupon for $5 off $30 or more, and various other highly useful items all on BOGO plus 2 coupons for each.

The best part of this story starts at the check out line. The store was busy and since it is New Years Day, they seemed to be short staffed so I had about two people behind me in line. The cashier, Vyon, dragged my items over the scanner almost in a coma (she had been partying all night and the manager wouldn’t let her call out). Before she got to the last item in my pile, the ribs, I handed her my stack of coupons. “You might want these before you push those through.” I said holding out my paperwork.

She pulled them from me and began looking them over. She scanned in the standard coupons but when she got to the competitor coupons she enlisted the help of her senior cashier, Debbie. She helped Vyon through, and things get on their way, but Debbie was transfixed at the screen. Then said, “Wow, I need to start getting the paper.”

I just smiled, but I’m not gonna lie, my adrenaline was on the run. I was totally high on the list of minuses that kept appearing on my screen. “Where’d you get that coupon?” Came from a man just over my shoulder. He was as amazed as the rest of us (the bagger, Debbie, Vyon who really perked up, and me.)

Now, I know some of the really amazing coupon cutters can do way better than a girl three weeks into the process, but even they can relate to the rush I got that day.

Let me put it another way. It’s like you’re in Vegas and you’re winning really big. A crowd starts to gather and floor managers start becoming aware of you. It’s just like that. You want to watch but you want to run and hide at the same time.

I started to think to myself, “Are you actually gonna let me get away with this Debbie? Isn’t one of you going to try and stop me?”

But once all my coupons were entered, Vyon smiled and said $41.32.

I handed her my cash, and the guy next to me started nodding at his wife. I offered her an apologetic conciliation prize, “I’m kind of addicted.”

I took my receipt as Vyon said, “You’ve saved $63 dollars.” And there it was in my hand. My Oscar, my Golden Globe, my fancy crystal vase, whatever, that receipt represented all my work and effort. And as a Mom, who doesn't get many awards, this one would make the fridge.

“Thank you.” I smiled a really big overwhelming smile.

I pushed my buggy out to my car while taking slow controlled breaths to calm my nerves. And although I don’t get to make any award winning speeches about it, I just had to tell you. I would, however like to thank my grocery store for allowing me this opportunity, and my Guru Tracy for turning me on to this whole world. I would also like to thank and for all their helpful hints and endless hours of research and blogging. It’s sites like these that help you know you’re not doing anything illegal, no matter how much like stealing it may seem.

Related Articles:
Live Long and Coupon
Guru Unleashed
Confessions of a Housewife


  1. Hah Haaaaaaaaaah! It is exactly how I feel too! I got the chills just reading this...:) Your success is thanks enough!

  2. Well then, glad I'm not the only one. Good to have you back in town.


  3. Awesome job, Amy! I think you should talk to Obama. Bet he could use you in his cabinet.

  4. Really, politics, me? I don't feel qualified....but flattered however! Looking forward to Jan 20th (right?). I'm ready for some action!!!!!

  5. You’re my coupon guru. This is exactly how I feel when I grocery shop. Thanks for the buy 1 get 2 free tip! Great article! Your so funny!-Josie