Working from home has granted me the de facto position of Head Grocery Shopper. For practical purposes, this means I am the King of Supermarkets. I know where to get the best produce deals (Sun Harvest/Sprouts), which stores have the widest aisles (Randall’s), biggest selection (HEB), etc. Although I am the undisputed King, I consider myself more of a pirate. A man of the people. Why a pirate? Simple – treasure hunting.
Every Sunday, the newspaper is fat. Why? Advertisements. Or, as our friends across the pond call them, adverts. Sales, specials, etc. It’s all in the Sunday paper. Also in the Sunday paper – coupons.
Coupons are my third greatest discovery of 2010*. I like to call them Product Passports, because you carry them around and they grant you access to a whole new world. It’s like VIP shopping. Is that frozen entree $3.50? Not for me it isn’t! If I buy two boxes of cereal, the third one is free? I love breakfast! Sure, sometimes you have to buy a different brand than you are used to. But that’s what keeps you young.
I won’t mislead you, Product Passport Pirating isn’t easy. You have to scour the paper with scissors, write out your list before you hit the shelves, and figure out where to stuff all your coupons. (Front right pocket is the best.) But it pays off. And you will inspire others.
EXAMPLE: Today, I bought 18 items at the store. I had 15 coupons. The girl behind me in the checkout line had this to say:
You, sir, are one savvy consumer.
Thank you, friend with the free range chicken eggs and Yoo-Hoo six pack. Thank you for noticing.
Is it worth the trouble? Yes. We save an average of $14 per shopping trip, which adds up to $30-$45 a month. You can do a lot with that each month, including stuff like:
- Vacation Fund ($420/year)
- Charity (Channel the money into a monthly donation)
- Date night (possibly involving Date Night)
- Supplies for your LEGO self-portrait.
Try it for a month.
*Runner-up for greatest discovery is the TV show Las Vegas. It’s the greatest show imaginable. In fact, TV should be renamed “LV”. For Las Vegas. Hollywood should just close, because it already peaked. Best discovery of 2010 – the fact that I can wear anything I want in public because I’m married. A purple button-down shirt with board shorts, loafers, and Ray Bans? Why, yes, thank you.