Monday, November 15, 2010

When Super Couponing goes bad


Last week, I drove Emma up to Michael's so she could buy a birthday present for Hayley. It was a two part gift and since I had two 50% off coupons, I planned on paying for one part with one coupon. Emma would use the other coupon in her own transaction.

Halfway to the store, I realized that the coupons expired the previous day.

I was livid. Seriously, I'm fairly sure steam shot out my ears.

I knew I had current 40% coupons at home, but I didn't want to bother turning around (and driving the entire mile home again.) If the items had been at all expensive, of course I would have gone home again. But they weren't.

The higher price item was $4.99. Yup. Less than $5. So I would have saved a whopping $2.50 with that expired coupon.

So not a big deal, right?


So why then did the experience put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day? I have no idea. A savings of $2.50 would have been nice, but the lack of it isn't likely to put a gigantic dent in wallet or anything.

I guess it's becoming a matter of pride. I get so excited when I pay barely anything for what I purchase. Who wouldn't?

But I have got to play Where's Waldo and find the Waldo-esque balance of couponing. I cannot continue to throw myself into raging fury with myself over comparative pennies.

A couple days after the 50% off coupon incident, I started to fall into another trap: the "I should have gotten a better deal, so what I am going to do about this purchase?" trap.

Here's the scenario: I went to Bath and Body Works with two coupons. The first was buy anything and get any Signature item (up to $13) free. The second was $10 off a $30 purchase.

$10 OFF ANY $30 PURCHASE  A sales girl who gave me the coupons earlier in the week said that I could use both coupons in the same transaction. Combining the coupons and their current special of buy 3, get 2 free Signature items, I could get 6 Signature items for $20. Given that these are around $13 each, that's an awesome deal!

But... dot dot dot... when I tried to use both coupons at another branch, the cashier told me I couldn't use both coupons at once. Huh? Even so, $30 for 6 items is still a steal. But the total turned out to be almost $40.

I'm so confused!

And upset. And frustrated. And... and... and...

I felt myself spiraling downward into the couponing blues. Fortunately for me, my amazing husband was available to talk me down from the cliff of Bath and Body Works coupon chaos. By the end of our conversation, I accepted two things:

1. The effect of couponing is long-term. You save a bit of money here and there. It adds up, making a significant savings, but one or two lost coupon transactions won't make a huge difference in the end. Especially given all the money I save on other things. (More on that in a different post. hee hee)

2. My time is worth money. I know, I know. Pretty basic lesson. But when I'm trying to stretch every single dollar as far as it will possibly go, that's difficult to remember. Scott made me understand that it just isn't worth it to chase after every possible savings out there. He's so right. (Again.)

No more insane quests for the best deal possible. That's my two cents. But you can't keep those two cents 'cause I'm saving money! LOL

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