The frugal side of me has started clipping coupons again. I’ll never be like one of those Extreme Couponers but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate a good conquest now and then.
I have to brag. My latest trip to the grocery store resulted in a couple of deals that had me skipping down the freezer aisle. Between using newspaper coupons and the weekly store specials I snagged some bargains:
- A package of Aunt Jemima Waffles for $0.67
- A 6-pack of jumbo pudding cups for $1.00
- Two containers of cottage cheese for $0.80 each
- Apple sauce for $1.00
- A brick of Heluva Good cheddar cheese for $1.50
- A huge jar of Vlassic dill pickles for $1.00
If you’re interested in learning how to get the most out of your coupon clipping, go here to learn more.
A quick look at my latest receipt states that I’ve saved over $800 this year on my grocery bill. That’s not taking into account any savings that I’ve garnered due to the money off at the gas pump.
I live in an area where spending money at the grocery store will give you a per gallon discount at an associated gas station. One time I had a $2 per gallon discount. O Happy Day! I filled up two cars for under $60. That doesn’t happen very often but when it does, the kids kiss me at the pump before they drive off in their shared car. I guess it’s not completely un-cool to kiss Mom if she fills up your gas tank.
Talking about my grocery haul may not seem like big news but I recently figured something out about myself. When I feel a bit unsettled about my future, I tend to stockpile food. And I stockpile like I’m facing a zombie apocalypse or a nuclear winter. My canning pantry is filled with jellies, fruits, pie filling, tomatoes, corn relish, and pickles. Opening the kitchen cabinets, I see pasta, assorted sauces, soups, mixes, and baking ingredients for anything that you can make in an oven. The freezer has vegetables, breads, fruit bars, waffles, chicken, shrimp, and fish. The kids and I can survive for at least 6 months and only venture out to get things like fresh meat, fresh fruit, milk, and eggs.
It turns out that stockpiling is a family trait (I’m not at the hoarding level yet so I’ll avoid the describing myself with the dreaded H Word). While visiting my sister, she confessed to me that she’s got a stockpile of her own. She stockpiles things like shampoo, soap, and toilet paper. She told me recently that she’s not happy unless she has 6 of everything in the linen closet. And if that weren’t enough, she also stockpiles cleaning supplies.
I think we’re both Stockpilers because we grew up in a world of uncertainty. An inconsistent employment history dogged my father’s ability to bring home a steady paycheck. Strikes, layoffs, and general unemployment were topics I knew about by the tender age of nine. As a pre-teen, I remember digging in the couch cushions for lost change that would help to buy milk. Even back then, we all did odd jobs to supplement the family income.
Stockpiling food and toiletries gives my sister and me some small semblance of control in an uncertain world. She’s struggling with a breast cancer diagnosis and a contentious, drawn-out divorce that costs her more money as each day passes. In my situation, I’m looking at the calendar and realizing that December is only 2 months away. Not only is the end of the year my line in the sand with Husband #2, it’s also the next time my employment contract is up for renewal.
I can control my emotions but I can’t control whether someone will extend my job assignment.
At least I can revel in the comfort of knowing that if the world comes to an end, my sister and I can combine forces and have the best fed, cleanest house in the middle of Armageddon.