~Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Clip-Drunk Love

One nice thing about Scott is that he's fairly good about following directions. So when I looked up the qualifications for food stamps, squealed when I discovered he qualified, printed out the directions to our local DFCS, slapped him on the butt and sent him on his merry way, he was happy to oblige.

He returned home with a debit card that covers roughly 2/3rds of the monthly food budget. Taxes aren't taken out with a food stamp purchase, so he's already saving an additional 8% on the grocery bill. Sunday morning we dug through the couch cushions until I found a dollar in change, and I walked to the corner to get the paper. I spent the next hour clipping coupons.

"You can't use food stamps and coupons," Scott mocked.

"Yes, you absolutely can." I tried to explain, "Manufacturer's redeem the store for the coupon. It's the manufacturer's money, not the government's, and the store will accept anybody's money."

Not believing me, he called DFCS to double check. The lady handling his case laughed at him when he asked if he could also use coupons.

Next I opened the local grocery store ads and matched them up with the coupons.

"You can't use both a sale and a coupon!" Scott protested. "What about that whole 'cannot be combined with any other offer?'"

I rolled my eyes. "Manufacturer's pay the store to accept their coupons. The store isn't losing any money, because the manufacturer will reimburse them," I explained again. "It's the store's decision to have the sale, and they won't be out any more profits than the sale."

This time Scott called his mother, because I can't possible be right. She laughed and confirmed my strategy.

When I told him that the store will even double a 50-cent coupon, he wouldn't believe me until I showed him the store's website stating so.

He played along when we got into my car with my organized list of grocery stores and coupons to use at each store. We filled an entire grocery cart at Kroger, and when the bill came up, it was $90.

"We can't afford that," Scott nervously whispered. "This money has to last all month and this is only like 3 weeks worth of food."

"Just watch," I calmly replied. I handed over my store discount card, and then the stack of coupons. It seemed to take forever for the checkout girl to swipe each scrap of paper, but when she was done, the bill was now $44.

"You're the first person all day to get your coupons right!" she exclaimed.

Scott's eyes bugged out of his head when he saw the total. "We're getting $90 worth of food for half-price?" he asked incredulously.

I smiled. Maybe now he would believe me.

From that moment forward, Scott was a changed man. We now had more food in the house than we ever had, and moreover, it was name-brand food. No more Family Value dented cans. When he finished stuffing the cabinets, he stepped back to admire his organizational skills. Then he pulled out the remaining coupons from the trash. "Why did you throw these out? We need these!" he shouted.

"That's stuff we don't buy!" I protested.

"What? You've go to be kidding me! This is a coupon for 25 cents off of Trix yogurt. We could have Trix yogurt!" he hollered in excitement.

"We're not six! And I've never seen you eat yogurt!" I cried.

The boy is drunk off coupons.


ifmusicbe said...

Aww you guys are so awesome, you've really turned a corner x

gl0rious said...

so good to hear...long may things continue to get better. Lord knows you both deserve it. xx

Single Girl said...

This post just left me with a HUGE grin on my face. So cute!! And WOW! $90 of food for $44?! You are the coupon master!!

J said...

Yay for coupons!

Amber said...

You guys are so sweet together!

I'm proud of you both for figuring out a way to make this work during these hard times.

But, even under the hard part, there's a lot of love between the two of you.

It's awe-inspiring to see.

I'm so so glad things are looking up! :)

Lpeg said...

That's awesome. I've seen people with $400 worth of groceries cut their bill in half with coupons as well. It's insane. I'm glad something good has happened though - and you've got cupboards full of food!

AmyD said...

Good work outta you! That is such good news that Scott qualified for the assistance. And YOU are fantastic for going the extra mile(s) to save all that money with coupons and store cards. We should all be so diligent. Thanks for the reminder! :o)

NicoleC said...

It's really silly how smug I get when I get complimented by the checker that I got my coupons right. I mean, is it really THAT hard? I love bargain shopping.

dont eat the token said...

HOO FUCKIN RAY! Great job girl.

I'm more motivated to go apply. I don't know why I haven't applied all year. One can of soup is two meals for me. And a $1 whopper is the other one.

Trixie said...

I don't like these new comment boxes on blogger, I can't read the other comments!

Sarah, I've think you've created a monster with Scott, LOL!

Well done you for economizing!!!

"*;*" said...

Teddybear was the same way when I saved $30 in coupons in front of him. Boys are silly. :)

kristin said...

I need to take you to the grocery store with me!

I'm headed to Atlanta this weekend - thought of you!!

KennethSF said...

I think you may have opened Pandora's box by teaching the boy about coupons ;-)

Ariel said...

You're an inspiration both of you... I too have started getting all the loyalty cards I can at stores here in MA and saving coupons. Everyone everywhere feels the pinch in this crumbling economy and with no work in sight past Nov. 25th, I do worry somewhat. Being technically homeless doesn't help either, but life goes on and it's rather happy somehow. x

Diane Mandy said...

What a great post! I'm glad he appreciates you and your savvy!

Appletini said...

I LOVE coupons! So glad to see you guys are doing well!

Jewels said...

fantastic! I swear coupons in Canada don't work that way....hmmm....maybe I'll take a spin through the newspaper on the weekend....thanks for the inspiration! and hang in there!!!

M-Joy said...

I saved $22 at Target and $29 at Kroger over the weekend!! I was over the moon with excitment!

AND where the heck are you girl? Check in Check in Check in!!

Lpeg said...

You still around? Everything ok?

hollly said...

Hi Sarah,

I'm an irregular reader (meaning I like to read your blog but I don't read blogs daily). Noticed you haven't blogged for a while. I hope you are okay. Hang in there.



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