Every Tuesday morning is like Christmas to me. I wait with bated breath for the clock to strike 9:01 a.m. so I can see this week’s ad at my favorite grocery store (it’s Publix for all you southern readers). That’s kind of nuts isn’t it? If I find a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon for an item I use every day I have been known to tell everyone I know about it. Literally. Like I put it in my Facebook status. Not exactly typical 20-something behavior.
If you had told me two years ago that soon one of the highlights of my week would be that chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound I would’ve told you you were crazy. But it’s amazing what a recession and a baby will do to a person. I’ve done the math and my crazy couponing and thrifty ways have saved my family over $4,000 dollars in groceries and other household staples alone this year. And that’s not including all the free samples, Pampers points, Huggies rewards, CVS Extra Care Bucks, Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars and rebates we’ve received and used in 2010. It’s awesome… And addicting.
It’s time I come to terms with it. I have a problem. I’m addicted to bargain hunting. I’m in love with saving money. I think my husband thinks I’m cheating on him with my coupon binder. I’m physically incapable of paying full price for an item of clothing. I refuse to buy anything online with out a coupon code.
I may be a bit of a weirdo and take things a little farther than most people, but ultimately being frugal is about being a good steward of our money and our things. What’s wrong with that? Most mainstream religions encourage being responsible with our resources, plus it’s just good common sense. For a while I was kind of embarrassed of my savings obsessions – I felt weird asking my family to give me the unused inserts out of their Sunday papers. I hated being the person in line at the grocery store with a stack of coupons. I was a little embarrassed to admit I don’t mind wearing clothes from the thrift store. But now I wear it like a badge of honor — yes, I save my family lots of money so we can save it or spend it on other things. Don’t you wish you did too?
On this site, I know I’m preaching to the choir about the importance of being thrifty. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have an interest in saving money. We all do it for our own reasons. Maybe you lost your job, started a family or went back to school. Maybe you have a friend who is a great frugalista and you want to learn how to be more like her. In any case you’ve come to the right place. This site and this column are a great place to find practical tips on how to live as economically as possible with everything from free samples to recipe ideas to ways to earn money online. I’m excited to get to share in your thrifty journey.
The author is a wife, mother, non-profit administrator and writer based out of Birmingham, Alabama. She loves good wine, bad action movies and hip-hop music.