Its another weekend wrap up. Inspired by my friends William Bruce West and UnderScoopFire, but with my own distinct flair. So what happened this week in the life of Kevin Hellions?
We have apparently become Extreme Couponers. It started off so simply. One of the wife’s best friends posted a status on Facebook, “I bought $200 worth of groceries for #$80!” Many weeks, in fact usually when someone posts such a status we think oh good for you. This week however, we were straight up broke. We saw Man of Steel only because we had a gift card, we finally got a couple things sold over Craigslist which helped ease it a little. Thus it became the perfect storm of thriftiness. Hey, we would like to save some of that cash too, teach us how!
Well a week later we are deep in coupons. Elise researched the national grocery store chains, well the ones we have in our small town, and which stores provided the best deals with which coupons. And it worked. When she’s out for maternity leave this is going to be a great way to make up some of the money that will be lost. All of this hasn’t been without its drama though.
One, there’s the Catholic guilt. We went into Family Dollar (or Dollar General or Cheap Shit R Us, I don’t know. Is there any real differences between these stores?) and picked up our usual shampoo, which was on sale, plus a coupon and suddenly we’re only paying the tax. So its damn near free. This felt like stealing. There was the rush of getting away with something. Along with the accompanying guilt.
Two, we may have gotten carried away already. Here’s what happened: We’re in a strip mall going from a store on one end to a store on the other, both being coupon stops. In between is a Chinese buffet. Or should I say was. I know they had a small kitchen fire but either the insurance didn’t pay up, or they didn’t have any, or the damage was worse than reported. Or maybe someone was just shady. Because we walk past and the restaurant had been emptied out. Along with a notice on the door claiming they owe the city over $1800 in water bills alone. Holy crap! Crazy thing is water is free in this city. That’s right, thanks to a lawsuit we don’t have water bills. All of this applies to this week’s tale because not only was this notice sitting outside but a stack of regional papers was also outside. Sunday papers. On a Tuesday. The fact that they were still sitting there undamaged by rain or rodents or everyday human traffic after sitting outside at least 3 days was a shock. We looked around and figured well obviously this has been abandoned. And Sunday papers have coupons. So I pick up this massive bundle of newspapers and carry it around the rest of the day until we get home to open it up and pull out all the coupons.
Which there were none.
My shoulder, which I have popped out twice before in life, is in a massive amount of pain. I carried around 40 papers for about 3 hours all for naught. My wife is pregnant and carrying the little guy around all day so I didn’t feel right complaining about the pain I feel for carrying something heavy. I sucked it up and got through the day then had massive stretching and pain killers once she fell asleep. One day I’m going to have to get this shoulder checked out.
What’s a new benefit in life without a couple stories of having troubles? There is always a learning period. Elise has been posting her own coupon hauls on Facebook but I would like to share my first trip:
That would be 10 boxes of name brand cereal, big boxes at that, all for only 11 dollars. Slightly over a dollar a piece. It would have been 10 for 10 but we missed a coupon. I am a huge fan of cereal so this alone makes every clipping, every paper, every pain in the ass thing that could come about this new hobby totally worth it.
I never know what to expect from this column. Last Friday we didn’t clip coupons. Now we’ve watched all the episodes of Extreme Couponing on Netflix, Elise has bought a binder to organize them and family members are already asking how to do it. Next week I could be writing about the cure for cancer, where I was when the aliens showed up, or how I feel about racist television hosts. Oh wait that’s going on right now.
If you would like to hear about something in my life leave a comment and maybe you can decide the path for next week’s “Well….”