When I was just getting started couponing, I remember going out to Walgreens for an amazing diaper deal. We were on a very tight budget – so much so that I was nervous to spend $20 all at once on diapers, even if it was making for an awesome deal. Well – things went from nervous to terrible when I got to the register and things went wrong. I don’t remember the details – except that when I walked out my door I was giddy with excitement, telling my husband about thes Huggies diapers that would be $2.50 a pack – and when I came home, I’d spent much more than that. I was in tears and very discouraged. I felt like I’d been tricked, and that failure alone made me want to pack it up and quit.
Beginners aren’t the only ones who have a tough trip now and again though. Let me tell you about my day….
I had my trip to Bi-Lo pretty much planned out – I’d printed my list and coupons, I tossed my inserts into my carry-all, and I headed out the door to run errands with my five-year old in tow. We’re down to one car now, and I had a lot to fit in today – the bank, some returns at various stores, school pickups and of course Bi-Lo. I took a few minutes in the Kohl’s parking lot to clip everything out and when I pulled into Bi-Lo parking lot I hopped out of the van and made a bee-line for all my items.
- The first snag I hit was that some of my best deals were sold out – and I’d have to get rainchecks. I was going to be cutting it close to pick up my middle-schooler – so this was going to be time I might not have at the end of my trip.
- As I got to the register, I pulled out my $.55/1 coupons for Pepsi 2-Liters (when doubled, it should’ve made them free!). They didn’t double. I’d failed to notice that the barcode started with a 9 (meaning the cash register would automatically not double them). Sigh….. I got them anyway at $.45 each.
- Then when I went to pull out my stack of coupons for the rest of the items, I couldn’t find it. I stood there apologizing to the folks behind me – asking my 5 year old and my cashier to please be patient with me – and proceeded to dump my purse into the shopping cart searching frantically. They just weren’t there!
Long story short – I was embarrased and upset, because I paid more than I’d hoped and I’d sweat bullets while searching high and low for a stack of coupons that had just up and disappeared. On top of that, I was out of time and so I couldn’t get my rainchecks either. UGH!
Life happens – and when it does, you have to pick yourself up out of that occasional bad trip and learn a little lesson from it. I learned something I should know well by know – being prepared is really important when you plan a coupon trip. Also – giving yourself the time you really need to shop will cut down on lots of the stress.
Despite all that – I’m here to tell you that it’s worth sticking with it. Even in this bad trip – I still saved around 50% by getting mostly BOGO deals. I’ve saved my family so much money in the past 3 years – and my time spent couponing each week is the equivalent to if I were working part time to help make ends meet. Although couponing can be tough, it’s extremely worthwhile when you look at the big picture.
Have you had a “Bad Trip” lately? Please share it with us! Misery loves company