Couponing for the Rest of Us

International Women’s Day: Couponers, Suffragettes, and Sing-a-Longs!

In case you weren’t aware – today is International Women’s Day -  a day celebrating the achievements of women all over the world, throughout history since the 1900′s.   Yay Women!  And for those of you who think you haven’t personally contributed much in the long line of Great Women’s Achievements – I say that’s NOT TRUE!

I  want to share something with you that I wrote a few years ago.    I had a regular blog and had just come home from my first coupon class (I was in the audience).  “Extreme couponing seminars” were quick becoming the new Tupperware Party in my town and I had to see what the buzz was about.  I needed a whole lot of convincing – because couponing seemed to be too much work for $.50 Off here and there.  On the other hand, this is the girl who collects dryer lint, empty egg cartons and candle remnants for months to make campfire starters…  so maybe I should stop calling the kettle black and just get my pot-self to a class!  I did…

I walked in about 10 minutes late, as usual.  The room was packed full with women of all ages.  I slid into a seat at the end of a table and glanced down at the packet of papers in front of me.  It correlated to the powerpoint presentation being given at the front of the room- it was a list of Coupon Lingo with definitions…  2 PAGES LONG.

What the What??  Somewhat daunting, no?

I looked around at rows and rows of housewives who had their eyes glued to the instructors, hanging on their every word.   This wasn’t what I had expected.  An exciting atmosphere of subversion hung in the air- it felt as if we were being initiated into some sort of underground, anti-establishment movement. We were joining the sisterhood of frugal housewives.  We fly just under the radar, collect coupons using our various clandestine methods, speak our secret codes to one another, and stockpile necessities in our own homes.  A veritable army of hunters and gatherers.

It seemed purposeful and smart – made one feel prepared in the midst of uncertain economic times.  I still can’t manage to put anything into a savings account, or invest in a 401k, or even afford health insurance, but I’ve got extra food and supplies in the basement for whatever hard weeks may come. It’s a practical security.  And it comes cheap.

I LOVE that this movement is a serious thing- that there are stockpile price lists, efficiency guides for storage and usage, coupon “lingo” – all backed up by very real need.  I love that even though it’s time consuming, it is of real value – value on par with a part-time job. I might not be able to make my family recession-proof, but I can do my part to ease the strain.

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So sister – pat yourself on the back and wear your couponer banner with pride.  Whether you’re contributing to your family, or someone else’s by putting in all the time and effort to be an extremely smart shopper – you are making an undeniable difference!  Well done!!

On that note – won’t you join me in celebrating women everywhere by singing one of the best Girl-Power-Songs EVER….
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