I was attacked by an Extreme Couponer.
Ok, maybe not attacked exactly, but I definitely was judged. Oh, and she got on my nerves, so that counts too.
I was grocery shopping with the kids. Yes, both of them, so I already was experiencing a mild state of irritation.
I was standing, mouth agape, in the pasta isle looking for the healthiest variety of garden pasta. Yes, healthy pasta, so that probably irritated me as well.
A woman with a huge black binder across her grocery cart’s child seat stopped when she noticed me. She flipped through her binder, which resembled one I used to keep CDs in when I was in high school, and said:
“I have a $1 off coupon here for Garden Variety. They have them on the website, but I don’t remember the name of the site. You can take them to Homeland during double coupons. You have to buy two, but you get them almost free.“
Was she gloating or offering me a coupon? It was difficult to tell by her crazy reverse sales pitch.
I was just trying to locate a box of pasta that the store used to carry and stock on the top shelf, I explained.
The woman informed me that she hadn’t seen that variety, all the while itemizing my cart’s contents with her eyes. I think I actually saw her mental adding machine tape rolling. She looked like my month’s worth of groceries were about to give her a seizure. I was only halfway through the store.
I grabbed another brand of pasta, tossed it in my cart and attempted my getaway.
The woman shook her head and sighed like she was treating me to lunch and I’d just ordered the lobster. Apparently I made the wrong choice.
During the remainder of the shopping trip, it seemed like the crazy coupon lady was standing behind me, eyeing my choices while flipping frantically through her binder. You seriously would have thought she was paying for my groceries.
I think she may have been part of some kind of extreme couponing mafia. Twice she called some coupon godfather to question prices and determine whether she could get a better deal. There seemed to be some type of underground communication network of cheapos just waiting to answer her calls.
In the meantime, my kids bartered, bargained and begged for extra fruit snacks, Little Debbies, popsicles, and at least three kinds of cereal with some character on the box.
I’m not sure when I finally lost the woman. They may find her later behind the checkout counter, clutching her big coupon binder to her chest, rocking back and forth, muttering about my total.
Here’s the thing, I don’t understand this couponing craze. I’ve never saved more than $10-$15 with grocery coupons. I’m sure I could if I really tried, but I would have to be serious about clipping, searching for sales and driving all around town for bargains. My time is too valuable for that. I choose to waste it on other things, like Facebook and bringing my kids down off of the grocery store-induced sugar high.
So, Crazy Coupon Lady, you can look down your nose at me if you want. I’m home with a pantry full of groceries my family will actually eat, watching a movie with my kids while you try to determine what to do with two cases of tomato sauce you got for 50 cents.