July 6, 2009

The Countdown Begins

Since Project Coupon will be commencing in T-36 or so hours, you would think that I would have celebrated Independence Day as one of my few remaining days independent from coupon only shopping, making crazy purchases with wild abandon and nary a coupon in sight. But like the athlete who must train in order to do well in competition, I was practicing a lot of couponing over the 4th of July weekend so that I could make sure that when Wednesday morning rolls around, I am fully and completely up for the challenge.

I will admit that I took a couple of days off from training. On Friday the 3rd, we invited friends over to enjoy some delicious burgers from our grill and those burgers were made with meat and cheese from local farms. I've gotten quite accustomed to purchasing our fresh meats, cheeses and veg from our local farmers (our favorite farmer is literally 10 minutes from our house and their products are pesticide, antibiotic and hormone free to boot!) and this is going to be one of the MAJOR things I miss during the next 30 days. The "Locavore" movement is something I support and embrace, so not being able to participate in that for the next month is hurting my feelings!

Saturday the fourth we perused the weekly sales at Target (husband was in the market for some pants we had seen on sale the Sunday prior) and ended up buying our fireworks on the way home. What a tragedy for me if I had already been in full coupon mode, to have to have my infant daughter's first Fourth of July celebration sans sparklers!!! As it was, she fell asleep long before it was dark enough to partake of the sparkly goodness, and shockingly slept through our neighbor's bottle rocket wars that occurred right outside her window. She gets that from her dad. But we did get to use a coupon on Saturday, and a big one at that! In an attempt to clean out my email inbox (I think I had 580 unread messages at this point!), I found that Ruby Tuesday was offering a buy one entree, get one free coupon for that one day only! Providence! I had no dinner plans since I was being a lazy holiday reveler, so off we went to get our free entree! I love the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday, so the payoff was double for me: Since I always buy an entree that offers the salad bar as a side, I eat a big, giant salad with my dinner in the restaurant and then no more than half my "real" dinner. I get to pack up the dinner leftovers to take home and voila! I had a nice dinner on Sunday night, too! I think the best thing about this is knowing that we will probably be able to score at least one dinner out during the course of the experiment, which I will be looking forward to with great pleasure! Nobody likes to feel deprived!

Sunday the fifth found me back in full couponing mode, as I awaited my Sunday paper so I could spend my afternoon clipping and sorting. Sadly, the holidays always seem to bring a low number of coupons in the paper, and this holiday was no exception, having only one Proctor and Gamble circular. Don't get me wrong; if I need shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razors, detergent, stain stick, etc. in the next 30 days, I am SO covered. But I was disappointed not to have a banner week of coupon gathering before the big game started on Wednesday. But that's ok...I'll get the chance to scour the internet and make sure I am not missing out on anything good before I go through my new circulars that start on Wednesday.

My last couponless oats are being sown as I type; I am on a mini-vacay with my husband and daughter to see my best friend who has come within three hours of our house for a family reunion. The opportunity to see here doesn't come around that often, and I take it whenever I can. This trip was the real reason the experiment starts Wednesday; I wanted to challenge myself with the experiment but I did not want to punish myself. And I have to admit: I'm starting to get nervous. I want to do well. I feel like I'm taking a final exam or an interim class where you have to do all the work in 1/3 the time. I want to stick to the rules. I am afraid I will just flat out forget one day that I am doing this and buy something that I don't have a coupon for. Or that I'll just get hungry for a meal that doesn't come out of my kitchen or that isn't pasta or some other meatless item and so I'll just say "Damn it all!" and go out for pizza. The other thing I am worried about is feeling like I'm missing out; My family visits our local downtown farmer's market every Saturday. It's a ritual. We get up early, go have breakfast, buy our local products and then I coupon our side dishes and make our meal plans for the week. I always get an iced coffee from the local roaster and we stroll along our merry way. I missed out on the market a lot last year because our childbirth classes were held on Saturday mornings to accommodate my husband's work schedule, and while I actually enjoyed those classes, I truly missed our Saturday ritual of going to the market. I know it's just four Saturdays, but it's FOUR Saturdays. You know?

I think I'll take advantage of "being on vacation" and turn in early tonight. I can hear the baby in the alcove restless and I want to make sure that I have enough energy to get through tomorrow with activities and travel back home.


KuryKidsMommy said...

I guess my concern is that you are foregoing fresh veggies, local meat, etc. I know that it is part of the experiment, but with all that you save from couponing you are actually showing the rest of us how you CAN go and spend money at the local farmer's market to buy higher quality produce and meat at basically the same price. I say you don't deprive yourself. Just keep track of what you spend there... and show us how you saved so much money at the grocery stores that you were able to also support our local growers!

clippedblog said...

Well, I'll still be able to get frozen veggies, and some people argue that they are still as nutritious as fresh. And you're right - the point of my using coupons is to save money and justify the cost difference in buying my local organic products.

But the experiment is the experiment. If I don't go through with it, then there's no point. I'm not here to teach one how to save money using coupons. I'm here to see exactly what one can do with them. And it's only 30 days. We'll be fine :-)