July 8, 2009

Day 1: The Journey Commences -

and local business pays the price.

The experiment started today with a bang. As you all know (as I have repeated it ad nauseam), this experiment is really a study in couponing and the culture that goes along with it. For the next 30 days (well, 29.5), I cannot buy anything without a coupon for said item. And never more have I wished to have a coupon than today when I took the baby to the new storytime at our local coffee shop. This coffee shop is great - they make everything in house and it's all natural. They serve a lot of gluten-free and sugar-free items, and they make some of the tastiest cakes you've ever had. And don't get me started on the Chocolatte...so yum! So it was shear torture to go to the coffee shop today, enjoy the storytime (which comes with A FREE COOKIE IN THE SHAPE OF A CHARACTER!), and not be able to have a yummy coffee drink or grab breakfast there in the form of one of their awesome muffins.

If this were just Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, I wouldn't have felt so bad for not being able to participate. Those places have plenty of business without me, and while I'm happy to see them both when I need a cup of coffee, I am invested in the success of this coffee shop because it is in MY neighborhood and is locally owned and operated! Besides, those other places DO have coupons. As a matter of fact, I have enough DD coupons (thanks in part to my good friend who sent me some!) to get me through any latte cravings I might have for the whole experimental period. But that just doubles the guilt!

I think I should have enlisted some sponsors for my favorite local businesses so that I would know someone would be going and buying products from my favorite places while I couldn't! Wouldn't that be something? "Take my place as a customer and try this shop/product/etc. while I can't and we hope you'll enjoy it so much you'll keep coming back!" Oh man - corporate sponsorship. That's what I'm missing! :-)

In other news - I got my circulars for the week late last night, so I have got to spend some time tonight going through them with my coupons to match up what we need, what I have, and what deals are on. I'm looking forward to a month of interesting discoveries: New products, tests of brand loyalty, learning about making less waste, cooking more at home and finding out if the name brand really IS better than the generic. Thanks for joining me!

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