Friday, May 27, 2011

Couponing: Perfect hobby if you have OCD

My latest big obssession has become couponing.  I made one half-hearted couponing trip to Harris Teeter during Triple Coupons week, and walked out with $50 worth of much-needed groceries for $20.  That was a big thrill.

Then I started watching a couple of episodes of "Extreme Couponing" and saw the much more impressive discounts self-taught housewives were receiving.  And I thought, "I can do that!"  I worked as an accounting tech for six years.  I managed a retail store for three.  Now I work in finance for a state government division.  If anyone can take obssessive organizing and use it to maximize cost-effectiveness, it's a numbers nerd like me.

So I started collecting, clipping, and printing coupons.  Once I had a few envelopes stuffed full, I began the process of organizing.  Like any true accounting geek, I'm keeping a database of all my coupons on an Excel spreadsheet.  There I have separate pages organizing them by expiration date, item, and what coupons I'm planning to take on shopping trips to what stores.  I got online and matched and stacked manufacturer coupons with store coupons and sales.

I'm not gonna lie.  It was really fun.

So this weekend, I'm planning grocery shopping trips to multiple stores, to test-drive my new couponing system.  The rules are that I can't get anything we don't need or that I don't have a coupon for.  I'll post the results of the experiment as I get them.

Wish me luck and happy couponing!

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