Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thrifty Generations

Yesterday, my beautiful daughter came to visit me in the morning, since she had the day off from work. I had a giant stack of coupons, so we spent a lot of our time together cutting them out. We talked about where to find the best deals, others' recent bargain finds and reminisced about past stashes I'd had when she was little. Remember the pyramid of 80+ boxes of cereal we built on the kitchen table, Min? Yep, she remembered!

Now that my little girl is all grown up with a family of her own, she tries to use coupons and get bargain deals when she can to help stretch her budget. Recently, she brought home this little stash:

Retail value: $24. Paid: $11. Min saved 54%!

My sister-in-law K, who happens to be only a few months older than my daughter, is also into couponing. Her most recent Big Bargain is a very absorbent stash:

Retail value: $61. Paid: $10. K saved 84%!
K learned how to do "super coupon shopping" from her older sister, just as Min learned it from me. I'm so happy to see the next generation being frugal and saving money!

Here is my own most recent couponing deal:

Retail value: $48. Paid: $24. I saved 50%!
Yes, that is a LOT of shampoo for just me and Some Postman, isn't it? Some of this will be donated to a local food bank, and some might just find its way to Min's house. I rarely keep my entire stash for myself. Half the fun of getting deals like this, for me, is to give part of them away! (Which is what I did with a LOT of those 80+ boxes of cereal way back when.)

Recalling past stashes with my daughter brought up some pleasant memories of couponing past. When we first moved to our little house in the Flint Hills, Glad products had an unlimited, long-dated mail in offer of which I took full advantage. On each box of trash bags, storage bags and freezer bags, there was a form printed on the box. You could send in unlimited amounts of these forms, along with the UPC code, and Glad would mail you a coupon for a free like product. I bought several, on sale and with coupons, to start out, and then used the free coupons to buy more boxes with the forms on them, sending off for additional free coupons. By the time the deal was over, I had trash bags, storage bags and freezer bags stuffed in every available nook and cranny this old farm house had to offer. That was about 16 years ago. I ran out of the storage and freezer bags several years ago, but we still have at least 5-6 boxes of trash bags remaining. That's even after giving each of my kids a supply of trash bags when they flew out of the nest. That Glad bag deal has to be my best stash ever!

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