Monday, March 02, 2009

Supply and Demand

So I've tried to stop boring the public with pictures and detailed accounts of my grocery adventures, but I can't help but brag a little now. At least I haven't tallied my receipts, or taken pictures of each trip. I did that for a while, then didn't post them right away and then seemed irrelevant.
Lately I've been so excited and proud of the supply of food we are building. When I started couponing my goal was to spend our full grocery budget for 6 months to stockpile, then try and cut our budget in half, to $150 a month. Well, I've been going for 3 1/2 months, so things are looking good. I have hardly bought a thing in the last few months that were not a coupon/sale combo item. In other words, I can probably count on one hand the amount of full-price items I have bought. (except milk, gotta have milk.) And here are the fruits of my labors:
Our fully-stocked pantry, making it difficult to find many things. We're kind of bursting at the seems.
My fridge has NEVER been so full in my adult life, except perhaps when I s hared it with 5 other roommates, eh Kim? You can usually sum up the entire contents of my fridge in a cursory glance, and it generally looks like I am due for a grocery trip. I also never have so much produce: grapes, apples, pears, cantaloupe, carrots, bell peppers, asparagus, potatoes...
Then there's my famed freezer. I recently told Timm that this is one of my favorite gifts I've ever been given, and I've been generously blessed with a lot of wonderful gifts! After 2 months of it's receipt it is almost full. We have more frozen vegetables than I know what to do with, 10 loaves of bread, and an impressive meat selection: Stew beef, ground beef, roast, chicken, ground turkey, pork chops, sausage, bacon, and shrimp. What the? Definitely a first.
The spill-over continues to my linen closet, the bottom half of which is devoted to food and toiletries.
I have 2 drawers in Fiona's room dedicated to food storage.
And some more paper products in my utility closet, as well as about 5 bags of groceries simply laying in my studio, waiting for a vacancy.
I did my weekly menu planning like I try to do on Sunday or Monday, and with 5 meals I only had to buy a total of 5 minor ingredients. 5!! Everything else was on hand. Amazing.
All this supply makes me feel safe, rich. I love knowing that I have an array of food to choose from, a selection of food to offer my family, and many healthful choices, as well as some extravagant items I would otherwise never be able to afford. Have I mentioned I love this job/hobby? Every aspect of it. Very rewarding. My mom and I were talking about it recently, lamenting that other people we know don't have time to devote to couponing. Then I got to thinking- I invest a lot of time in it, but that is because I want to, I like to, and I can. I always say I have time, I don't have money. However, it's the kind of thing that you could devote as little or as much time as you have. Even if you run a tight schedule and think you have no time, I bet everyone could do something, and every little bit helps, especially in these perilous times, no? I have a few people specifically in mind...Denise, Michelle- I'm looking in your direction... So if anyone has a vague interest, you should email me because I have some ideas for a beginner, or someone who only wants to invest minimal time but still reap rewards.
A couple days ago I was pulling into a spot at one of my oft-visited stores, Harris Teeter, and I pulled right in front of this coupon woman I met months ago. At the time Molly had just started couponing but hadn't really given me any details, so I was curious. While I was shopping at the same Harris Teeter I saw this woman whith what I thought at the time was a rediculous 3" binder filled with what appeared to be thousands of coupons. So I asked her if I could bother her and ask her a few questions. She very enthusiastically answered 'Of course, this is what I do!' So I asked her a few things and after a few minutes went on my way. I ended up signing up for the Grocery Game under her, and now here I am. I feel like this is my conversion story and now I am an enthusiastic missionary excited to convert the world! Flash to present- I pull in front of her and honk as she pulls out. I leave my car running with Fiona inside and run up to her. I ask if she remembers me and she says 'Of course!', so I proceed to tell her that now I'm all over it. The 3" binder, the websites, the mutiple papers I purchase, the glee, the excitement... I leave of geekishness since I'm not sure she would appreciate that take on it. However, this is definitely the geekiest thing I've ever done. She hugged me and squealed 'I'm so proud of you!'. It was funny. Ah, crazy coupon ladies, of which I am one.

9 comments:

paws said...

I'll take any ideas you have for a beginner who "wants to invest minimal time and reap maximum benefit."

Molly Krauss Smith said...

I love your run-in with the coupon lady! I had to laugh out loud!

Dad said...

I am very proud. How nice to have so much good food, and at such a low cost!! You have now become the "coupon lady".

michelle said...

way to go, Jess! Having a stocked fridge and pantry gives me a sense of security, too. I just found out that my VT companion is a couponer. Maybe I am destined to do it...

Jill said...

Wow, what a turn of events for you! I'm so impressed with how well you've done with all of this and am always interested in seeing your deals.

Susan said...

I think couponing is on my list of "when I retire" activities....or maybe just "when life slows down" or perhaps " when the retail move is completed" or could it be "3:00 am isn't that much later than 2:00am"!

Good going girl!

Hannah said...

I am so proud of you and jealous of course! This is mighty impressive. I agree with you on that feeling of security and safety. Congrats!

Denise said...

I want a tutorial!! I have always clipped coupons, but I need some pointers for beginners. I love the idea of your over-flowing pantry. Please--share!

kim said...

Jessie I have a vague interest but I am definitely a beginner! I'm interested in hearing your tips. I've tried to figure it out myself but it seems really confusing! Help!

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