Thursday, March 12, 2009

My first blog!

OK, I've never "blogged" before, but I've been hearing the term for a while. Figured it's time I step into the current century!

And now I'll make my introduction. (As I stand up in the group...) My name is Carla, and I'm a Saving Addict!

Let me take you back 46 years....I'm the youngest in a family with 6 kids. My mom was always trying to figure out ways to cut expenses, make ends meet, and get everything we needed. One thing she ALWAYS did was clip coupons. We all used to laugh at her. She would sit on Sunday afternoons after church, with the paper in front of her, and clip every single coupon, and then file them away. Her box sat in the kitchen, and heaven help ANY of us who touched her coupons! I never really got the whole concept, because she would get such great deals on something like fruit roll ups, so we'd have TONS, but none of us LIKED fruit roll ups!

As a mom myself of 4 boys, we would still laugh and tease Grandma about her "coupon box".

Then I became a SINGLE mom of 4 boys. And I was the one having to learn how to cut expenses, make ends meet, and still get everything my boys needed. But I REFUSED to use coupons. I did shop the sales, and use the special cards for each store (which is really stupid, because lets face it...EVERY store has one, and EVERYBODY has one for EVERY store, and if you DON'T have one, the cashier will scan the one by the register so you get the "great deals", so really...what's the point!?) Anyway, I got some good deals and learned how to shop, and I was really proud of myself.

THEN, thanks to our wonderful economy, I became a single, UNEMPLOYED mom! Now granted, by this time, I only had 1 son still at home, but come all know how much those boys eat! To keep the basic bills paid, I started delivering pizza, and sending my resume out to every company/business in the state of Arizona. With 20 years of successful sale experience, I figured it was just a matter of time! And it was. I just didn't realize how looooong that "matter of time" would be! Anyway, I kept the bills paid, but had to figure out how to FEED us!

And then it hit me....COUPONS! I was SO embarrassed! Me, the successful professional was about to start clipping coupons! The problem was, while I was so successful in selling, I was a complete failure in SAVING with coupons. I'd sit on Sundays, (just like my mom did) and clip out the coupons. I'd file them in a box (just like my mom did), I check the grocery ads (yep, just like mom), and then I'd head to the store...without my coupons! Then the next week, I'd get busy, and put the paper aside, figuring I'd clip them later. And after a while, I'd have 4 or 5 papers sitting on the counter, and I'd figure I'm too far behind, so I'd give up. My grocery/household bill (including dog/cat food, cleaning products, personal hygiene, and makeup) was pushing over $400 per month, and half the time I came home, and couldn't find anything to eat, so I'd end up bring pizza home! Something wasn't working!

However, God was faithful, like I knew He would be, and I finally landed a really good job. But I still knew I needed to make some changes.

Then I found a system for coupons that really works! And I started again. And it started working. My grocery bill started going down. My cabinet started filling up. And....

The addiction started! I started figuring out how much I could REALLY save, and the competitive sales spirit in me surfaced, and I had to figure out how to save MORE. Each shopping trip became a game, trying to beat the last one.

I knew I was in trouble when a few days ago, I was at Fry's Grocery Store, and they had the big tubes of Colgate ProHealth Night toothpaste on sale. With my coupons, it was going to cost me $.10 per tube. AND I STOOD THERE TRYING TO DECIDE IF I SHOULD PAY .10!!! I knew if I waited, I could probably get it free!

I think I need help!