Saturday, August 23, 2008

Something for Nothing

With all the hoopla about crazy gas prices and economic doom and gloom, I've decided to take some action. I've always been a worried shopper. It's like that "best price" log is somehow embedded in my brain against my will. I'll run into Albertson's to grab some Mayonnaise and think "It's on sale for $4.49? That's ridiculous! It was only $2.36 at Wal-Mart when I bought it there like 8 months ago." Then it's literally painful for me to purchase it, and odds are I won't, and we'll have no mayo for a week until I can get to Wal-Mart and fight my way up to a checkout stand with two whining kids. So I'm not taking it any more. I'm ready for something to go my way, and for 5 months now I've been cutting coupons. But before you jump to any rash conclusions about what this means about me personally or even philosophically, let me explain.

My friend's neighbor runs one of those coupon websites, and 6 months ago she took me down to her basement to see her personal grocery store. I say store because she has aisles down there. You can walk up and down them. Whenever she wants, she can traipse downstairs and pick out just about anything you would ever need to sustain life or keep it clean.

The first thing she said when we walked in was, "Pick anything in here, and I'll tell you how much I paid for it." And so began my interrogation:

"How much for these Lucky Charms?"
"50 cents."
"And the Herbal Essence?"
"20 cents."
"What about the Pasta Roni?"
"ten cents."
"Are you insane?"

I really think that's the first thing crossing anyone's mind when they come across a couponer. Seriously, "Are you obsessed? OCD?" Or worse: "Are" My new coupon friend passed her legacy of irritated cashiers on to me, and now I'm the one walking out of Albertson's with 6 boxes of Dora Band-aids for free. Just experiment upon the word my friends. And the cashiers get over it. They're happy if you're happy and don't yell at them when the computer doesn't scan correctly (which is every time).

Ty's favorite sale was the Powerade deal where I bought 6 Powerades and Wal-Mart gave methree dollars to take them out of the store. He liked it because he got to drink Powerade at home for once. I liked it because it was free.

Now I can walk through my own cold storage and tell you exactly how much every single thing in there cost. It's like a game to see how low you can really go. It turns out that coupons are fun to me and that my "best price" log is useful for once. I'll even get up early if I have to, which is a really big surprise to everyone.

Judgment Day

We met at the base of the temple, where more and more family members slowly joined our group that finally congregated under the "New Missionaries Enter Here" sign, like Nephi meeting Lehi under the branches of the Tree of Life. We quietly filed into a large room: grandparents, mothers, fathers, children, and missionaries, all united in one purpose as we sat and wept together, reminiscing over the "good old days" and the changes to come. Then Ryan went in one door, and we filed out another. It was like Judgment Day, except that I'm not sure which door led to freedom.

Nevertheless, we're so excited to have two missionaries serving in our family right now. Mimi, in the Washington DC mission, and Ryan heading to Melbourne Australia in October to teach the gospel in Mandarin.