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Take My Money. But only 75%

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I can only assume that the man who invented the coupon had a wife. She was probably in his hair or sightline or the breathing the same air or, I don’t know…whatever…until he really just needed some space. Maybe it was a slick sly sneaky way to toss out a hobby that had the untended benefit of giving her a feeling of “YES!” and, therefore, a need for MORE.

I don’t know really. I mean, yes I do, of course, I have the internet. The coupon was actually invented by the Coca-Cola Company, but do we really have to split hairs here?

The thing is, I am among those who get giddy from a good sale. Sale? Get me my joggers. BOGO? Yes, please. Did I need the first one? Didn’t we just agree not to split hairs here? I will price shop for actual months before pulling the trigger on just about any purchase, big or small. Well, unless it involves groceries. Ironically, the place where coupons are most prevalent is the one place where I refuse to engage. I just cannot get caught up in the dash from store to store to track down the lowest price on a “is this ripe enough?” cantaloupe or do the higher math of cost per ounce or pennies per serving size. Though I have learned that, with the availability of grocery pickup, I save quite a bit of change by avoiding impulse buys.

My husband, on the other hand, is a different story.

His story starts with “Once upon a time OH MY GOD ENOUGH WITH THE PRICE SHOPPING JUST BUY IT ALREADY!!!!”

He leans more towards the “if we need it, buy it” camp.

And also the “if we want it, by it” camp.

And the “that looks cool, add to cart” camp.

Also, the “that looks shiny and makes beep-boop-bop noises, take my money” camp.

He is very patient with me.

We are now into month seventy hundred and four ninety-three of garage storage solutions shopping. I can’t seem to find cabinets that I like at a price that I also like and, therefore, we continue living with a sagging set of mismatched plastic hand-me-down shelves that may or may not be duct-taped together in several areas. This will eventually turn into the toy store episode from the Brady Bunch when an entire rack of Kitty Karry-All’s came down on an innocent little girl. Except I will be that innocent little girl and there will be no Peter Brady waiting to rescue me. Instead, there will be Rich, grumbling from above a pile of bike helmets, “I told you to just pay full price.”

At some point, I added “garage refrigerator” to that garage storage upgrade, because why not just fill that purse-pinching back burner all the way up, right? We never seem to have the space needed in our “regular” fridge, especially with the addition of food for thousands of bees. Of course, I wanted to wait for the upcoming holiday sales to secure the purchase, even knowing that delivery would then be delayed as many others would be shopping at the same time. In the meantime, we are playing Bee Juice Jug Jenga, which puts us at a Red Alert Risk level of having thick syrup all over the inside of our refrigerator, kitchen floor, and who knows what else (I mean, yes, I do know what else because no one would notice it for likely EVER and we would eventually have a one-inch thick layer of rock candy coating our kitchen).

What was my point?

Yes.

Each time my husband complains about this dragging of my frugal feet, I think, “Oh, you won’t be complaining when I save us a boatload of money, will you?” I think it out loud, most times, to which he typically shrugs with a “whatever…”

I’m not sure why I insist on a wheel and deal approach to our purchases. I don’t actually have to, which I know puts us in a super fortunate situation. I suppose I could insert something here about teaching our children the value of money, et al…and yes, we have tried…but this? It’s really got nothing to do with that. It is somewhere closer to how it bothers me that retailers mark prices up in order to mark them down later in order to take a pretend hero shot, so, therefore, I am willing to join in their games. And, there have been times in my not-so-far-away-past life when I did have to play those games to stay within my fairly strict budget. I made it work and that gave me a great deal of pride.

Perhaps it’s that memory that I want to preserve. Perhaps that satisfaction of saving a penny here or there will never go away, and may even equal an “I did it, I beat the system!” moment.

Even if it does drive my husband bananas.

When I do save us money, boatload or otherwise, I sometimes think (this time, actually in my head), “Wait, shouldn’t that be deposited directly into my account? Don’t I deserve a Finder’s Fee, minimum?”

Just this week, I fake-banked over a grand. No, really. All because I was willing to spend the time finagling and, in one case, bugging a retailer’s chat line.

How?

Thank you for asking: Kohl’s Krypto Cash ($17 to me); Filed a handful of pet insurance claims (not hard…just has to be done…), ($295 to me); Redeemed company wellness rewards (full disclosure, I also “earned” the points for both my husband and me), ($250 total); Free Mod Pizza Reward ($13); Lowe’s (price match, free delivery negotiation, two gift cards), ($650).

Yes, you heard it first, I bought the garage fridge.

I know. I could have “just bought it.”

But this was way more fun, wasn’t it?

Okay, maybe not for the person on the other end of the Chat Line who was forced to spend an hour in the Lowe’s Bermuda Triangle of “You can only spend virtual gift cards online but virtual gift cards can only be used in-store.”

Turns out if you just politely suggest a trip to Home Depot, you can use virtual gift cards in either location AND get free delivery, plus 25% off.

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