It began innocently enough – just a little flirtation here and there. I was young and my mother had never educated me about these things. Maybe she didn’t know. Or maybe she just didn’t think it was important enough to take the time. She was a very busy woman with professional and social obligations.
Soon the little flirtations with coupons sort of fizzled out. What was fifteen cents here or twenty cents there? I found a major love in refunding. I married quite young in the days when not many people really used coupons like they do now.
There was no Internet and no Sunday coupon inserts. The majority of the coupons were printed in the grocery store ads. They could save a person a few dollars, but one certainly couldn’t take home a tuneful of goodies for only a few dollars.
But with refunding I could acquire not only numerous free products and trinkets, but I could also bring in the bucks. I had several shoe boxes filled with proofs of purchase and receipts from everything I bought, begged from family and friends or just downright ripped off. I’m not proud of that obsession, but like all things, it ran it’s course.
Two children seemed to distract me from both my coupons and refunding. I became a bit of a disorganized and easily sidetracked individual. There were too many fun and interesting things to do to be bothered with all those bits of paper. I had children to play with, ceramics to paint, crafts to make, fabric to sew. Cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, charcoals and pastels to take up my time.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to my next love affair. My husband and I packed up our two children and moved from central Indiana to the southwest corner of Missouri to attend college. That’s when we got poor and I needed to think about food for the table and clothing for the children. I began altering clothes and doing custom sewing. We lived on campus in the married housing, and the wives would get together to talk about recipes with cheap ingredients and how to stretch a pound of hamburger. I wonder why we didn’t talk about coupons.
You would have thought I would have turned back to my first love, but coupons were still few and far between at the time. When we returned to Indiana, I got involved in university classes, became a nurse and then ran away from home. I wasn‘t a true runaway. Everyone knew I was headed to Florida. I still ignored my first love. That was because I was enamored with cruising. I was busy working like a dog for three weeks and then taking a cruise every month. I barely had time to buy groceries. Do you really think I could take time to find and cut out coupons?
Are you wondering if I ever returned to my first love? Am I an occasional user of coupons or have I jumped into extreme couponing? Join me again as we travel through the rest of my on again/off again love affair with coupons in a follow up post.
This is the first post in a biweekly topic of food and coupons.