Diary of a Couponing Newbie: And For Now, I Bid You Adieu

by Marcy on September 21, 2011 · 3 comments

The following is a guest post written by Devin Ventre for Stretching a Buck Blog, chronicling her journey into the world of couponing. This post is part 5 in the series “Diary of a Couponing Newbie“. Learn more about “Extreme Couponing the Smart Way” in the All About Couponing Series.

**Be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9 of this series.**

I have really enjoyed the past 8 months of being a coupon user. So much so that I can’t really believe I haven’t always been doing it. In that time, I’ve saved about $1500. Nearly $800 went to the cleaning lady, so score on $700 – and a super clean house. I’ve decided to dedicate my last article as a newbie (I proclaimed myself an expert long ago, actually) to a few random tidbits I’ve picked up here and there…. Are they sexist? Maybe. But it’s ok – I’m a non-expert, so I can say whatever I want.

1. If you want a product substitution, or an exception to the triple coupon rule, or the rest of yesterday’s newspapers on the shelf for free, ask a man. They’re WAY more likely to give them to you than a woman.

2. If you go to the store with a huge, overflowing coupon binder, the store employees will call you a Coupon Nazi or a Coupon Vulture or something else equally unflattering. Maybe you’re ok with that.

3. If you go to the drugstore and ask to have your stuff rung up in 5 separate transactions, the cashier will yell at you. Especially if she’s a woman.

4. If your husband says something to you, like, “Oh, and while you’re at the store could you just pick up some…” Hello!? Is it on sale?! Do I have a coupon for it?! No, I’m sorry sweetie. I love you, but you have to live without whatever it is until the stars line up and I can get it at a massive discount. (Of course, I buy it anyway because I’m a good wife, but I resent it a little…)

5. You should never commit coupon fraud. Even a little bit. I stared at a John Frieda coupon last night for a solid two minutes deciding if what I wanted was “close enough” to what the coupon was actually for. Yeah, it really wasn’t. And now I don’t have to worry about going to hell over $1.50.

6. If you’re spending 60 hours a week couponing, GET A JOB. It pays way more.

7. If you want your mom/friend/sister, etc. to know the value of couponing, take her to the store with you when you’re going to score big. (Or him, I guess, but I don’t know any men who use grocery coupons. There I go, being sexist again…) I left Staples one day with a ream of paper, a pack of 500 jumbo colored paper clips, 40 binder clips, a ruler and some scissors for $0 using coupons. My mom bought the very, very small amount of stuff on her list for about $40. I think she got the message.

8. This one I’ve said before, but it’s worth repeating. Be a nice couponer. Don’t yell at people. It’s just mean.

And so, readers of Marcy’s awesome blog, thank you for reading my articles these past few months and bearing with me as I learned the ways of couponing. It wasn’t always easy, and there was definitely some swearing, but I’m totally glad I did it. I’ll never go back!


Devin Ventre is a homeschooling mother of two living in northern Virginia who wanted a cleaning lady. She couldn’t afford one, and decided to save some money using coupons. Now she has her house cleaned twice a month. This is her story.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tessa September 22, 2011 at 8:31 AM

i’m gonna have to disagree with Devin on #3. Usually the women at the drugstores I work at LOVE seeing how cheap I can get my stuff for. I have only once had a person (lady) tell me that she can only let me do one transaction. And this was at a store I don’t normally shop at because they just aren’t friendly to ANYONE, not just couponers.

2 Christina @ Northern Cheapskate September 22, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Love this post – especially #3 – My poor hubby has to endure this response from me as well! :-)

It’s been fun reading your progress throughout this series! Best wishes for more savings in the future!

3 Joan September 22, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Great article Devin! You will be missed!

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