Diary of a Couponing Newbie: Technology – Making Couponing Better

by Marcy on September 7, 2011 · 0 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 and Part 8 of this series.**

Technology is awesome. Before Google, what did people do when their child came up and asked, “Where does my poop go after I flush the toilet?” or “What’s actually in the sewer?” or “What makes pee yellow?” (Please tell me that it’s not just my kids who ask this many questions about excrement.) Now, thank GOODNESS, we can know all of the gnarly details of the journey that poop makes. And I suppose that before Expedia and Travelocity, people actually went to a travel agent to book vacations, not even knowing if they were getting the best price! (Now I’m wondering what happened to all the travel agents… Is that still even a job?) Not to mention the benefits of re-connecting with my friends from Kindergarten. Thanks to Facebook, I know what they ate for dinner tonight and will be wearing tomorrow. Where would our society be without technology?! I’m starting to learn, after seven months of couponing, that the Internet is a pretty good place to find coupons as well.

In my parents’ generation, I imagine people just cut coupons out of the newspaper. I have this mental image (in black and white, of course) of a woman in a house dress and apron like Donna Reed’s, sitting in a Leave It to Beaver kitchen, cutting coupons out of the paper using those old metal scissors we all still have somewhere, but that no one uses anymore because they won’t actually cut. I’m sure these women existed, though my mother never actually used coupons. Up until a few years ago, when I showed her the benefits of bargain hunting, she paid full price for everything. She ordered her clothes from the Eddie Bauer catalog, shopped at the expensive grocery store and never saved a coupon. I have since introduced her to T.J. Maxx, the clearance rack and at least those storewide coupons that even non-couponers use.

Despite my non-penny pinching upbringing, I must have had some inner instinct that cutting newspaper coupons is the genesis of couponing, because in the past seven months, that’s pretty much all I’ve done. Except for a sporadic foray into the cyber-couponing universe, like to get the monthly Stonyfield coupons off their website, it’s been paper all the way. The downside to using only paper coupons is 1. Unless you’re dumpster diving, newspapers cost money, and 2. You’re missing out on coupons that are only available online. I guess I knew this before, but thought finding online coupons was too much trouble. And I’d often print ones I never used, making it wasteful. Sigh…

But thanks to a lot of the helpful comments I’ve been getting from the readers of this wonderful blog, I cancelled my Grocery Game membership and have been relying on local blogs for match-ups. (As a side note, I compared the Grocery Game with the blog match-ups, side by side, and they were almost identical. So, I really am a sucker for paying for this for so long. Thanks everyone, for telling me!) The thing that gets me the most is that these blogs link right to coupons that you can print! How helpful! And free. And then you only print the ones you’re going to use right now, because the thing you want is also on sale. Ok, I’m in. And now I’m saving even more than before. Thank you, technology!

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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