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I bet the coupon lady cheated

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
I'm a coupon clipper. This started about a year ago when I decided it was foolish to throw out all the coupons I was seeing instead of using them and saving money.
Now, every time I see a coupon I think I might use, I clip it out and put it in a basket in the kitchen. When I go to the store, I bring them with me, always coming home and reporting my total savings ($3.35 last weekend).
After being introduced to the world of coupons, I started finding all sorts of ways to get more of them. You can send emails to companies and they will send you coupons. You can give a store your email address or sign up for a frequent-shopper program and get even more. You can even buy books with coupons from local restaurants and stores from schools and athletics groups. Soon, I had more coupons than I knew what to do with and the kitchen basket was full.
Let me digress for a moment here. Ever since I lost out on the Princess Contest in first grade (the winner obviously cheated) I have been extremely competitive. I simply hate to lose. This competitive nature translates to many things: work, recreation and now, of all things, collecting coupons.
For me, not using a coupon for something I know I need or would like is tantamount to losing. Therefore, our choices in where we go to eat or where I buy something is now dictated by what coupon I have.
"Greg," I said the other day, "since we're going out to eat anyway, can we go to Such-and-Such Restaurant?"
"I thought you didn't like that place," he said.
"I don't," I replied. "But I have a coupon for a free appetizer and it expires tomorrow."
Later that same night, we were walking through the mall when I passed a certain store. I stopped Greg and began rummaging through my purse until I found a crinkled piece of paper in the bottom.
"I have to run in here," I said. "I have a coupon for a free $10 product with a $10 purchase."
"In other words," Greg said. "You are going to spend $10 and, let's face it, a lot more, just so you can get some free bubble bath?"
"Absolutely," I replied. "I can't let this coupon go to waste."
And so it goes.
The day after what has become known as Coupon Fest, I saw a television show on a lady who collected so many coupons she regularly purchased more than $300 in groceries, but actually paid less than $20.
I was fascinated. You mean my $3.35 wasn't as impressive as I thought it was? My free appetizer and bubble bath paled in comparison to this lady's coupon expertise. Suddenly, I was right back to first grade, watching the other girl smiling and wearing the crown.
I'm going to keep looking into this. I bet you 10 coupons to one that the lady on the television show cheated somehow.

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