Less Than I bargained For

In my inner circle, I’m known as the Coupon Queen. I’ve changed plans with friends, opting for a different restaurant simply because I had a coupon. My Sunday morning ritual includes scouring the supermarket circular to make my grocery list and then finding coupons that correlate with on-sale items. Then, I return triumphant from my shopping trip and proudly show my husband how much I “saved.” From this, I get a charge.

My deep desire to avoid paying retail explains my love of Marshall’s and HomeGoods. I even got sucked in to Groupon, but found that I struggled to use those coupons prior to the expiration date.

Lest you think otherwise, I’m not a penny-pincher. Fancy restaurants are my thing; the same with luxury hotels, even if I can only sit at the bar and sip an overpriced martini. But I thrill at finding a bargain. I work hard for my money and will seek every opportunity to stretch it further.

You can imagine my glee, then, when I saw this story on CBS Money Watch “Save money every day: Ten painless tricks.”

Author Allen Roth must be a kindred spirit. I discovered some new tips. For instance, you can Google for promotional codes when shopping online to receive the discount reserved for members of a company’s email list. Similarly, you can Google for and print restaurant coupons. What’s more, Roth reveals ways to save money on hotel stays. Maybe now I can afford to stay as well as drink at those tony hotels I’m so fond of.

Yes, the economy may be on the rebound, but my frugal habits are here to stay. I’m hoping some of them rub off on my kids, but recent evidence points to the contrary. My older son recently bought a pair of Nike sneakers for close to $200. He used his own money saved from birthday gifts, allowance and his summer job. But he didn’t even look for a discount.

His purchase caused me physical pain. Let me propose a name for this ailment:


If you love a bargain as much as I do, let’s start our own cost-conscious community. Oh, and membership is free.