By Diane Ako
Did you see the milk coupon on the cover of Midweek the other week? I know I've hit my domestic stride because I called around a couple of people and asked them to save me the coupon from the paper.
It was for that local milk, Hawaii's Fresh Milk, and we like it. It tastes good. As a side bonus, we like supporting local.
The coupon is for two dollars off. That's a lot! I called my mother and my neighbor.
As I placed the first call, I practically had this out-of-body experience where I could hear my own self talking on the phone. I felt like I was in a time capsule back to my own childhood when my mom was all about coupon clipping. "Vicki? Hi. If you're not going to use the milk coupon on the Midweek, can I have it? OK, thanks. I'll get it later."
There was a time when I eschewed coupons. I was so sick of my mom's coupon-mania by the time I was a teenager. My mother lives for the Wednesday food ads and the Sunday coupon section. She would clip everything out, sort it into not just different categories of food, but different days of the week AND different grocery stores to hit. When we got to the store, she would divide and conquer by giving my father and me our little allotments and having us gather up the assigned supplies.
I tried this coupon thing when I was in college. It didn't work for me. When you are cooking for just yourself, or maybe yourself and a friend, it's just too much work to keep a fully stocked kitchen or to bother with saving fifty cents on cranberry juice.
Mom and my Aunt Gaylore sent me coupons all the time, though. It made them feel like they were saving somebody else money, though most of the time I would forget the coupons at home when I went to Safeway. I never told them, and Aunt Gay will never know now, because she died a couple years ago.
This was my coupon MO for years. Busy through my career, busy after I got married, and plus, I'm a Coscto member. Then I had a kid. I don't know why, but that coupon gene kicked in after I gave birth. It drives my husband crazy.
Firstly, my cousin always gives me the Entertainment coupon book, and then I feel a little compelled to use it. Looking for a dinner option? "I have a coupon for that!" I tell Claus. The one year cousin Val didn't give me the book, is the year Auntie Bobbie did. Claus' new automated response to me is, "I have a credit card for that!"
Secondly, I shop less at Coscto due to tight schedule from my full-time job. It just makes sense to go to the neighborhood grocery store. I sometimes have a coupon. I'm not as full-on as my mom, but I'm consistent enough to make my husband roll his eyes.
The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree, to my mother's delight!
Do you use coupons?
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