Saturday, January 30, 2010

Of viruses and scissors

I have become very adept with scissors lately. I think I should hire myself out!
When our dogs had puppies, we began to have a huge need for newspapers for them to learn on and to clean up other newspapers with. Along with newspapers come ads, and with many ads come coupons.
My mother had been thinking about coupon-ing for "a while now" (as she put it) and so this sudden source of something more to do (like we didn't have anything else to do in the first place) has swamped us....especially lately.

At first I would take the hundred pages of adds and cut out everything. Mother would come along later and sort and categorize them into little envelope holders. This quickly became an obvious waste of both our time, and the little envelope things were hard to find things in and much to cramped for easy separating of the coupons we DID want.
Then came the Coupon Binder (basically a zippered folder with hundreds of pages of baseball-card-holder clear plastic sheets). With most of the coupons in full view, our only problem was to find enough space for everything (that binder can hardly close).
With a new method came changes to the cutting came changes in the filing. We now stay up until 3 or even 6 am (and sometimes even 2 nights in a row) laying out the pages and putting all the same ones on top of eachother. We then pick which ones we keep (yes, we have become very picky!) and cut them out, and lay them on a 12" by 4' (yes: 12 inches by 4 feet) line of paper with an average coupon space and a category title. Then, my job is done, but Mother then spends (approx.) another 3-5 hours taking each category and filing it into little baseball card slots in the binder.

Which way is more arranged? Which is quicker?
Who knows.

But, in case you thought that was it...think again!
After this, Mother goes through all the store adds or online sites with adds already categorized (or both, definitely both more often) and matches coupons up with sales, or rebates/register rewards (or both).

Then comes the process of going to these stores (often taking along "Oh, no, mommy is going to spend hours here again" kids), finding the items, getting the right (and enough) coupons from the binder, and then making sure that the prices ring up right. (you would not believe how many times "sale" items do not ring up as on sale)
Then comes the wonderful times when the stores have sold out of the certain item you were hoping to get. Then you have to get rain checks, or ask to substitute....

In all it is a time-consuming menace to sleep and sanity, but you either spend a lot of money and a short amount of time, or a lot of time and little to no money.

We have a list of at least 10 "everyday" items (makeup, soap, floss, etc.) that we will never buy unless it is free. Yes, completely free. I won't even pay 50cents for $8-$10 makeup, because I would rather wait and get it free! :P

Overall the time invested has great dividends, and while it feels like we are getting a TON of stuff, we have not exceeded our "normal" monthly grocery bill.
And I am very picky about what scissors I use. Only the ones that fit my hand nicely! :P


On to the first part of the title of this post:
I hate viruses. My computer was recently stricken by some sort of virus that masqueraded as a "security" device and virus scan. As I kept exiting the annoying pop-up windows (I was not aware that it was a virus at the time), it began opening windows on Internet Explorer for online sites. (I am a Firefox user, even though IE has caught up with the tabs, etc.)

I finally realized it was a virus when the computer would suddenly shut off, and when it would sit on a boot-up page for an hour before finally turning on.
*insert me rolling my eyes

My dear, amazing, (sometimes?) gentlemanly, debonair, and kind older brother promptly took (my/his) computer to wherever he was going where he gutted it, and began to try to fix the hard drive. When that did not work (I cannot remember all the things he tried to do, it was as much as I could do to try not to laugh when he said he tried to install windows XP onto his tumbdrive) he then replaced the harddrive (ie. got a whole new one) and rebooted all the necessities and handed me a brand spanking clean laptop. :D

SO, hopefully from now on I shall have more consistent and faster blogposts!

1 comment:

Hopewell said...

You do know there are whole blogs devoted to matching up coupons to store sales, right? lol.. just google blog + coupons and you should find some. Money Saving Mom is one...