I like to consider myself a bargain hunter.
Before I purchase something I will check out reviews, look through Consumer Reports, peruse advertisements and the Internet. It is my mission in life to find the least possible price on the best possible product available.
And that's just for toilet paper.
My mental health depends upon it. So much so that after I purchase a product, I refuse to look at ads for a good week afterwards. What if someone had a BETTER product at a LOWER price than what I paid??? I can't just RETURN THE TOILET PAPER so I can get a better price! There are RULES about that kind of thing.
Welcome to my crazy.
Then I started couponing. Oh yes, I did. And I think you can see where this is going.
I hunted down and printed out and clipped and almost stole every coupon I could. It didn't matter if it was five cents off on three pounds of lard or a dollar off on a radial arm saw. It didn't matter if I needed it or not, because LOOK!!! COUPON!!! MONEY SAVED!!! I read blog after blog to see where I could get more coupons and even free items. Couponing became my god.
Then I got wise. Couponing was too much work. It took too long to organize and then use the coupons. And most of all, it took too much money. I ended up spending more during my Coupon Phase than any other time, especially if you add in the hours and the paper and the clipping and the shushing and the booming. And the angry husband who wanted to know WHY it took me FOUR HOURS at the store every time I got groceries.
The next phase was the Price Match. Wal-Mart matches the price on all the grocery ads in the area, so I figured it was a win-win situation. No coupons! Just buy what we need! Get sales!
And then the OCD took over and I was lost again.
I had to pore through every ad I could get my hands on for the very best possible price on the very best possible product. I subscribed to the newspaper. I spent hours finding, and then listing every single item on a spreadsheet that contained the product, the brand, the size and weight, the price offered, the store name and location, and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh yes, I did. Then I went to the store and spent more time searching down each and every thing on the list in order to do what I needed to do not just well, but PERFECTLY.
Again, you can see where this is going.
I ended up being an EPIC FAIL at all of it.
Nowadays I still shop at the Wal-Marts for my groceries, along with a food co-op for fresh produce. I may or may not bring an ad in for something I see on sale at another store in order to price match. I might even use a coupon now and again. I still subscribe to the money-saving blogs, although 99% of the time I look at the titles and delete them from my feed reader. I discontinued the newspaper subscription.
It's what I have to do to stay sane. And if it costs a little more at the checkout counter, I'll pay that.
It's a small price for sanity.