pocket full of coupons, all of them expired

Story of my life.

Besides my coupon ineptitude, however, I've become an incredible bargain shopper. As a former (bona fide) shopping addict (I won't go further into details re: my early-twenties spending habits or else I'll start to cry) this is a major thing.

I credit parenthood for enabling my recovery. Or perhaps, more specifically, the joint-bank account I share with my husband. These days, I stick to sidewalk-sales and swap-meets, allow myself two splurges a year, and that has made all the difference.


I don't care what anyone says. Growing up is the best thing that can happen to a person.



I ♥ You | 11:51 AM

bargain hunting is such an art and test of patience. there are somethings that i will not pay full price for but when it comes to shoes - i have to throw down the cash. i wear a 5.5 and if i don't buy it upon seeing it - it is gone and never to be found in a 5.5 every again.

cute video!

stephanie | 12:00 PM

Sean is the BEST at bargains and smart spending and the whole she-bang. And swap-meets? The beeeeeeest!

Meagan | 12:05 PM

My mom has the bargain hunter gene and I don't seem to have inherited it. I just don't like to spend the time that it takes to go through every single clearance rack in the store. I stick to reasonably-priced goods that are within my budget anyway, and if they happen to be on sale then I consider it a bonus.

"Growing up is the best thing that can happen to a person." Amen, Rebecca.

mommymae | 12:12 PM

i'm a huge bargain shopper...like i won't spend more than $10 per item of kids' clothes or more than $20 for adult clothes (except shoes.) and i'm still saving for an l.a. shopping spree where i just may spend more than $20 per item.

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB | 12:13 PM

Prisontown (where we live) has a Ross Dress For Less, a Walmart, and a pretty good thriftstore. Add to that a Dollar Store and a 99 Cents Store. So ... cheap Chinese crap-o-rama, mostly. Keeps the budget in check, though. EBay and craigslist do the rest ...

Jillian | 12:35 PM

One of my favorite things to do is go to Saks or Nordstroms, or Bergdorfs, or any other such luxury place...places that STILL make my blood pressure go up. Anyway, I try on and get the name and style number of my favorite pricey items, i.e. sunglasses and bags or shoes; those are my two splurges a year. Then...I go to Ebay and buy the same thing for SO MUCH CHEAPER! I have saved literally THOUSANDS of dollars this way.

The shoes and bags still don't have that same appeal though with spit up and diaper rash cream smeared into them.

Unknown | 12:38 PM

I have a friend that uses coupons like GOLD. I have never seen the likes of it before. I'm talking BINDERS full of coupons. She will go shopping and save SO much money. It's scary!

I am so bad with coupons. Seriously I try SO hard, I think they get lost until past expiration date just to make me feel like a loser. LOL

I loveeee bargains though, and I love me some clearance!

Erin | 12:41 PM

I don't ever shop for clothes. THe clothes I own now either were gifted to me or I have had for almost 10 years.
Missing that gene I guess- but I have super simple taste so that helps.
I am a bargian grocery shopper- LOVE coupons and BOGO and ALdi and the farmers market and am goodwill whore.

Erin | 12:41 PM

What is a swap meet???

Anonymous | 12:43 PM

There is nothing like a joint bank account and a spreadsheet to keep you honest. Except...I'm kind of in charge of the spreadsheet.

Rebecca | 1:56 PM

I've never really been all that into shopping and even now I'm not all that into shopping. Just never really understood it......I know nobody believes I'm actually a girl now, right? I guess it's easy to not like shopping when you are poor and can't afford anything.

Ewokmama | 2:24 PM

Nice timing - I *just* started a column over at savings.com called The Frugal Family. I'm writing all kinds of stuff about saving money as a parent. You should check it out and add in your tips, as well!!


jessica | 3:05 PM

omg the coupon thing!! i have a 5 dollar off coupon for waldbaums and every time i go in i leave it in the car. so i put it in my wallet and voila! i take in my debit card and leave my wallet in the car!


I'm terrible with coupons, but I'm pretty good about remembering the prices of day-to-day things at various stores. And yes, most of the time, I will make a special trip out to the store that sells that stuff I need at the lowest price.

Almost all of my clothes (and Westley's clothes) come from thrift shops. Right now, money is just too tight for anything else. But I have to say, I've gotten pretty damned good at finding awesome stuff at thrift stores.

Tara NYC | 3:44 PM

I love bargain shopping but never seem to find what I want or what fits me on sale. Does anyone know of good places in NYC for bargain shopping?

Unknown | 4:05 PM

Yeah, so most of my $ goes right to Whole Foods. (Your welcome to everyone there!) but besides that I can't spend full price on things. I just CAN'T! If I want something, I search on the internet, craigslist, TJ MAX, etc, until I find it cheaper and if I don't find it cheaper and wait and wait and wait and see if I STILL want it after several months of waiting, perhaps it's worth full price.

Also, I'm addicted to babysteals.com. Umm, just scored an awesome diaper bag today for $150 off!

_Franny | 4:09 PM

I love love love discounts/a bargain.
I mean right now the sweater im wear £4.99 my friend brought it for £30 =]

I live in the uk and we are not so big on thrift store (groan) and our 'thrift' stores are charity shops which are full of total crap and are used as a rubbish dump for people unwanted grossly used items. when i visit family in the us ( LA/Cali mostly ) all i want to do is trift thrift thrift ... its amazing found some amazing pieces that are vintage and adorable for amazing prices, 'Vintage' here would be 3x as much just because the UK doesnt gt it ( if theres anything vintage and awesome around at all that is)

But if i see something in shop i have awesome will power which allows me to wait and more often then not it will come down in price =] its really does make me happy (oh dear!)

I am a student also so i basically have no money at all so even if i wanted to pay full price for items - not really going to happen!!

julie. | 4:13 PM

What are swap-meets? How does this work? Sounds fantastic!!

Andi | 7:45 PM

I'm raising my son off of my college loans pretty much, so swap meets and sidewalk sales are my splurges.

But I'm happy I have him even if it means I make negative dollars every day.

Tiffany | 8:00 PM

Hey I love coupons too, I just got an enjoy the city book for my city and I am saving big money. And I take my expired coupons to the store and they always get accepted, so don't throw them out.


Samantha | 6:00 AM

Man! I wouldn't be able to tell myself "two splurges a year" because I would find a way to justify why three pairs of pants is NOT a splurge. Getting into credit card debt, however, really curbed my spending habits even though the debt wasn't from shopping, but from not paying the bill and adding late fees and interest. Heh. Woops.

baby&sofia | 2:11 PM

I love coupons! But I, too, usually have a wallet full of expired coupons. I try so hard to use them in time, but rarely do. I love to find a good bargain; I come home with a renewed sense of pride when I am extra-thrifty. I find bargain hunting eases my addiction to shopping....

The Beckster | 11:15 PM

I always leave my coupons in the car. And then I'm too lazy to just walk out and get them. So I buy it at full price. I tend to value convenience over my pocket book! Sucks.

Kara | 11:40 PM

I have strict rules when it comes to buying objects. It makes me a very difficult person come birthday/xmas time. I'm a vegetarian, so I will only buy pre-owned or vintage leather. (this makes the shoes/handbag issue quite an adventure.) If an author is still alive, I will pay full price for their book. If they are dead, I buy it used. I'll spend a heap of money on clothing basics like a good pair of jeans or the perfect grey cardigan, but otherwise I'm a thrift store/garage sale kind of girl. (Unless the designer is a Denver local. Then I'll buy new and full price.) I can always justify buying art, even if I have to live on (organic) peanut butter sandwiches for a month. But the real bargain hunting in my life is for plane tickets. I know all the magic tricks. I recently flew to Portland from Denver for $160 roundtrip. The sum of it is, I think carefully about whom I give my money to, and what for.