“Sometimes at the check-out, I look around to see if anyone’s looking and then I pull some coupons out of my purse…”
WHAT? YOU USE … WAIT … COUPONS? Say it ain’t so, Flo.*
Flo works with me. We happened to both be caught in an around-the-water-cooler discussion recently about getting good deals. I mentioned I got my skinny jeans at TJ Maxx. I am not ashamed to admit it. Yes, I love to find a steal of a deal. Even at TJ Maxx. I get giddy. I run home and tell Hubby about my find and how much money I saved us, as if I unlocked the answer to some ancient secret code. I think about how my frivolous jeans aren’t taking anything away from the Hawklets, or our 401K funds, or our babies’ college savings. I feel good.
So it never occurred to me, I suppose - particularly in the current economy - that wanting to get a good deal could be embarrassing, something you’d want to hide, even from perfect strangers behind you in the check-out line.
Sshhhh! Don’t let them think we paid anything less than full price for this 12-pack of paper towels! Gah! I mean, we’re rushing right home to wallpaper the dining room with $10 bills after this, okay?!
Do you know these people who are embarrassed to use coupons? Are you embarrassed to admit you might use a coupon every now and again? That you might pop into Tuesday Morning to pay 80% less on that Ralph Lauren down comforter than you would at Dillard’s? (Well, only if your anonymity is protected by dark glasses and a wig, of course!)
Current studies show coupon usage is up by 15% over last year. We as a consumer society have enough stress to manage right now. Let’s give ourselves a break. Pull out those coupons and be proud. Wave them around. Tap dance on top of the check-out stand and sing a little song of defiance, “I got the best de-al! I got the best de-al!” Saunter into TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning with your head held high!
What’s the big deal? Exactly. It’s the big deals you could be missing out on. Too embarrassed to save? Seems that now’s the perfect chance to join the rest of the world and refuse to pay full price. Go on, you can do it. You know you want to. Your 401K wants you to, too.
*Names changed to protect the innocent over-spenders.