Widgets Magazine

Aug 20, 2011

What's the Big Deal?

I’ve told you before that I LOVE a bargain! The only way to raise a big family nowadays is to be independently wealthy, be part of a reality TV show, or hunt down bargains. Since I missed out on the independently wealthy thing and no one is pounding down my door to see if I want to be on TV, my only option has been the bargain thing.

When we were first married, nearly every grocery chain on the planet offered double and sometimes even triple coupons. That made the slick coupon ads that come in the newspaper even more valuable. This was in the early ‘80s, before the days of open access to the Internet and online sales. I was pregnant with Bossy and we moved back to my hometown. We were dirt poor and since our parents were all still raising young children, they were not able to help us. Grandma was always careful with money (still is even at 93!) and she agreed to help us collect coupons to help cut our food bill. She made several trips to the post office each day and pulled coupons from the garbage.

Not our actual dump and not my grandma
Our town also had an open dump then about 3 miles outside of town. The idea was that you drove the dump road with all your stinky, yucky garbage in the trunk of your car. When you got to the dump, you drove to the edge, stopped your car, plugged your nose and flung your bags into the pile. Someone came along periodically and threw matches in there to burn everything back. So Grandma and I haunted the dump. We mostly stuck to the edges and pulled bundles of newspaper before the flames could devour them. We ripped open garbage bags and we also hunted for soda pop bottles (5 cents, please!). In later years Grandma gathered aluminum cans, then brought them home and ran over them with her car. About 20 years ago they shut down the dump and brought in a garbage service. My grandma was so sad that day…My 28th anniversary is in a couple of weeks and Grandma still sends up little bags full of coupons she collects and saves just for me.

Last week I was asked to review a coupon site called www.couponchief.com and give an honest opinion. I eagerly logged on and set up an account. That part was easy. I also asked some of my grown up kids, Bossy, Gym Rat, Drama Queen, and Teach to check out the site. Since it is all about online sales, they are way more techno-savvy than me. This site is huge! They have coupon codes for about 15,000 stores all arranged in alphabetical order. I chose several to look at that were places where I might actually place an online order.

I started with Amazon.com. Whenever I need to buy some strange item and I don’t know where to look, I try Amazon first. Coupon codes there would actually be very handy. Sadly, after trying three different codes, they all came back as expired. So I switched to Wal-Mart, but their coupons were for very specific things and I didn’t want to take the time to find whatever they were trying to get me to buy. The last coupon codes I tried were for Lowes and Home Depot. There were also expired or invalid.

So I called the kids to get their input (since obviously I must be doing something wrong). The Gym Rat tried Barnes and Noble and all three codes worked great for him. The Drama Queen was also able to get it to work, but she reminded me that she rarely shops on line. Boss and Teach spent a little time too but got stuck in the same trap as me.

I think this site is a wonderful idea! Sharing coupon codes with other shoppers can save us all a little money and that makes it easier for us to buy more and stimulate the economy. This site actually pays you for your codes as long as you are the first one to make a submission. What I didn’t like was that the codes didn’t automatically delete after they were expired. That means any bozo could get on and make up a code and publish it and then it would never work for anyone! They do have a nice rating system so you can see which coupons worked and which ones didn’t. I would love to have been able to print off some of these coupons so that I could take them to the actual stores. I’m looking forward to using this site in the future since one of my favorite stores, Discount Dance Supply is on their list. I can’t tell you how many pairs of tights I’ve bought for my dancers…even if I only save a buck or two it will definitely be worth looking.

Since www.couponchief.com paid me a small sum for this review, I want you to know that the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Like Shell at Things I Can't Say, I promote Blog With Integrity.


Anonymous said...

what a great post,, you always have so much info and I LOVE your gramma! I can just see her driving over those cans!! (I don't even know her but I love her)

Sherri said...

Oh the stories of large families! =) I love them all....I sometimes want to just tell all my stories on my blog, from I was growing up as the 3rd of 12....life was fun! I loved the garbage stories...we got most of our food from the back of the grocery stores, right before they threw them away! =)
Your a great mom...and your giving your kids the best gift EVER...each other! I love your blog!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I used to gather coupons at Panera on Sundays. I would go for lunch and then gather the abandoned coupons other people left behind.

Lacy@uphillandsmiling said...

I'm also a bargain hunter... thanks for sharing this site.

I loved the picture of the dump and "not your grandma"! HA!:)

Sara Bell said...

Another great website to check out for these things is retailmenot.com
I check out both just in case one has something the other doesn't. =]

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I'm finding even with only four young kids our money is magically disappearing! I think life with a bigger family must be so fun, but I imagine it is pricey.

I always try to find coupon codes online, so I'll have to check this site out.

Tara said...

Just wanted to say a quick "thank you" for discount dance supply. My girls start dance in about a week, and I was having a hard time finding all the necessary supplies around my house.

P.s. Love the blog. You write really well, and I love reading about your family.


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