Thursday, April 7, 2011


This is the second post, in what I hope to be many as part of a blog project I am doing with three other ladies. At the end of my post I will give you the links so that you can check out what they have to say on our topic. Who knows, maybe you will find something else you like.

Today's topic is to talk about something legendary that either has happened or you would like to happen. I am chosing to talk about something legendary that has happened.

Now, most people would think I would talk about the birth of my kids or the day I married my husband. But, no, I am going to talk about Fred. Fred was a coupon. A coupon so important, so amazing, so well, legendary, that it got a name.

There is a small problem with Fred, and that is one of greed. Fred definately exposed my greed. Fred altered some of my friendships, one could say that these friendships were on the brink anyway, but Fred was the catalyst. Fred was so exciting. The rush I got from using Fred was addictive. We had a copy of Fred on our fridge for a long time. We still talk about Fred, good times, good times.

Now I am sure you are thinking, has she taken a turn here? Should we call the guys with the green fringed straight jacket? A coupon did all these things, let's be real here. Well, to understand this, we have to step back in time. Back to a time when I was a super couponer. When I could walk out of the grocery store with carts of food and used change from the cushions in my car to pay for them.

The way I was able to do this was to purchase specific products that would trigger the machine that prints coupons, the catalina machine, to print coupons for amounts greater than I spent. These deals would be published in the grocery ads. Nothing fishy going on here  There were times when I bought 200 boxes of Jello or Fruit Snacks and made hundreds of dollars.  What we didn't use we donated.

The way the deal worked, when you bought, say 11 jars of peanut butter, the catalina machine would give you a coupon for $10 off your next order. When you went to use that coupon, Fred, this would trigger the machine to print ANOTHER coupon for $10 off your next order. Fred was self-generating. The act of using Fred, caused Fred to reproduce another one. Esssentially, we could walk out with the entire grocery store in $10 increments.  So we did.

I showed up one evening with a baggie full of change, and walked out with a baggie full of change and two carts full of groceries.  The cashier at self-scan didn't care what I was doing, but really wanted to know because she wanted to do it too.  I never told.  See what I mean about greed?  We used everything I acquired, but was it really the right thing to do?  I got thousands of dollars of groceries during the two week period that Fred worked.  It was great, but was it right?  Probably not.

There was a group of us that worked these coupon deals together.  We shared notes and helped each other.  Of that group of three, only two of us still speak.  One of our friends had just had a baby and was too lazy to go and get a Fred for herself.  She wanted us to give her one of our Freds.  But, we didn't want to do that, we wanted them all for ourselves.  These coupons were worth hundreds of dollars.  Again with the greed.  As a result, I am no longer friends with B.  But, M is part of my chosen family.  One could argue that there were issues with B before all this happened.  Something else would have probably caused the rift, but still, it was caused by Fred.

It was addictive to walk into the grocery store and walk out with free groceries.  I did not do as many transactions as other people.  I told myself that this made it ok.  I would want to stop, but I couldn't.  The rush was unbelievable.  I would giggle when I would unload my loot. In the end, it was like a drug.  But, unlike a drug, eventually my ability to use Fred ended.  He expired.

Fred is a legendary coupon.  We still talk about Fred.  Fred, he changed my relationships, he was like a drug, and he exposed my inability to control my greed.  But, still, in that moment, it was so much fun.  I will always remember Fred fondly.  Good times, no legendary times.

If you want to see what the other ladies have to say about this, then check them out,  Momarock,  Froggie  and  Merrylandgirl

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen this new TV show called "Extreme Couponing?" Your story made me think of that. Very interesting!