Rubber Chicken Scratchings: Print out this column and save big!We're cheap, but it’s a good kind of cheap. It allows us to save our dollars here and there and cash them in over the summer when my wife, daughter and I are lucky enough to be together for large chunks of time.
By: Brian Matuszak, Budgeteer News
My wife Sue and I are more than coupon clippers — we are the Coupon Couple. We don’t leave the house unless we have a coupon to cash in at some local vendor that we will be visiting during our day’s journey: Gas, blackberries, a ceramic cat, a foot massage … something we purchase along the way will have at least $2 taken off the retail price, baby.
And that’s two more dollars that I can use toward my Facebook FrontierVille habit. (Oh sure, those are only virtual dollars, but I’m going to be quitting this stupid game before you know it.
As soon as my future wife shows up on that slow train from Cheyenne, I’m outta here.)
Coupons are not the same as gift cards. Gift cards have the air of authenticity to them because they are the same as cash. But that doesn’t mean that coupons should receive such a look of disdain from the places where Sue and I cash them in every day. If you are a clerk at the grocery store and trying to ring in my 20 cents off every third pound of cantaloupe is such a hassle for you, then don’t put that coupon out there to be used. I know, I know, your boss was thinking this coupon was good, free publicity and that no one would ever be anal enough to print it up and use it. Well, my sour-pussed clerky friend, your boss hasn’t met the Coupon Couple.
We don’t eat out anywhere unless we have a coupon to use. A 14-inch single-topping pizza for $12.99? We don’t usually frequent your fine establishment, but since you have a coupon, we are there. Two-for-one entrees at the local seafood place?
Well, normally I break out in red, splotchy hives and resemble a 14-inch single-topping pizza for $12.99 when I eat seafood, but how can I pass up this deal? I’ll just have to use this other handy-dandy coupon that’s good for one “rashy-skin evaluation” to make sure nothing is infected. Coupons rule!
And don’t get me started on the pure awesomeness of birthday coupons. Many businesses have birthday e-mail clubs and will send you a ton of free stuff just for revolving around the sun and growing out that ear hair for 365 more days.
I was living large at several local restaurants just a couple of weeks ago on birthday No. 47: a huge raspberry-kiwi smoothie (delicious!), $10 off a mouthwatering steak dinner (outstanding!), a five-layer banana cake dessert — um, still yummy, but I am starting to get a little full here... — and a free sundae with any two toppings at the ice cream store on the way home — yeah, it’s wonderful but I’m … glurg.
I even got to use my “one free stomach pump with purchase of same” coupon the day after my birthday!
Now, I know what some of you are saying about this coupon habit of ours: Who has time to clip every coupon that appears in the paper? Who goes online and searches for every deal from every vendor in the entire tri-state area? Who sacrifices constructive time tracking down deals that save only a buck or two? Those people must be cheap. Well … we are cheap.
But it’s a good kind of cheap. It’s the kind of cheap that allows us to save our dollars here and there and cash them in over the summer when my wife, daughter and I are lucky enough to be together for large chunks of time. Being the Coupon Couple allows our family to enjoy the occasional free summer breakfast; it enables the purchase of a GPS unit for discovering the fun of geocaching; and it pays for the new state park sticker or for quickie day trips to Hayward or Grand Rapids. It lets us stretch already-thin dollars all the way from June to August, and provides those three months with a safety net of fun that Sue and I can give our daughter — along with some summer memories that really are priceless (as the commercial says).
I’ll take a second to clip that kind of coupon every time.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a skunk entering my FrontierVille village and I need to scare him off with a rake.
Brian Matuszak has been difficult and demanding since February of 2008. He is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre and founder of Rubber Chicken Theater. Rubber Chicken Theater will give you two laughs for the price of one at the next Rubber Chicken Radio Hour, broadcast live at The Shack in Superior on Aug. 20. But only if you print out this tag line and bring it in.