Sunday, November 06, 2005


Shopping in supermarkets in the States was once my avocation/hobby/distraction, you name it. It was also a great exercise. Walking those aisles was sometimes my only exercise. I did not encourage company but, needless to say, no one ever wanted to come twice anyway.

I had a regular routine. The ads came out on Wednesday. I would make a list of the best buys. Some markets had a history of running out of their good buys early and not restocking. So sometimes, if it was worth the effort, I would move quickly.

On Sundays the coupons came out. These were the same as free money if they were for stuff I could use.

It should be no surprise that very often there were cents off coupons on the very items that were on sale in the ads. It is caused by a product getting loaded up in a warehouse somewhere and they are trying to unload it.

There were always two or three markets that doubled coupons in my area. Those were the only markets I shopped at with the coupons.

About the coupons. Clipping them didn’t mean I would use them. Some I clipped in hopes the item would go on sale. Some items, in my estimation, weren’t worth the price even with 2 dollars off. Of the coupons I clipped, I threw more away than I used

My hobby took up about 4 hours a week. When I was shopping for a family of 5, I saved about a hundred dollars a week. Some might say that’s not a good enough return for the time. But it was my hobby. I actually enjoyed doing it. Not many hobbies save money.

I would estimate that, over the years, I saved more than $50,000. That is a very conservative estimate. It could be double that.

It was a hard hobby/habit to kick. In later years, when I was only shopping for myself, I would still keep at it and leave bags of groceries at a senior center.


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