My Two-Cents Worth

Happy New Year, one and all. Have you made your resolutions? I’ve got so many that I had to make lists of my lists. Mostly I resolved to allocate my time more wisely, eschew distractions so as to focus on my writing, and return to a consistent blogging schedule. My desires, coupled with the current state of the world, require that I make some more money and spend less of it.

I took some time this morning to clip coupons. I never used to do this with any regularity, and while the world’s economic downturn has motivated all of us to tighten our proverbial belts, I admit that my clipping fancy has more than a little to do with preventing the conglomerates from taking extra advantage of me than it does with saving 40 cents on my next four cans of soup. Coupons, and grocery club cards, are proof of the over-inflated prices on all of the products we buy. On top of the cost of making goods, manufacturers add in the cash-back values along with the advertising expenses, kitchen sink, and profit margin before settling on a retail price. If we take the time to clip, and remember to carry the coupons and club cards to the store, then we save a few cents, or even several dollars, and they still get their profits; if we forget, then they get their profits plus a cherry on top. Why should I anoint their sundaes when I can bake my own cherry pie?

And do they really believe that the availability of coupons actually alters our shopping selection? I’ve been told that I am not a typical consumer, but I wonder. The coupons never affect my taste preferences nor shake my brand loyalties that were mostly forged in childhood. Just because I can get cents off a box of Fiber One doesn’t mean I’ll buy it instead of Raisin Bran; and the only time I ever buy go-gurt is when the grand-kids are visiting. Furthermore, while I now have a large stash of coupons for products I do buy, sorted by the month in which they expire, I am not likely to buy those items right now, unless I need them right now. If a coupon expires before a need arises, too bad — no sale.

Okay, so this counts as a double check-mark on my lists: a blog post + saving cents.

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