I was always one of those people who sometimes clipped coupons, sometimes remembered to take them to the store and sometimes found I had clipped a coupon for something I would actually use. Then I watched "Extreme Couponing." And I'm hooked.
I've only watched one or two episodes of "Extreme Couponing," but I've gone on-line to read blogs about how to best use coupons, I've signed up for different Websites that allow you to print out coupons and I've convinced family members to save their coupons for me. I'm on my way.
I'm never going to be one of those extreme coupon people who pay $1.03 for $10,000 worth of groceries, but I've had my victories. Last week, I got more than $80 worth of groceries for about $50, including seven bottles of marinade for 49 cents (total, not each) and four tubes of toothpaste for free. Perhaps not television-worthy, but I'll take every penny I can save.
I won't lie to you--it's a lot of work. I spent two hours last night clipping coupons and another hour going through store circulars and matching my coupons to the items on sale. But, other than raising FunnyKid, it's my job right now and I figure every dollar I save is a dollar I earned.
Still, I'm not going to make it my full-time job, I won't be stalking store managers for inside information about upcoming sales and I will never need to rent a truck to bring home my groceries. But maybe I will put some of that money I saved toward something fun for myself. After all, I did earn it.
My unsolicited advice/vent for the day: I've been a waitress and I know how tough it is to go into work happy each day and put up with all of the crap the entitled diners throw your way. And while I don't have personal experience with this, I can imagine your soul dies a little every time you have to put on a period uniform that includes shiny pantyhose and a weird little hat.
Still. If you're going to work in a restaurant that is attractive to families with kids (there's a train that runs along the ceiling for goodness sake!), you might want to show some sort of interest in kids-- parents love that sort of thing. And even if kids aren't your thing, try to put some pep in your step and even a small smile on your face. Immediately asking us what we want to drink without greeting us, answering our questions with the least enthusiasm you can muster without being downright rude and grudgingly wishing us a good day as you drop the check is not going to cut it.
We still tipped you, of course. Because I've been a waitress and I would never tip less than 15 percent. But since you did nothing to go above and beyond, neither did I. Seriously, try cracking a smile. Your job isn't that bad and smiling would do wonders for how you present yourself (and probably for your wallet, too).
I asked my husband and FunnyKid for a toilet for Mother's Day. I mean, it's not that romantic a gift, but it's something we need and I would use it everyday. Definitely more practical than sentimental. And, although it's a silly gift and something I probably would have killed the Pretend Husband for buying me if I didn't ask for it, I would have been thrilled to come home to a brand new, comfort-height toilet that flushes on command and doesn't need me to jiggle the handle in a certain way or open up the top every three uses.
Luckily, the PH didn't listen to me and my practicality. Instead of a toilet, he and FunnyKid picked out a beautiful ring with FunnyKid's birthstone for my first Mother's Day. Which I don't need and I won't wear everyday, but I love it (and the meaning and thoughtfulness behind it) about a million times more than I would a toilet. This is one of those times I'm thankful that the PH didn't listen to me and splurged on something I don't need, but absolutely love.
And to prove that the PH has a practical side too, my card from him promises the installation of a clothesline to replace the drying rack I've been using to dry our laundry outside. A sentimental AND practical husband-- how did I get so lucky?
While FunnyKid looks A LOT like his father, he seems to be developing a similar personality to his FunnyGal mom. The other day, we walked into the waiting room of a car dealership while an emissions test was being done. As we went to sit down, I noticed two older women in the room, both concentrating on what they were reading.
As I stood FunnyKid up on my lap, he looked at each woman carefully, but they kept reading. Now, FunnyKid is used to getting a lot of attention when we're out in public. And I guess he felt that he wasn't getting the proper attention at the car dealership.
Because my little ham looked straight at one of the women, coughed a couple of times and then, when she finally looked up, gave her his biggest grin (which, of course, got her to make faces at him and comment about how cute he is). Oh man, am I in trouble with this kid!
I was at a coffee shop the other day when a woman dressed pretty professionally walked in and sat a few tables away. I only noticed her because she was talking to FunnyKid and making faces at him. Otherwise she would have blended in with all the other professionally dressed people who have meetings or do work at coffee shops everywhere.
Anyway, the woman went to sit down and I noticed that in addition to her dress, Bluetooth in her ear and the laptop bag she was carrying, she was wearing a jean jacket. I thought that was a little odd because I didn't think jean jackets are in fashion anymore, but whatever. Then she turned around and I noticed the jacket had a huge crest embroidered on the back. Wondering what (jean jacket-wearing) club she belonged to, I looked a little closer and read the word "Hogwarts."
Oh yes, professionally dressed lady at Panera to work on her laptop, I don't care what kind of work you do, you will not be getting my business. Because you could be the best *insert job title here* in the world who makes millions of dollars a year and has a waiting list of people begging you to let them be your clients and I just can't get past the fact that you think you're an alum of an imaginary school in a young adult novel. Next time, Harriet Potter, a black blazer is a better choice.
It's hard to imagine two friends who are less alike. While we live in the same town and are married to guys who grew up together, one of us has a daughter while the other has a son. One of us works full-time while the other stays home and dabbles in a bunch of part-time gigs. One of has lots of adventures but not enough time to blog about them, while the other leads a more boring life and has plenty of time to write about it. One thing we do have in common is our sense of humor... and the knowledge that we're funny. Very funny. See if you agree...
We also have some pretty funny readers. Leave your comments (funny or otherwise), especially if it includes references to how fast we look like we've lost the baby weight.