Saturday, January 15, 2011

A completely sane manifesto

My name is Ashley, and I swear I'm not insane.

I feel like I need to stipulate this, because as soon as I admit that I use coupons on a regular basis, people start backing away slowly. "Oh... Are you one of those people?" TLC, or Totally Loco Channel, is not helping with their latest series on the most pathological, obsessive, and ridiculous among the couponing community.

I'm probably not helping much either, since every time I step up to a cashier I try to fend off her ire with a self-depricating, "Heh-heh, sorry. I'm one of those crazy coupon ladies." At which point she will usually get a sickly smile on her face, assure me that it's fine, and ostentatiously call for register backup.

Well, I'm done apologizing. Yes, I use coupons. A lot of them. And I score a lot of stuff for free or very cheap. But I'm not a hoarder. Nor am I a dumpster diver. To me, couponing is a fun pasttime, with rewards that I can share with my family, friends, and community.

I think that a lot of people would be interested in learning how to save money without sacrificing, you know, their life. Or their garage. And there are certainly a ton of blogs out there for the committed couponer. I know, I use them all the time and I love them and I will probably be linking to them a lot here, because the amazing people who write those blogs are serious about what they do and very, very good at it. But they can be a little intimidating to the beginner or the casual couponer.

My goal with this blog is to create a Not-Crazy Couponing Way, a how-to guide for those who might not want to spend 3 hours a week scanning store ads or driving to 10 different stores a week. Those who have no intention of stockpiling 200 deodorants or 1000 boxes of pasta, or digging through other people's trash for coupon inserts, or taking up 3 checkout lines at the grocery store. (That TLC show really, really bugged me.) Those who want to get some great deals on stuff for their family, and maybe a little bit to donate to charity.

So my posts over the next week or so are going to center around establishing The Way, the Tao, if you will, of Not-Crazy Couponing. Then the plan is to feature a few really great deals each week, with maybe some real-life examples of what you can get for your money. I have no idea if I'm going to be speaking to an audience of 5, or 50, but of course I welcome suggestions on what you the readers want to know more about.

Thank you for bearing with me! Leave a comment to tell me you were here so I can get to know you better.

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