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Saving Money: Finding What Works for You

By Darlene Arechederra

I admit it! I'm guilty!

My husband has lovingly accused me of taking *nothing* out of the fridge and making something out of it. I transform it into a scrumptious, edible meal, and he shakes his head in wonder. He's delighted each and every time I pull it off.

And do you know what happens when he grins at me that way?

I keep doing it! Every chance I get. It comes naturally for me. It's a pleasure, and it's one of the small ways I save money.

But, not all money-saving strategies come naturally to everyone. For me, there's one that creates more stress in my busy world. It works for others, but not for me.

I'm talking about collecting and using coupons to save even more money while shopping.

If using coupons seems easy for you, you're probably in your element using them. You enjoy the process of finding, clipping, sorting and organizing them. You're always on the lookout for new coupons you can use to help you save money.

Or, maybe like me, you'd rather mess with a hive of bees than deal with coupons.

Over the years, I tried to do the coupon thing. You know. Making sure you've got the newspapers, flyers, magazines. Oh my, which ones to keep? So many choices! And we don't want to clip something we normally wouldn't use just because we have that coupon for it. Right?

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In my coupon journey, I'd pull the coupons out, page by page and tuck them away just in case I needed them. So there they sat. A pile of clutter for me to move around.

But hey, maybe if I shove them in my glove box it'd work better. I cleaned out the glove box to make more room for these money-saving chunks of gold.

Finally, the big day arrives. I'm actually at the store. And my coupons are still intact. My blood pressure shoots up as I envision all that money I'm going to save. I'm only minutes away from having that extra money to buy my new car.

So far, so good. I've found my goodies. I'm ready to go. I've made it, big time. Confident and pleased with myself, I place my items on the conveyor belt that's zipping right along. It should be illegal for something to move so fast. I'd bring home a speeding ticket if I kept that speed on the highway.

But, I've got to pull my eyes back to the road now. Oops. It looks like... a speed bump up ahead. Better slow this baby down.

What do you mean, "This Coupon's Expired?" How could this happen?

Fine, then. They can't ALL be expired. I'm going to pull out my patience and use it for awhile. I'm almost home-free with my bundle of savings.

"Uh, Miss? I'm sorry, but these aren't the right items for those coupons you've got there."

My eyeballs began to roll at this point. I restrained them, remembering the manners my mother taught me.

"Well! Thank you for sharing that with me!" I tried to separate my clenched teeth. It took me a bit to manually snap my jaw back in place, too. I followed with a deep, long breath for stress relief.

And as I slowly exhaled, I decided I'd never, ever be caught in line with coupons in my hand that didn't save me any money. I spent time and energy by searching, clipping, storing and carrying them around with me. And of course, remembering to bring them in to the store with me. I had done this more than once, and never with any good results.

No more coupons for me!

No, I'm going home where I'll make a scrumptious meal out of nothing from the fridge. I'll listen to hubby's oohs and aahs. And I'll feel great again, knowing I'll still save today. Just as soon as I take something for this headache, of course.

Yes, I'll save some money today. But I'll do it MY way.

© Darlene Arechederra
Darlene Arechederra leads the delightful series, "Coming Home: A Woman's Journey to One-Income Living."Women of two-income households who want to find their way back home from the workplace will enjoy this gentle, energizing jumpstart. Visit with Darlene at


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