I’ve made it through the first week. There have been times where I’ve had to give up products, events and nights out with friends because they are going to somewhere specific and I don’t have a coupon for that place. In general, though, it is getting easier as I go along. I’m feeling more confident in my ability to both find coupons and to use them. And, as a side note, the jambalya I’m cooking for tonight’s dinner smells fantastic!
To recap. My biggest challenges so far have been: finding produce and meat by coupon; finding coupons for specific products/planning specific meals; and getting over the embarrassment factor. My biggest successes have been: getting over the embarrassment factor; organizing my coupons and planning my shopping trips; getting products for free; and generally saving money. I am keeping all of my receipts and will tally up my total savings at the end of the month, but so far I’ve saved over $30 in groceries and I haven’t really bought that much. That’s not including all the savings of me not spending on spontaneous items. I’ve also learn to barter for things to get around the coupon stipulation: I drive you home, you buy me a drink. It’s a little stretching the rules, but I think it’s a good skill to have (and my friends are great and would buy me the beer anyways to support my project).
I’ve been doing a lot of research about coupons, which I will be writing about in the days to come, and I came across a great quote. Groupon.com founder Andrew Mason was interviewed on the Time.com The Cheapskate Blog in June 2009. It’s an interesting interview about the start of group buying. The last question was: “What things are hot items that sell out quickly?”. Mason talks about a few items and services that were great sellers. His final paragraph, though, is about the least popular deal. It made me laugh, so here you go (the photo is my addition):
Our least popular deal was a live lobster delivery service for $75—only sold about 15 of those. I think it’s because we were confused and positioned them as pets, not food. But we still feel great about that deal; a Skokie resident emailed to let us know that she can’t imagine life without her new lobster companions.
(To read the whole interview, click here)