The “Q’s” in Crystal’s Curls and Q’s is coupons in case you didn’t know. I love couponing. I finally found something that I love and that I do well. (I like other things but this is something that is not a time waster)

I became a couponer by chance actually.  Several years ago, I had the idea to start couponing, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. Then last summer, while my mom was here, she and I were flipping channels and we came across “Extreme Couponing” on TLC. I was intrigued to say the least. I finished that episode and immediately went and bought a newspaper. (I think I bought 2 papers). I posted something on Facebook about couponing and luckily for me, one of my girlfriends from college saw the post and told me she was a couponer. She told me everything I needed to know and the rest is history.

Couponing is not something I want to keep to myself. I think everyone should do all they can to save money. Why should we pay full price for something when the LEGAL opportunity is there to avoid paying for it?

When I tell people I am am couponer they immediately say something along the lines of, ” I bet you have a lot of stuff you don’t even use.” My answer is, “Well, actually I don’t.” I buy what my family uses. Sometimes I will buy something I have never tried before such as this week I used coupons to by Magnum ice cream bars. But the point is that we eat ice cream and trust me those Magnums didn’t go to waste;)

I have a stockpile of personal care items, household cleaning products, paper towels, tissue and school supplies. I use coupons when I shop for clothes and shoes as well as when I go to restaurants. So I guess that makes me cheap.  I like…no, I LOVE nice things. I don’t want to spend all my money for them though. I am always looking for the deal. I feel satisfaction in knowing that I am not making someone rich at the expense of me going broke. I only wish I had learned to coupon long ago and I hope that I instill this into my children.

There is a difference between being cheap and being stingy.  Stingy is selfish. Cheap is conscientious. It is a thought process to know that you are saving. You can be cheap and still help people. There are plenty of couponers who donate some of their stockpile to shelters and other organizations that provide to the needy. I have given things to people in their time of need just as others have given to me in my time of need. Just knowing I am apart of a collective that cares about the needs of other people is encouraging.

I had a friendship end over my cheapness. My friend told me out of the blue that I was cheap. This was WAY before I became a couponer. But I was married with my first child who wasn’t even 1yr old and had just bought my first home and hadn’t been in it 6 months. My friend was single and childless. She told me I was cheap  and ended our friendship over it. I was hurt and I was offended. I really didn’t know what prompted it because it was totally out of the blue when she ended our friendship. We didn’t talk for several years and I really missed her. Luckily we are friends again and my friend now appreciates my couponing and we talk about it (couponing and saving money) often.

Back then I was offended at being called cheap. I am no longer offended by that. I embrace it. I am cheap. I love it. I have all the things I want and I have not sacrificed my lifestyle to get it. Cheap is in. At least cheap is in for me.