Coupon shopping, bargain shopping, budget shopping, whatever you want to call it -- it's a humbling experience. I spend hours pouring over sales flyers, coupons and recipes. Then I go to the stores, where I wander up and down the isles at a snail's pace, occasionally stopping to hunt down stray coupons. I finally find all the items on my list, and head to the check out. In the interest of saving time in the long run, I head to the self checkout so I can go at my own pace, making sure all my items ring up at the correct price. Heaven help you if they don't and you need to assistance of a cashier. Next up: coupons. Sometimes they need to be scanned in a certain order. Sometimes they don't scan. Again, you are in need of assistance. Sometimes you have to do 10 transactions because you are buying 10 of the same item, have 10 coupons that can be doubled, but the store you are in only doubles one per transaction. People get in line behind you and you just want to warn them that you'll be another 20 minutes so you get your savings. Finally, you load all your bags into the cart, grab your 10 receipts, your list, your coupons, your club card and wallet and head out the door while the cashier stares at you for taking 30 minutes at the checkout.
I've seen people do this, and recently, I joined the ranks of the money savers. I will admit that I have chuckled to myself at these people do whatever it takes to get the best deal. I've thought badly of these people. I've judged them as being poor. Now it's my turn, and I just want to turn to people and say, "I'm not poor! My husband has a good job! I'm just doing this to help save money! Don't you know that I will eventually have to put two kids through college and pay for weddings?" But I don't. I just keep doing what I'm doing, half embarassed, half thrilled at the amount of my savings.
I just want to say that I've learned my lesson. I'm sorry to all those I've judged at the checkout counter. I truly regret my uncharitable thoughts, and I wish it didn't take being in your shoes to make me realize this.