Note: Yesterday I posted a bit on how I am trying to get out of this bad cycle. Read here how I got there.
Over the past year I have ben working a ton of hours in order to make ends meet, (not very successfully). During this time my house fell apart around me. I would come home to dishes piled up in the sink. The girls were still wearing their pajamas or the clothes from the day before. Toys were scattered throughout the house. It is the last thing that I wanted to come home to after a 10-12 hour shift. I would rant and rave and develop a full fledged panic attack. I would go straight to bed and avoid the mess my life had turned into.
The next day, I would go into work and be overwhelmed with the amount of work there. The whole time I would feel guilty about not doing all I needed to do at home. It was a constant struggle. I would want to quit my job every day so that I could be home with the girls. To do what needed to be done for my family at home. I couldn't though because I was the wage earner for the family. I cursed women's libbers every day (still do). I wanted to be a mom and I felt like a failure at it.
Every night Nolen would call and ask me what was for dinner. I knew that I couldn't be home to cook, let alone go to the store to get what was needed. As you read with my other post, this was our time of eating out most nights. Then one day when Nolen asked his usual question, I responded with, "Why should it be up to me, you are at home all day, you figure it out." I stopped giving him money to go out to eat. I told him to eat what we had in the house.
For about a week, we ate sandwiches, eggs, cereal. Once Nolen got sick of that he asked if he could go to the grocery store and start learning how to cook. The first few times, he would call me from the store and ask me about every little thing. It bothered me, because I felt like he should be able to use logic to figure it out. This coming from a trainer/teacher. I guess I gave all I had at work, that I didn't feel like giving it to my husband when I got home. This was NOT fair to him at all.
One day I came home and Nolen said that he was going to start couponing. I stood there staring at him with a look of amusement and disbelief. Then I listened to what he had to say. After a few times of going to the store, he realized just how expensive food was. He realized just how much money we had been wasting. So he went online and searched couponing sites. He started buying a Sunday paper and clipping coupons. Watching him got me motivated to get back into couponing as well.
I decided to sit down with him and teach him to read the sale flyers and match them up with coupons. It was also at this time that I helped him menu plan based on these flyers. In another post I have shown how I have simplified menu planning.
In the month of couponing we have saved a ton of money. We are still learning how to do it within reason and not "overdoing it", like most newbies to couponing. Future posts will show our successes and failures. We have also gone from eating out 6-7 nights a week to once a week. I don't buy anything without thinking about it, getting a coupon, and price comparing between stores.
You may be saying that it all seems like a lot of work. It is at first. But when you go from spending $200 on a weeks worth of groceries, to spending between $50 and $75 it is well worth it. I can coupon when watching TV. Sarah helps cut out the coupons and I organize them.
A future post will deal with the specifics of couponing and some great websites/blogs to look at. I will also have another post on how I am struggling with finding balance at work. That one will be a doozy.