My last two posts were about “The Purpose of Spectacular Wealth, According to a Spectacularly Wealthy Guy,” in the May 2 “money issue” of The New York Times Magazine.
A fascinating article in the same issue was "Honey, I Got a Year's Worth of Tuna Fish: Coupon Clipping as the Key to Economic Rebirth.” For me, this article illustrates absolutely how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Decades ago, couponing became a very big deal in women's magazines. This was before the internet, but couponing went viral nonetheless.
In those days, we were really struggling financially. We had two kids, and we always ran out of money before the end of the month. So I read the articles about “extreme couponing.” Just reading them exhausted me. I simply couldn’t comprehend how women were saving hundreds of dollars with coupons. None of the grocery stores I went to in the center of Chicago ever had double coupon days. And the store brands I bought routinely cost less than any national brand even with coupons. So I abandoned the idea out of hand.
The May 2, 2012 article mentions all the same tricks of combing through newspaper supplements for coupons, filing them, then combining deals at stores with the coupons you keep on file.
In this case, the people who are really benefiting are two women who developed couponing into an internet business called Fabulessly Frugal, and their followers.
Couponing doesn’t just sound exhausting, for me it is exhausting.
But I recall the old saying: "Find what you love to do, and you'll never work a day in your life." The two women in the NYT article seem to get a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction from having put together a successful business and from helping other women feed their families through tough times.