I'm a software engineer with an extreme couponing wife. I'm educated, maybe even smart, but what she does with math and coupons is creating the "New Math" of this generation. I can't understand it. When she explains it she uses words I know and recognize but not in the couponing context. I have no idea how she applies this "doubler" with a coupon and then watches for specific sale priced items to trigger a "Catalina" thus creating an overage…What? She keeps everything so clean, organized, and at her hip for a moment’s notice. She can tell me how much she'll save tomorrow and even next week. I just don't get it. But I do understand that our grocery bill has been cut by 80% or more over the last 8 months. Old or new, that math is understood by all.
I can't gripe about the couponing and the amount of stockpile we have because it would be like standing on a pile of gold yelling, "What am I supposed to do with all this gold?" I can't even openly gripe about the weight gain because that's my own problem that I won't admit, but I think I just did. However, I'm noticing since most of the food is not the healthiest, but entirely delicious, and stored in every room of our house, it's easy access. It's my inability to control my eating that's at issue here, not couponing. So, no open gripes from me, but maybe just a little help for other husbands.
From one dude to another dude who's been struggling with this "win-mini/win" situation called couponing, I provide you with three tips I've learned to help me deal with this phenomenon sweeping our households:
- Be interested in your wife's coupon deals. OK guys, we know our wives are only reading that bold text because they have to focus on the couponing. The real title of this one is: "Act interested in your wife's coupon deals." You don't have to actually be interested, just show it. Use your body with appropriately timed head nods and throw in words like: "Wow" “That’s great!” "Awesome, honey!” Avoid words like: "Why?" "No" and "I'm too busy."
- Give her all the room she needs for her stockpile. Again, what this really means is that you just need to move stuff around and stack it nicely so it creates mores space in the space she already has. NEVER give up more of your garage space. Geez, I shouldn't even have to say that to men, but there it is. One way to achieve more space and prevent her from sprawling is to go up. Stack her food higher; even out of her reach–at least it's not taking up more useable space in your man cave. Build a step ladder or use those 60 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup nobody in your house eats.
- Make her feel good about what she's doing. No kidding on this one. I think you should always make your wife feel good about what she's doing. However, the real trick is to do it when she isn't expecting it—way more husband points that way. For example, let's say you're both washing the car and haven't been talking about coupons for the last 10 minutes (I know that's a fantasy, but it's my fantasy). So just out of nowhere, throw out something like this: "I thought that was pretty smart the way you used that doubler with that coupon for the Spam. Pretty smart." Or "What did you say was going on sale this week?" Or even, "Tell me again how you got 80 boxes and then donated 70 of them to charity. How does that work?" You'll earn her respect, love, some husband points, and you don't even have to care about the response. Just make sure you get your wheels and rims clean and tight!
Those are just a few tips I’ve learned… All of them the hard way. The most important thing is to love and respect her: My wife coupons for the thrill of the find and for the joy of a hobby that saves her family a lot of money. Her "New Math" is the right math, and although I joke a lot, I'm doing what I can at home to make her life a little easier.
This has been a guest post by Brad from Gig Harbor, WA
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