Coupon Mom Olympics

I started couponing about eight years ago. My first job out of college paid practically nothing and using coupons provided a way to stretch my budget. Almost everything I learned about coupons back then came from CouponMom.com, so I was excited to have the opportunity to shop in her Coupon Mom Olympics last week.

Six shoppers were given $50 to buy as many groceries as possible for a local charity in less than 30 minutes. I’m by no means an extreme couponer, but I was hoping years of coupon knowledge would help me take home the gold, silver or bronze ($500, $250, $100 Kroger gift cards respectively). My training consisted of asking friends and co-workers for coupons and creating a spreadsheet with my shopping strategy. I was feeling confident until I saw two of my competitors come in with bags and binders full of more coupons than I have used in the past calendar year. And became completely intimidated when they said they got them from going dumpster diving each week.

Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be a coupon champion, but it was fun to pretend that I was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep. After realizing that we could do more than one transaction at the register (something I ordinarily have no patience for), I figured out a last minute deal and only spent about $37. I should have thrown more items into my cart to use up the $50 budget – oh well. While waiting for the rest of the contestants to check out, I sat with another shopper and my shopping assistant (by the way, having a shopping assistant was fantastic) in rocking chairs that were for sale in the middle of the paper goods aisle of the Kroger. They have surprisingly comfortable chairs for a grocery store.

About an hour later the results were announced. I came in 5th place with under $200 in groceries. The gold medal shopper, Ashley, stretched her $50 budget to $700 in groceries for North Fulton Community Charities. Together, all of the shoppers purchased nearly $2,000 in groceries to provide hunger relief in our community. A reporter was there to capture the action for the local news, if you want to see the Coupon Olympics for yourself.

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BOLD 2014

I’m still trying to wrap up my 30 Before 30 list, so I decided to forgo New Year’s resolutions this year. On January 1st the idea of choosing one word to define 2014 seemed to be everywhere from The Today Show to blog posts, so I was inspired to pick one for myself. My word for this year is BOLD.

I don’t want to be afraid to try new things and take more chances. I want to be more fearless in how I approach my career, personal life and faith. Reminding myself to be bold will help me pursue opportunities that come along this year, even if they make me anxious.  Boldness will also give me the courage to say “no” to new obligations without feeling guilty about disappointing someone. I’m looking forward to seeing how being bold will shape 2014.

What word have you chosen to define this year?

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Last Minute Gifts to Avoid

December 23, 2013
DollarShaveClub_Holiday_Infographic (2)

It is officially crunch time for Christmas shopping procrastinators. There is still time to buy some last-minute gifts, but check out the infographic below for presents you might want to avoid – or they might end up returned or destroyed. It was created with guys in mind, but I definitely agree with some of the […]

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Five Gifts That Give Back

December 9, 2013
Gifts That Give Back

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. The end of the year is also the most popular time for charitable giving. Almost a third of online donations are made during last two days of the year. I think a donation to someone’s favorite cause makes […]

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Third Life Crisis?

November 27, 2013
Third Life Crisis

A few years ago, I used to play the game Rock Band with friends and our fake band was called “Quarter Life Crisis.” The name captured that stage of working at low-paying jobs and figuring out post grad life pretty well. I also rocked the vocals. Now that I’m 30, it feels like I have […]

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Almost 30

August 3, 2013

Birthday freebie emails are starting to hit my inbox, so it’s officially August! Instead of spending the last month of my twenties engrossed in episodes of Big Brother and drinking Sinless Margaritas by the pool, I’m planning on blogging more with updates about tackling my 30 Before 30 list, some money saving tips and other […]

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Things You Shouldn’t Say to Singles

April 28, 2013
Mouth

Thank you, Yahoo! Shine for posting an article about the “10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Singles.” I’ve seen these articles about the things you shouldn’t say to a bride, pregnant woman or mom, so it was refreshing to see an article that acknowledges the dumb things that people say to singles. Whether someone’s been married for 30 years or three […]

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Six Things I’ve Won Recently

April 16, 2013
Sweepstakes Winning Collage with Numbers

Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I blame this on my favorite hobby: sweepstaking. Okay, that’s not true (work, volunteering and other commitments are the true reasons behind my slack blogging), but my sweepstakes experiment continues to take up a few minutes of each week. I still haven’t won a car, cruise […]

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