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Mama Loved to Clip Coupons and Grocery Shop

Updated on October 20, 2011
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is an author, freelance writer, and photographer. She has an AAS degree in equine tech and is a certified instructor.

making a Grocery List
making a Grocery List

There is one field in which I do not take after my mama. I do not like to grocery shop. But, my mama was a fanatic grocery shopper, and she knew how to make her dollars stretch. It started with her paying a quarter for the local weekly newspaper.

She then poured over the full-page grocery store ads looking for the "specials." As she made her lists she pulled out her little coupon organizer and compared them to her list of specials, noting that on her list. Where she really hit the jackpot was in the stores that paid double, sometimes, triple for coupons. She actually made money on a few items at those stores.

We lived in a small town, so driving to three stores to shop was not all that time or gas consuming. Which is exactly what Mama did, with lists, coupons, and checkbook in her purse she hit every store in town. It was a social event as well. The grocery store was where the ladies in our town met and exchanged gossip as well as information about what store had the best produce and meats.

Shopping Spree

Once when a new grocery store opened in our town Mama won a shopping spree during their grand opening. The rule was you could not pick up duplicate items within the allotted time limit. For example you could pick up one package of ten pork chops, but not two packages with five in each.

Mama was the most excited I'd ever seen her. My cousin was visiting us for summer vacation. She and I were allowed to run around the store and help Mama shop. The idea was to get as big a tab as possible in the time limit. Mama headed straight to the meat department and got the biggest ham she could grab, then a turkey, a roast and so on. My cousin and I ran for the snacks and goodies department. Being kids what else would you expect? Mama gathered $150 in groceries that day, which back then was a huge amount.

No, I don't follow in Mama's footsteps when it comes to grocery shopping. I clip the coupons, but then forget I have them. I don't have one of those little coupon organizers that look like a miniature file folder. I do make lists, but I seldom read the ads in the newspaper. Most of the time I buy the store brands, assuming they are cheaper. And worse of all, I only go to one grocery store; the one closest to my house. I think I'll make it my mid-year resolution to buy one of those coupon file folders and start reading the store ads. I might even check out one of the other grocery stores in town. I hear there is a new one. Well, it's been in business three years, but I haven't been yet. I guess if Mama could see my dash-and-grab method of grocery shopping she'd wonder how she could have raised such a child.


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    • moonlake profile image


      11 years ago from America

      I use to clip when the kids were home. I do some now but I also forget to take the coupons. I also forget to take the cloth bags we all should be using while buying groceries. I buy them then leave them in the car.

      I guess old age.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      11 years ago from California Gold Country

      Maybe I'm related to your Mama, or at least i used to be. I got to be pretty good at couponing when I had growing boys at home. Nice hub.

    • trish1048 profile image


      11 years ago

      Hi again Donna,

      Glad you liked my cat. She is my middle cat, about 5 yrs old, and my biggest one, a real FATSO lol,,,,,NOT a lap kitty, but definitely a snuggler :)


    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      11 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Thank you for reading it:o)

      They didn't have price matches when Mama was alive. I bet she would have still gone to every grocery store in town, just to visit with everyone.

    • Kim Cantrell profile image

      Kim Cantrell 

      11 years ago from Deep In The Pages of a Book

      Great hub! My mother was more a shop and dash person and I'm more like your mother: I read every sales paper and clip coupons. Fortunately, our local Wal-Mart price matches, so I only have to shop at one store. For me, it's a challenge to see just how much I can save! Good luck with your endevor! :)

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      11 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Same here, maybe writing this will help motivate me.

      I love the cat picture on your avatar!

    • trish1048 profile image


      11 years ago

      Hi Donna,

      Very cute hub! My mom did the same thing, and I, like you, don't do it. For a while in my early years of marriage I did, but I stopped doing it after a few years. Have no idea why,,,

      With today's economy going through the roof, it's something I may just revisit :)

      Thanks for sharing,



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