By now most people have heard about some of the wild shopping/saving techniques of the self-proclaimed 'extreme couponers'. You may have watched the show...you may have even been on the show. Although I do consider myself an extreme cheapie when it comes to grocery shopping, I don't think I've quite stepped over into the abyss. Here's my method of determining one's level of couponing extremity. If more than three of these warning signs describes you...call TLC immediately to set up a shoot for their show!
1. You call your pantry a stockpile.
2. You insure your stockpile.
3. You call your grocery shopping trip a 'haul'.
4. You've had to install more than one shelving unit to store your stockpile.
5. Your bedroom (under the bed, in the closet...anywhere) has either toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo or cereal stored in it.
6. You consider leaving the store with Ramen noodles, flavored water, toothpaste and toothbrushes a great shopping trip.
7. You require assistance to your car and you DON'T have your kids along or move about via wheelchair.
8. You know what a line limit is, and you know your store's.
9. You plan on more than two transactions during your checkout--and they're all for you.
10. It takes you more than 10 minutes to check out, even with a competent employee scanning.
11. Your kids are excited when the Sunday paper comes and they keep ads in their rooms. (Guilty on this one! Like I said...more than three!)
12. Your kids know what stores in the area double coupons.
13. You've invested in a paper cutter for reasons other than scrapbooking.
14. You bring either a binder or file box to the grocery store.
15. You've been in a dumpster or recycling bin looking for coupons.
16. You measure your toilet paper, not by rolls, but by height.
I'm sure there are many other signs, but these are the few I've picked up from the show. Now, fess up! Have any of you readers made it to extremity?
was the happiest day of my life. No, I'm not just that into Flag Day, although it's a worthy enough holiday. On this day in 2003, my hubby and I tied the knot. Ever since then, we've been together making our dreams come true.
We've had some ups and downs through our years together, but one thing has remained constant. Our relationship has always been a joy, a safe harbor, a delight. We've worked together to be closer all the time, we've (so far) survived the initial years of parenting, we've laughed at the same weird things for years now. You've put up with my lame puns and corny humor; I've learned to appreciate the joys of college football. This give and take of marriage is wonderful stuff...a safe place to learn, grow and love. A sense of 'home' personified into a rewarding relationship.
This past year in particular has shown me that no matter what difficulties arise, we'll be okay. We can stick together and brave whatever storms arise (including surgeries!). I'm so excited to see what is coming up for us both.
Let's brush up, shall we? Here is the link for Part 3.
We last left Hannistina rushing home from the BonMuffin Bakery...rushing from the short, bald man who sighed and dreamed over her next culinary disaster. Poor Dudley!
Hannistina hurried from the cold, brisk evening into the warm kitchen. She wrinkled her delicate nose. The smoke still hung in the air and tainted the ambiance with the smell of imperfection. She quickly set the table with the succulent offerings and whisked away her canvas tote into the back bedroom. She was not a moment too soon, because there came a knock from the front door that sent shivers down her spine. Hannistina hurried to the front door, pausing only long enough to glance in the hall mirror and see her cheeks glowing and eyes sparkling from the excitement. She grandly opened the front door with a flourish, but the sight at her front door took her breath away.
Hannistina smiled slightly and asked, "May I help you?".
"Yes. I am Georgio Ghiradelli. I am looking for Miss Hannistina Hershey. Is she here?".
"Please come in. I've been so looking forward to meeting you." Hannistina recovered from her shock as she stepped back and motioned him in. She realized that he was standing in his coat and hat and remembered to offer to take them. Her eyes widened as he took off his hat. His hair was even redder than it had first appeared when she had first laid eyes on him!
Georgio laughed a loud, abrasive laugh. "Most people expect me to be the tall, dark and handsome man that my name implies. I understand the shock. I hope the disappointment doesn't ruin our evening!".
Hannistina flushed with shame. How could this presumptuous man read her mind?
"I am so sorry, " she replied. "I did not mean to offend you. I just..."
He interrupted, "Your house is filled with a mixture of smells." His face scrunched as he worked to sort the smells in his mind. Without any prompting from Hannistina, Georgio followed the mixture of scents wafting from the kitchen.
"I have a nose that knows food smells, some even call me the 'savant of scents', but this is a combination that I have never before encountered." Hannistina followed him meekly, knowing that she did not want to explain. Maybe he would let it go. Before she entered the kitchen, her heart was struck with horror as her eyes went from the beautiful tablescape to her stove top. She spied the large pot of chili on the back burner, still simmering!
"Ah, what have we here? A ragout, of course. You must taste mine...". His voice died away as he discovered the true contents of the pot. "Oh, yes, of course. You Americans rank supreme in the making of meals such as this. One pot wonder, no doubt. The only thing I wonder is how a person of taste can enjoy something so very homespun." He said the word 'homespun' as if it were a curse word.
Irrational though it may be, Hannistina instantly began defending her chocolate-laced chili, which she had been more than willing to wish out of existence the moment before. Hot words spewed back and forth, hers praising the simple cook with soul, his praising the extraordinary ingredient. The result was this mutual ultimatum...each would try the other's fare and critique it in light of their extremely high culinary principles. Hannistina retrieved a fresh spoon from her immaculate silverware drawer and scooped a sample of the fateful chili, making sure to give the spoon a dramatic swish to highlight her 'soulful' creation.
Georgio tasted, tasted again, then rested his features into an arrogant smirk. (the beast!)
I am fairly certain these were in my dream last night...along with fried chicken. Don't ask...it's a pregnancy thing.
"You call that a masterpiece? You have no idea to what heights a truly fresh, high quality product can carry you..." His speech lasted for eight more minutes, despite her ferocious staring. At last, he daintily put on his white silk gloves, retrieved his refrigerated briefcase and began to open. Hannistina caught a glimpse of her heart's true desire...truffles, truffles, and more truffles. Each truffle was enclosed in its own temperature-controlled plastic compartment inside the briefcase, so as to be absolutely perfect for the lucky taster. A small hiss of air escaped as Georgio opened the case of a dark chocolate confection. With white-gloved hand he cautiously picked up the tender morsel, fanning it lightly with his spare hand. The aroma of the chocolate brought goosebumps all over her Hershey's kiss-gorged body. She took a bite. Somewhere in the distance she was sure she heard strings crooning out their romantic melody. She closed her eyes...
To catch up on the first two installments, click here: Part 1Part 2
If one installment is all you can stand at a time, read on... Hannistina was just screaming to herself....
"My lovely dinner is ruined! Oh what shall I do?".
The answer was obvious. This was not the first time she had been in this sort of dilemma. Her salvation was just across the street at Dudley BonMuffin's Bakery and Catering. She squelched a pang of guilt as she stuffed three pieces of Great Grandmother's heirloom Le Creuset bakeware into a large canvas tote bag. "Just once more and never again." she firmly resolved.
A small bell jingled as Hannistina entered the bakery. Dudley BonMuffin looked up as he drizzled chocolate sauce over a fresh batch of profiteroles. His pulse quickened.
"Can I help you Miss Hershey?" His greeting was anything but rote. There was a tender eagerness that washed over her unnoticed. If she had taken a careful look at Dudley, she might have noticed what tender, sensitive eyes were set in his plump, bald head. But she was always in a hurry. Always in a predicament. This fact did not bother Dudley. She was his damsel in distress. Fixing her culinary nightmares was the stuff of his finest dreams.
Yes, that is Dudley there on the left, sitting forlornly. <<sigh>>
She chose zucchini vichyssoise to start. Dudley ladled it into one of the dishes. Next the entree: roast duck with haricots verts. He placed the duck quite carefully so no one would ever guess that it had not been there to start with, then he arranged the haricots verts all around. A perfect light dinner so there would be plenty of room for dessert. Dudley's specialty was tiramisu. He offered Hannistina a full chilled bowl from the walk-in. Of course she could take his glass dish home. Of course she could use some of his insulated carrying cases for the hot dishes.
"Miss Hershey, I would be honored to escort you home."
"That's not necessary, but thank you, Mr. BonMuffin." she said cooly. She glanced down at him briefly and noticed only that he was nearly a foot shorter than herself. Alas! She noticed nothing of his noble heart! The bell jingled and all too soon she was gone. Dudley heaved a heavy sigh.
To be continued...try not to bite your fingernails clear off in your anticipation!