A Guys Perspective

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It’s Matt- For those who didn’t know Sarah is getting over the H1N1. She is close to getting things back to normal. Since I have been running things this week, Save at Home Mommy sent me this hilarious, but true post her husband did:

Four months ago, in the eyes of my wife, I was becoming a failure. Not because I was a lousy husband or deadbeat dad. Not because my performance at work was sub-par. I was becoming a failure in her eyes because I couldn’t complete a simple retail transaction at Target. To her, they were simple transactions. To me they were 12th grade honors calculus equations. “Ok, use this manufacturer coupon on this sale item from the Smart Source 625-009-639er with the store coupon when you BOGO and you’ll get this gift card to use on this transaction, oh wait…never mind. Instead, take these 28 coupons to use on these three items and they should give you…blah…coupon…sales ad…reward points…blah, blah, blah. Ready, BREAK! And don’t forget to profile the cashier before choosing your check-out register.” What?

At first, I was so determined to not disappoint her that I never turned down a  challenge. But I quickly realized I was in over my head. Once I began to get my coupons rejected, it was all downhill. I’m somewhat of a non-confrontationalist. My wife, on the other had, goes in to the stores with her corporate coupon policies strapped to her brass knuckles. If I had one coupon questioned or had to have the manager called over, I usually offered to pay them double and would throw my coupons up in the air and run out of the store squealing like my 4 year old little girl. And when we would make trips to the store as a family, inevitably the manager would be requested. As the SaveAtHomeMommy  would emerge from her phone booth ready to fight crimes of full-prices, I would  quickly gather the children and race to the car. It was about to get ugly. I didn’t want the kids to see this.

On multiple occasions, I came home, repented of sinful ways and vowed never to attempt a “simple” transaction again. So for a while, I stopped. It was too much pressure. I didn’t want to read about my shortcomings somewhere on the blogosphere. So I took some time off to gather myself. I continued to watch my wife complete complicated transactions with ease while our monthly grocery budget plummeted. Every once in a while I felt useful as I would gladly offer up my cutlery skills to clip the coupons on Sunday nights. I liked doing this. There was little room for failure. There’s dotted lines with small images of scissors. I was always complimented on my scissor skills in elementary school. This was my contribution. This was where I shined! But several weeks ago, things were really busy and I knew I could help my wife by making an early morning shopping run to the supermarket. So she did what she hoped would work. She wrote out very specific instructions, armed me with the sale ad and drew me some pictures with our kid’s crayons. And guess what? It worked. I completed the transaction correctly, used all the right coupons and came home with bags of groceries for little cash. Hey, it took almost four hours, but so what. I went to our van and was so excited about my triumph that through my tear-filled eyes, I tweeted about it before I left the parking lot. Now hundreds of people on my social networks would know that I’m not a loser. This morning, it happened again. I successfully completed a semi-complicated transaction. I even grew a little bit of a financially sound backbone as I was not leaving the store until I get my extra paper bucks, or whatever they’re called.

So it can be done. It takes a while, guys, but you can do this. Here are  my tips for dads to save at home, just like you mommies.

1. Women, keep your expectations very low. At failure level. One day soon, he’ll surprise you.

2. Pride cometh before your excessive toiletry budget. Develop a bit of “Who cares?” attitude. And I’ve got 19 bottles of aftershave in my cabinet. Do you?

3. Hand drawn pictures really do help. Those jumbo kindergarten crayons work best.

4. Think of it as your way of sticking it to the man. And then stick that extra cash in your pocket.

Seriously, guys this may seem complicated in the beginning, but it does get easier and you can really help your wife and participate in the weekly shopping if you take the time to learn a few simple guidelines.  Check out the Getting Started button on the menu bar to, well…Get Started!

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