Monday, May 9, 2011

Extreme Couponing: Why I love it, but hate it more...

Although the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence (or however that expression goes - I was never good an idioms), I have come to accept the fact that I thrive on challenges rather than the goal itself. So when I heard about extreme couponing, I became fascinated. Wow, I want to get $250 worth of groceries for only two dollars and eighteen cents! How do I do it???

But the more I researched, the more the concept turned me off, and this is why:

*It's REALLY time consuming to research, go through, clip through, look up, print out, file, keep track on calendar when expiration dates are, etc. I have a full-time job, as well as a plethora of other side projects... PLUS, I like to volunteer at the pet shelter and spend time with my friends and family, and most of all, I like to sleep and REST!!!! Perhaps things would be different if I had children and was a stay-at-home mom... but then again, maybe not.... why? Because...

*Most of these coupons and rebate offers are for products that aren't earth-friendly and/or socially responsible. And even if they claim to be, they are not NEEDED. I don't buy what I don't need when it comes to household products. For example, why do I need to save two dollars on Tide when I can make my own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar??? I spent about 8 dollars in 2008 on supplies to make my own laundry soap. It is now 2011, and I still have not used up the ingredients I bought - not even half of it! I spend MAYBE a DOLLAR per year on laundry soap. Crazy, ain't it???

*I also feel like a lot of these coupons are for food products that are processed or canned. Canned food is great for a rainy day. But not for eating every single day - the preservatives and the fact that these foods have lost a lot of their nutrition from being canned is not healthful. Also, people are now developing all kinds of crazy food allergies/sensitivities and going through all these health problems, including neurological and behavioral problems in kids, because of highly processed food anymore. Did you know that Japan can't accept much non-perishable food donations for the tsunami relief, because Japanese people can't even digest that crap??? Yeah. Scary. I think I'll just stick to driving 30 minutes each week to the Dekalb Farmer's Market for my fresh (and cheap) foods - it's worth my health and livelyhood.

*I also heard that extreme couponing also includes purchasing products you don't even use just to "profit" from the coupon/rebate thing. It's awesome that you can buck the system... but I feel like it's way too superfluous for my taste. I hate clutter, why would I want a bunch of crap I don't use in my house? And why would I want to promote products I don't even like/believe in/use?

This is just a bunny's opinion. If it works for you and your family, go for it. There's nothing like taking from monster corporations. But for me and my household, we'll stick to our principles of social responsibility (or at least making it a goal to be socially responsible).

~Jenny Bunny Bunns <3

Monday, May 2, 2011

Going Analog!

I finally did it... I said goodbye to my precious smartphone and got a regular, old-fashioned cell phone (yes, it still has a camera). I went to T-Mobile today, and got one of those "FREE" phones - of course, it's only free because I had to sign onto another 2 year contract. Then I downgraded my plan, getting rid of my dataplan. So no internet, no apps. No Facebook, no emails, no Twitter (except through text messaging), etc. It's 2008 all over again :P Hahaha!

This new plan will be saving me at least $27 a month. It doesn't seem like much, but that's $324 a year. If I keep cutting little things out, pretty soon I'll have a grand to spare by next year. Maybe (hopefully) even more! Another advantage to this, is to un-tether myself from my phone. If there was 10 seconds that I'd have to wait in line at the grocery store, I'd check my messages on my phone. Even if I had nothing to check on my phone, I'd still be messing with it. Whatever happened to standing in line for 10 seconds without having the urge to fixate on something? Also, looking down at your phone constantly is REALLY bad for your neck - worse than one thinks (but that's a whole other story), because it is a "silent killer" (no symptoms felt when the damage is done). So I felt I had to simplify my life. It was nice to know that some of my friends had already gone that way, and it inspired me to do it, too. If they can survive without it, so can I!

While I was waiting for the lady to transfer my data from my old phone to my new phone, there was another customer who was hitting on all the female workers. He was laying it on THICK. My first impulse was to Tweet about it. OOP! No phone, can't do it! Crap. Well, while I wait, I can finish replying to my client's email. GAH! Again, no phone! Oh well. I can play my word game. AUGH! Ok, ok, fine. Hmm.... my mind wanders... I wonder if I should take Millhouse to the dog park on Wednesday. It depends on the weather. Let me check the weath- YARGH!!!! Ok, SERIOUSLY, I was GLUED to that dang smartphone. When I got back home, I was customizing my phone. No live wallpapers that move and interact with you, no ringtones that you can download, then edit yourself... It really made me realize how user-friendly those smartphones are. Which is cool - but also dangerously addicting. Oh boy, what did I get myself into??? Is saving $27 a month really worth it??

By the evening, I had refreshed on myself how to use Twitter through text messaging. It's definitely limiting, but maybe limits are a good thing! With so much stimulation with technology, no wonder people are getting so-called "A.D.D." The quietness of these 8 hours going analog has actually been refreshing. I really felt like one of the civilians in the movie Wall-E, when their screens were turn off. They stopped yapping on their chat phones and realized the beauty that surrounded them right then and there! I saw the sun, I saw the trees, I saw the doggie poop... :P Well... I'm still adjusting, but I get spurts of excitement for doing something good for my wallet and good for my well-being. :)