Now if you read the title of this blog post and rolled your eyes at the word "coupons," you clearly aren't trying to raise four Wees in the midst of a recession. Wees eat. In fact they eat a lot and therefore we coupon. Now we aren't extreme couponers - no need to send a TLC camera crew to our house or for us to build an annex out of cereal boxes for our supply of dental floss. But we do coupon and the Wees have mixed emotions about it.
Victoria thinks coupons are pretty cool for two main reasons. Cutting them out of the newspaper is the only time she gets to use really big adult scissors and because they are forbidden most of the time, she feels extra powerful with them in her hands. The kid also loves brand name snacks. Shopping with Wee 1 is like having a living infomercial chatting it up besides you. Often, I hand her the coupon and let her pick the flavor she prefers for an item. What ensues is a battle of the brands via a commercial reciting monologue. For example a few weeks ago it was time for us to buy cereal and Victoria had to choose from Rice Krispies or Frosted Flakes. Her verbalized introspection went something like this:
"Frosted flakes are "GRRRREEEAT" so clearly that would be a good choice, but Rice Krispies go "Snap, Crackle and Pop" and that is entertaining. I don't think the Frosted Flakes have every actually said anything so I am going to go with Rice Krispies -the taste and the added sound track make them better."
Bella is clearly flummoxed by coupons. First of all the name continually throws her for a loop and she calls them "poopons". She says this in a manner in which the "poop" part is heavily accented. She then pauses and says "ons." We don't know why she does this and what makes it even more interesting is that she clearly does not think she is being funny and in no way associates her pronunciation with a bodily function of any kind. She reacts with strong feelings of anger when teased by her pronunciation and has resisted all efforts at correcting it.
Wee 2 knows these "poopons" are imbued with magical powers, that allow us to "save" money for fun things like going to Disney World and that make cash register shelf candy free. What she doesn't get is how they do wonderful magic tricks and why everyone else doesn't use them. On more than one occasion she has asked the person checking out in front of us "You aren't going to use a "poopon" for that? Are you rich or do you just not like candy?"
Because most people - especially those without wees - don't know what a "poopon" is, we have gotten a mixture of responses from her questioning. These ranged from sheer horror of the word "poop" being mentioned and their being in close proximity to a child who may have had something to do with that recently and a kind old man who once gave her a quarter for being so concerned about his financial well being.
Maddie and the coupons have a very adversarial relationship. What she understands about coupons is that they take up a lot of my Tuesday morning while the girls are at school. Time she very possessively feels she should be taking up. She also feels that they must somehow be her mortal foe as when she rips, scatters, or otherwise molests them I become quite irate and send her to time out.
What Wee 3 loves about coupons are the machines which spit them out in the grocery store. She is like a heat seeking missile when she sees that little red flashing light. And whether it is something we will never use like adult diapers or something we use way to much of like baby diapers she has a compulsive need to pull one coupon from each machine. What is nice is that she only wants one, as "sharing" with strangers is far easier for her than sharing with her siblings.
Reid's stance on coupons is fairly ambivalent. For a 3 month old he is shockingly impervious to all forms of marketing. He cares very little about what brand of diaper he is wearing or whether or not he is getting a free candy bar at the end of the shopping trip. Though I think he finds the blinking light on instore displays entertaining, more research needs to be done on this. His primary area of interest is whether or not cutting or using coupons interferes with his eating schedule. So long as I can clip and he can sip he remains supportive of the entire enterprise.
A wee bit thrifty,