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Because of the Extreme Couponing show on TLC tonight, I thought I’d dig up and share this golden oldie.  It’s one of the ‘greatest hits’ out of my all-time posts. Back in January 2009 I asked my husband to tell you what it was like to be married to a Coupon Queen. He had a lot of fun with it! When this was originally written, we’d just begun a series with the Cincinnati Enquirer called “Dieting on a Dime” that used our families as guinea pigs–showing how you could eat healthy on a budget.  I thought with all the discussion about when couponing crosses the line, it would be good to see a husband’s perspective–of the craziness that ensues, but also the good that comes out of it. 

I know it must not be easy to be married to a coupon queen! Read on…my gorgeous husband decided to let all the other ‘coupon widowers’ out there know that they’re not alone!
It has been said that during the World Cup (for non soccer fans think of the Superbowl, NBA finals and the World Series all rolled up in a four week extravaganza that takes place once every four years) the wife could walk naked into the room and I would not notice. This is true, but it no doubt would disturb my son. The same now can be said of my wife’s lap top and me. So when asked to write something about my experience living with a coupon queen I jumped at the chance to offer a public service announcement of sorts to other widowed spouses of coupon queens. By the way, do guys do this stuff? If so are they called Coupon Kings?

So let’s see…..write something about being married to a coupon queen and what I think about it. Oh yes, first of all I am not Mr. Little Miss Know It All or Little Mr Know It All. Far from it in fact. So any reference to me being LMKIA or MLMKIA or MLK, JFK, CIAFBI or whatever, should be dropped. I am also far from being an expert on anything. (except good beer and all things Manchester United) Ok, good, that’s out of the way.

I do remember back to life before LMKIA was a coupon queen, and it was a life of chicken patties, beer and cereal. Since the coronation it is a life of chicken patties, beer and cereal…..only now a lot cheaper, or affordable….perhaps even free. Oh, we also now have the national toilet paper surplus in our basement along with enough shampoo to keep us clean until thing number 1 goes off to college. Side note: Chicken patties are now out because of some diet we are all now on, but the Federal government still checks in every so often make sure we have enough TP in the national reserve for the next disaster.

Other than being well prepared for the next curry dinner it is nice to walk into a pantry and actually spend a long time deciding on what to eat. Not because you have to decide between oatmeal cream pies or crackers because that is all you have, but because you now have 20 different items to think about. Yes, I know, I’m sure the oatmeal cream pies are off the diet as well.

One benefit since the investiture is I no longer have to get the mail or the newspaper at the end of the driveway. They magically appear in the kitchen, often sitting in a stack of clippings (thank the Lord that the Sports section is no where near the Life/Coupon section). But in the mail are padded envelopes. Padded envelopes? Now, these kinds of things are normally the domain of secret agents dressed in trench coats at parks and they are normally filled with money or top secret documents. But now they arrive almost daily in the mail from people with equally strange covert code names like “Coups 4 U”, “Lisasmommy” and “FallenAngelOne”…..Are these really coupons?.

I have also had to learn a new language around the house. I already knew terms like “50 cents off” or “FREE”. But I did need reassurance that whatever a BOGO was that it was not painful or an instrument that Ringo Starr knows how to play.

Actually the new language is somewhat of a negative, along with the wife’s new perception of time. Here is a conversation that may sound familiar while she is in front of the computer.

Current time is 11:00 p.m.

Me: Coming to bed?
LMKIA: Yes in a minute.

Me: What are you working on?
LMKIA: Coups 4 U found a BOGO at Kroger for pizza but there is also a double Q going on at Meijier. I have some MQ’s as well which means I probably can do all this for $1 — AC/BC of course.

Me: Uh….Of course.
LMKIA: Yeah, and RingosGirl was on Coupon Loop and found a redeemable at Lowes, but if I take my CATs and use some of my RR’s I can get in on an ECB deal

Me: Sounds good dear (ignoring the fact we only have one cat and I don’t think any store would take a 13 year old feline on a trade). See you in a minute then?
LMKIA: Yep in a minute, I’m just printing some IP’s
(all the while not looking away from the screen).

Time is 11:02 p.m.

So I go to bed feeling like I just talked with the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons, thinking that the wife will be along in a minute. What would you think? Anyway, at 2:30 a.m. I hear the wife enter the room and come to bed. That must have been some IP that needed printing, I think in my half-sleep haze.

But, despite the fact that I have no idea what my wife said, and we obviously did not spend anytime together that particular night, I get home the next day and find that we now have 25 multi meat pizzas, 20 rolls of paper towels, a 30 foot extension cord and a case of beer I normally can not afford. Of course, like any man that suddenly discovers enough stuff to facilitate an NFL party I check the bank account. To my amazement there is only a $2 purchase that day at Meijer and a $10 purchase at McDonalds.

Me: Um…..$2 at Meijer?
LMKIA: Yeah, I know, sorry, they wouldn’t take one of my IP’s.

Me: Uh, OK. (trying to stay composed and not break down and cry at this messianic moment and quickly try to stifle my emotions. So I look for something to say or critique) And the $10 at McDonalds?

This warranted no verbal response from the wife. But I do get that look that say’s “Really? Are you kidding me?”

So we leave it at that.

Life since her majesty learned the way of coupons has been great. Really it is.   No one expects the other spouse to know everything about the new “thing”, but showing an interest helps immensely. Yep, learning a new language to a certain degree may be necessary. But adapting to changes is key in any relationship and knowing that in every relationship there is give and take. Yes, there may be nights where you go to bed alone, or he/she goes missing for an entire day with only $5 in his/her pocket and a massive binder (what is that all about by the way?).  But in the end, its worth it.

Oh yes, the pizzas are no longer on the diet.

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