(From L-R coupon experts: Riza M., Yovee O., Guada Q., Darlene and Richelle M.)
There is something that I learned from a group of friends who recently started a Coupon-ing Club in the Plymouth area (South Shore, Massachusetts). They call themselves the “Pinay Coupon Addict”.
I have to correct myself, actually there are a lot of things I’ve learned from them.
Let me just clarify a big terminology here. To those of you who are not familiar with coupon-ing, I will try to describe what it is all about. Coupon-ing is the act of going through the Sunday inserts or circulars, flyers, company promotional, internet sites and cutting any available discounts or money associated with a certain product and using these coupons as a form of money/cash to buy goods. The goal of couponing is to avoid paying the full amount of the retail price as advertised in the stores. Another goal of couponing is saving some money and getting good deals from the supermarket or your local pharmacy (CVS or Walgreens). Some people would also like to get everything for free or pay $0.99 for a supposedly bill of over $100 which is pretty amazing, right? (especially if you are getting things for free.)
Before I will share some of the lessons, tricks and strategies I’ve come to learn from them, let me introduce to you the leader of the pack. Her name is Guada Nobleza Quinanola and just like any CEO or President of a company, she was the one who started the “organization”. I do not know Guada very well since I have only met and talked to her during Filipino parties in the last few months. But, the last time I saw her, I made sure that I could sit down and listen to her about how she saves a lot of money from her weekly grocery shopping. When she started telling us her couponing experiences, she was conveying to me through her verbal and body language how passionate she is in what she is doing. Her eyes lit when she tells us about how much she has paid on a recent trip to the supermarket. She was knowledgeable about the whole process and was very willing to give me advices on how to get started. She took her time and even encouraged me to get started.
That was when I became somewhat hooked up with the idea of couponing, and said to myself, hmmm…maybe I, too could save some.
A few weeks after I talked with Guada, I went to the house of Yovee O’Connell, one of the “driving forces” behind this group and there in my own eyes, I witnessed how these women, these friends of mine are demonstrating their passion in couponing.
The typical Filipino lunch parties would be centered around food, stories and constant giggles. But the day I went to Yovee’s house, it was different – because of the addition of couponing. The conversation around this topic came naturally among them. After lunch, they started to discuss and go over the “what’s on sale this week or next week?” topic. Yovee started taking out her well-organized bin and folders where she keeps her coupons. While they were doing their usual drill, I was thinking to myself how devoted they are in their pursuit to getting deals and not wasting a single coupon they can use!
I left that afternoon with awe and admiration towards these women’s pursuits of passion. They are all enthralled and excited about the sales for this week and how they will be able to use that. They offer each other some advices, exchange coupons and help each other to get the best deal in town!
What I learned from them and their pursuit of their passion, are the following habits and skills:
If we are passionate about something, no matter what it takes you will make time for it –and it will be enjoyable and fun. You will love it!
If you are passionate about something, you are natural about it.
If you have not found your passion, ask yourself these questions: What are the things I do that make the day go by very quickly? What are the things that I do that seem to be fun and enjoyable to me, even if I have to do some extra work?
Once you’ve nailed down a few things, you have at least a point to start your own pursuit of passion.
P.S. Also, just to give you an update about my own coupon-ing spree, I realized I can use my skills and be a great contributing agent by saving all our Sunday inserts and giving them to one of the coupon experts (Yovee).