39: Coupon Bliss

39: Coupon Bliss

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness

Coupon Bliss

Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur every day than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.

~Benjamin Franklin

When I was twenty-something and single, I had no real responsibilities and no real concept of the value of a dollar. I was just happy to have my own apartment and to “have it match” as my grandmother used to say.

As time went on, I began to embrace the so-called “adult things” in life, like comparison shopping and balancing a checkbook. As more time passed and I became a wife and mother with real responsibilities, I realized how truly important it was to account for every penny and stretch my money to the fullest.

One day last week I found myself a little down. I used to enjoy going to the bookstore and hanging out for hours reading the newest Anne Rice novel, or reveling in the company of girlfriends in the local sports bar catching up on gossip. Now I get to sneak some free time in here or there when grandma or the sitter is available, and that’s just fine, but I began to ask myself… if things like going to a bookstore or hanging out with friends brought me happiness, what makes me happy now?

The more I asked myself that question the more depressed I became. What makes me happy? I do love spending time with my husband and family. But what really brightens my day?

I ran to CVS after work before picking up the boys from day care. I had a two-dollar coupon for diapers that I wanted to use before it expired. As I was checking out, the lady behind the counter pointed out that I had earned five dollars off my next household paper purchase. I politely smiled and made some appreciative remark.

I was about to drive out of the parking lot when I remembered that I also needed paper towels. I debated whether or not to go back in or wait and make the trip to Walmart on some other dreadful Mommy day.

I decided that since I was already there and I had my new coupon, I might as well go ahead and get the paper towels. What was another five minutes? So I picked out what seemed to be the best deal — two dollars off with a CVS discount card. My afternoon was already getting a little better. I took the paper towels to the counter, and of course I heard “Back so soon!” I handed over my discount card for the two dollars off, my coupon for the five dollars off… already that was seven dollars off my twelve-roll pack of paper towels. I was feeling pretty darn good! Then just as I was reaching for my wallet, the lady behind the counter pulled out the big guns… she scanned in another coupon that someone ahead of me had left, and BAM another three dollars off. That came to a total of ten whole dollars off my twelve-roll pack of paper towels.

By the time I got into my car, I was so elated I could hardly contain myself. What was wrong with me? They were just paper towels! Then it hit me — in my new life as a busy wife and mother, my happiness comes from these little moments that occur from time to time, like coupon bliss.

~Megale Rivera

More stories from our partners