25 June 2008

I Am a Professional Shopper - Sort Of

I Am a Professional Shopper. Sort of.

Sounds terrific, huh? You’ve heard about these jobs. Companies pay people to shop, dine out and see movies so they can fill out a questionnaire detailing their experiences. The companies need the information for their marketing plans. They need regular folks to give their opinions to find out what their company or their store is doing right─and what they’re doing wrong..

Can you imagine floating around the mall, spending hours checking out the latest fashions and getting paid for it? Or how about buying a beautiful silk blouse all the while knowing your Mystery Shopper employer will reimburse you? The professional shopper has it made, right?

I wouldn’t know.

Why? Because I Am a Professional Grocery Shopper. Yeah, I know. That one extra word pops the bubble on the fantasy, doesn’t it? Mystery shopper? Sure, sign me up. Grocery shopper? Urgh.

Instead of spending my days shopping in trendy boutiques, scouring the stores for that exact item everyone dreams of owning and getting paid for my opinion, I’m sitting on the floor next to my coffee table with newspapers and circulars spread out before me, cutting coupons and sales ads. Yep. Real fun. NOT.

But it does pay off. I may not have a company paying me to cut out my coupons, but my meager savings do make a difference. With gas prices soaring sky high─actually, I might not hate paying over $4 per gallon if my car could really fly─and everything else getting more expensive, I have to find inventive ways to squeeze every cent out of the family budget. Uh-huh. And you thought published authors led a glamorous life, didn’t you? Ha!

As I flip through my Sunday paper, grabbing the flyers before the dogs get their teeth into them, I find that I’ve sunk to a new low. Did I truly just squeal for joy at the sight of a two-for-one coupon? Oh, Beverly, how low can you go? Pretty darn low. Still, I clip away.

After awhile, however, something happens. My first grocery shopping trip earns over twenty dollars in savings. We’re talking real savings, not just the savings the store gives you with their customer saver card after they’ve already inflated the price. “Well, how about that?” I say. With the success of the first week, I give the whole coupon thing another go. The next week, I clip more coupons and start gathering the local stores’ circulars boasting their weekly bargains. When I get home from shopping, I find I’ve saved over thirty dollars. Could this be real? I decide to keep riding the wave before it all comes crashing down.

Amazingly, after weeks of cutting and filing away coupons, checking for sales, and even adding rebates to the mix, I realize something more. Not only am I saving on average around thirty to forty dollars each week on my grocery bill, I’m─dare I say it? ─having fun!

Therefore, I stand before you a changed person. Without shame or embarrassment, I can now proudly announce…I Am a Professional Grocery Shopper.

Beverly Rae

Giggle, Gasp & Sigh with a Beverly Rae Romance

WAILING FOR LOVE - http://tinyurl.com/35hfxf - Can a banshee find love and mortality in the arms of a sexy singer?

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