Discount Happiness

I have a problem. I love coupons.

But it’s not all coupons that I love. No, there is a particular coupon that tickles me unlike any other. A coupon, that upon sight of, I begin to engage in semi-ridiculous and (once again) seemingly irrational behavior.

And that is the coupon for a store called Bed Bath and Beyond. My friends constantly make fun of me for being what they call “obsessed” with Bed Bath and Beyond, or the BB&B as I like to call it. And I suppose it’s only fair because I used to make fun of my mom for the same thing… until I became her.

For a long dark time in my family’s life, there was no Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I don’t know where we got our toiletries. Maybe we borrowed them, perhaps we stole them. But I remember BB&B suddenly bursting on to the scene later in my teen years. Before the arrival of the BB&B, all bed and bath stores were alike, there was no beyond. But once the Beyond came into play, there was no turning back.

If I needed deodorant, toothpaste, or hair gel, my mom would say to me. “Go to Bed Bath and Beyond, it’s cheaper.”

What made it cheaper was Bed, Bath, and Beyond’s infinite stream of never expiring 20% off coupons. They send them out nearly every week, they are good for any item in the whole store, and they never expire.

And back when their competitor Linens and Things was still in business, BB&B accepted their coupons as well.

What also makes the coupons unique is the fact that they aren’t normal sized, they are giant. Their coupons are large, half page sized, so you can’t even put them in your pocket. You need like, a man purse (also known as a murse) or wagon to transport them all so that when you get up to the counter with your 6 items, you can save $2.50.

It is kind of like trying to buy something with one of those giant celebrity checks they give out at golf tournaments. Every time I use them I expect the cashier to ask me to smile for the camera.

Now back when I was 19 years old walking through BB&B, the store itself was a little overwhelming. A whole section for towels? How many aisles of bedding sets were really needed? And pots, Jesus how many pots and pans could one person use? (Answer here)

But nonetheless every time I needed toiletries, I would end up at that store. It was a pretty basic trip, grab my necessities and then split.

But then again I was the only 19 year old male in Bed Bath and Beyond during the summer trying to get 20 percent off Crest white strips with a 2 year old Christmas coupon from Linen’s and Things.

However, now that I am a homeowner with an apartment full of needs, guess where I go for nearly everything?

And it’s not even just a normal enjoyment I get from the BB&B, its kind of an obsession. When I tell my friends I have to go to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy deodorant, they make fun of me. But you know what, if you had to pay 8 dollars for the fancy deodorant your dry cleaner got you hooked on like a crack junkie, and you could get a buck sixty off the price with a coupon that came in Sunday’s flyer, you’d be no different than me.

I don’t just collect the coupons, I horde them. I have a little place where I stash them in my apartment and then after several weeks I examine my stash to see what a collection I have, and then I skip merrily to BB&B.

And yes I admit, if my neighbors don’t take their coupons when they get home, and they just leave them sitting on top of the mailbox, well… I take those too.

Plus the fact that BB&B coupons get mailed out with the name of the resident on them. The woman at the register is scanning coupons in which every other one has a different persons name and apartment number on them, all while I stand at the register and try to pretend I didn’t steal, ahem, save those coupons.

It’s exactly the same as when I would go to parties as a kid. Right when everyone was going home I’d run around the banquet hall collecting all the left behind favors, ultimately confusing my mother when I’d come home with 11 mugs that said “Melissa’s Bat Mitzvah.”

I know this really is obsessive but I even took a day off in the fall to do some of my shopping. It was fantastic, and quiet. I bought all the things I need. And just so you know, the best day to go is Friday morning because that’s when they replenish all the stock.

Honestly they work really hard on that Beyond part. They should really call it Bed Bath Above & Beyond. I mean sure we are all susceptible to the impulse items by the register, but the whole damn Bed Bath and Beyond is impulse items!

Everything seems like a really good idea. Cedar shoe trees? Sounds good. Shower curtain liner (which I didn’t even know I needed)? Check! Arm and Hammer refrigerator baking soda with color indicator strip? Don’t mind if I do!

Recently I went in with a list for these 5 things:

Toilet Paper
Dish scrubber
Belt Rack

Here is what I bought

Sun block
Mesh dish scrubber
Arm and Hammer Refrigerator Baking Soda
Belt Rack
2 cedar shoe trees
Extra long sponge dish scrubber
Tooth paste
3 tooth brushes
Toilet paper
2 allergen free pillow covers

What was supposed to be a simple shopping trip had me walking out with a receipt that looked like the Declaration of Independence.

So how did I go in with the intent to spend 20 dollars and come out spending 96? Well obviously… I have a problem.

I think it’s fair to say that some months I spend more money at BB&B than I do on alcohol. But you know what, the day that they switch the daiquiri mix they sell from virgin to loaded; you can guess where I’ll be.

God I love coupons.