Oh look – a non-writing related post. Didn’t I say that I was going to do that eventually?
In my 6th year as an ex-pat, it occurs to me that I miss a great many things about home (‘home’ in this case being either Atlanta or Los Angeles in the good ole’ US of A). For the most part, the advantages of living abroad far outweigh the negatives. Still, now and then I do get a bit melancholy for certain things from home.
Today, the thing I miss most is…coupons!
For the years leading up to our move, I was approaching the highest levels of couponery. I regularly saved $50 – $100 (and one time even more than 100% of the total bill) for our food shopping. I saved $10 or more for cat food (thanks, sister in vet school!). I saved on alcohol, restaurants and travel. I clipped and cut and had a whole system of filing. Call me silly, but it was a free hobby to save money – not many things in our lives have this ability. Furthermore, as I was not (and still do not) earn as much as my husband, cutting coupons was a small way I could add to our overall household finances that I took pride in.
Moving to the Middle East, even the concept of saving money is a bit of an abstract one. While the Entertainer coupon book has brought some good times, items like Groupon, newspaper inserts, straight up bartering, etc. are rare or when found, usually not worth it. Additionally, as we’ve moved up the tax brackets, it’s not as necessary now as it was in our twenties. However, although it’s probably going to be a couple of years, I really look forward to getting my coupon again.
Fellow ex-pats, what do you miss most?