I think I'm fairly savvy when it comes to saving money. I can stretch a dollar with the best of them. I use coupons when I have them, and I am the queen of buy one/get one free items.
But here lies the divide. I am not on of those crazy coupon chicks that buys 80 bottles of mustard because she has coupons for them. Here's why I don't get into the extreme coupon thing:
1. I'm not greedy. I may have 10 coupons but I won't buy all 10 bottles of ketchup. I'll leave some for you.
2. I don't shop like a fat kid. Ho-Ho's may be on sale, but I don't need to fill my cart up with them.
3. I am not annoying.
Case in point: the crazy coupon lady who shows up, coupons in hand, 5 minutes before you do. And wipes. The aisles. Clean. Very annoying.
We've all been there. We have Sunday's coupons neatly organized, and we head to the store, ready to stock up on whatever items are on sale. But when we get there, we find nothing but empty shelves. So we get a rain check.
Only, when we come back to use said rain check, once again, the crazy lady has struck, again leaving a bare path of destruction.
I did try – ONCE – to beat the crazy coupon lady at her own game. I happened to be in the store, with coupons, when I noticed a deal on noodles. I had coupons. And the crazy coupon lady hadn't yet hit this aisle.
So there I stood, coupons in hand, looking at a shelf full of boxes of noodles, debating. Should I just wipe them all out and exact my revenge on the crazy coupon lady? Should I, for just this once, leave an empty shelf for her to find?
As tempting as it was, I didn't wipe out the boxed noodle aisle. I did, however, score my fair share. I like to think I left some noodles for the next person who, like me, wants a good deal, but isn't a hoarder.
So I left some noodles for my fellow shoppers. But not for the crazy coupon lady. No. No boxed noodles for her.
The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert, effective today. The alert comes ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The department has asked Americans living and traveling abroad to remain "vigilant."
There has been no specific threat identified, but it's widely known that al Qaida has indicated a desire and the capability to carry out attacks against the U.S.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said there's no credible intelligence that al Qaida or its affiliates are plotting attacks linked to the anniversary of "the worst terror strikes on U.S. soil."
"We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, and security measures are in place to detect and prevent plots against the United States should they emerge. While threats remain, our nation is stronger than it was on 9/11, more prepared to confront evolving threats, and more resilient than ever before," she said.
There are ceremonies planned on Sept. 11, when President Barack Obama will visit the three sites where the terrorist strikes occurred: where the World Trade Center stood in Manhattan, at the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa.
The alert expires Jan. 2, 2012.
While I appreciate the thought behind this issued alert, I have to say that when have Americans not been vigilant and concerned about another attack since that fateful day nearly 10 years ago? The terrorist attacks on 9/11 changed America forever – and it changed Americans as well.
No longer do we happily attend football games, July 4th parades and fireworks, or concerts. We attend these events because life must go on, but in the back of our minds, we're always thinking, "Could it happen again?" Not once, since 9/11, has any American gotten on a plane and not looked around the cabin, wondering if one of the other passengers might be a terrorist. We can't help it.
I get that these types of alerts must be issued, but isn't it a given that we are all at a "heightened state of vigilance?" We can't help but be so.
We will ever be so.