My wife was in a state of semi-panic.
For once it had absolutely nothing to do with something I said or did.
It was a story in Friday morning’s Bradenton Herald that rendered her speechless at breakfast.
Publix is changing its coupon policy.
Sherri is the Coupon Queen.
A term of endearment, of course.
But she is all business when it comes to collecting coupons so we can save a few bucks here and there.
You never saw someone cut up the ad sections in Sunday’s paper -- or any publication with ads -- like she can.
When Sherri wields a pair of scissors, I stay out of her way.
This is a woman on a mission.
On the other hand, my wife is not to be confused with shoppers who are enthusiasts of “extreme couponing” -- stockpiling enough coupons to pay almost nothing for a small fortune in groceries.
It’s one reason Publix tightened up its coupon policy.
Me? Until we got married, I never gave coupons a second thought.
While I was a bachelor, which was most of my adult life, grocery shopping was a simple exercise.
Fruit. Pizza. Six-pack.
Maybe a bottle of wine.
I was good to go.
Rarely spent more than $25.
Good thing, coupons.
We don’t leave home without them.
When it’s not high school football season, Friday night is our regular “date night” at Publix.
I just push the shopping cart up and down the aisles, following my wife at a safe distance as she scans the shelves for deals.
Sherri can spot ’em, all right.
It’s like she’s got an internal homing device.
Zip! She’s on them like that and fills up the basket.
Buy-one-get-one-free is part of my wife’s lexicon.
That Publix tweaked the BOGO deal, making each item a separate sale, has her perplexed.
So does no longer being able to use some other store’s coupons.
Friday nights at Publix might never be the same, but what do I know?
I’m just the help.
Sherri hands me the coupons after each item and I pocket them until we get to the checkout line, give them to the cashier, then load up the groceries for the drive home.
“Guess how much money we saved this time?” my wife will say, satisfied as we leave the Publix parking lot.
Which reminds me of one Friday night when we got home and I found some coupons I’d stuffed into a different pocket and forgotten.
Sherri didn’t say a word.
I never made that mistake again.
Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee County. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL. 34206 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a phone number for verification purposes.