You know the feeling. The burnout. The feeling of dread when you know you have to go to the store but realize you haven’t cut out your coupons yet. The anticipation of receiving your Sunday newspaper to get caught up on the news only to remember that along with the paper comes coupons that you are supposed to save, use and NOT just place in the recycle bin. The feeling of guilt after leaving the grocery store knowing you didn’t use any coupons. You are burnt out.
I’ve been couponing for 9+ years now. Through the years I’ve had periods of time where I’ve loved everything about couponing – I’ve loved the highs of getting awesome deals (that felt more like “steals”), overflowing stockpiles, and finding those amazing deals where you know you will never get a better one (I mean really, can you beat getting paid to take home toothpaste by CVS?). But along with those highs, I’ve also had some lows. The moments where exhaustion from parenting, working full-time and trying to maintain a home have overcome me and instead of shopping with coupons, I have skipped shopping entirely because I didn’t want to feel the self-imposed guilt from knowing I spent full price. I’ve also been so frustrated that Tampa, Florida no longer gets Red Plum inserts that I’ve wanted to kick, scream and throw a tantrum while at the same giving up on couponing entirely. The disappointment through the years as I’ve watched the cost of food rise and the value of coupons decrease. The highs are always fun. But the lows are always just as disappointing and frustrating.
Through my years running this blog, I’ve had countless friends give me excuses as to why they don’t coupon.
Some say “I only buy organic food.” (and then I look in their shopping cart and see non-organic ice cream, cake mix and chips…).
Others says “I don’t have the time.” (and then I see them commenting on Facebook all.day.long which leads me to think they do have time – they just use it on other endeavors.)
While others will say “I don’t know how to use coupons.” (and then I feel bad because it’s my job to help them learn how to use coupons and obviously, it’s my fault they are confused.)
But the truly honest will say “I hate couponing.” And to you, I want to tell you that it is OKAY for you to hate couponing.
If you are someone who experiences the highs and lows of couponing like me, when you get sick of couponing and find that it is more of a frustrating chore than an empowering endeavor, TAKE TIME OFF. Stop buying Sunday papers (Yep – I said that). Save your ink and computer paper and stop printing coupons. Go ahead and pay full price without paying attention to what is on sale for a couple weeks. And then, once you feel ready to start saving money again, ease back into couponing slowly. The world will not stop if you take time off from couponing.
If you are burnt out, examine how much time you spend couponing. You should not be spending hours and hours each week getting ready to shop. (Unless you are a frugal blogger like me in which case every minute of the day is spent looking at coupons and online deals 😉 )
When your grocery store’s sales flier comes out, flip through it and buy what’s on sale. If you need something that isn’t on sale and it’s urgent (i.e. bath tissue), buy it full price. (Yep – I said that too.) If you need something but have enough to last you a week or two, hold off paying full price and wait to see if it goes on sale. Then buy it.
Then, slowly integrate coupons back into your life. Start with printable coupons. I’ve found that within the past two years, 75% of the coupons I use are printables. Honestly, if I stopped buying the Sunday paper, I probably wouldn’t miss many deals (especially since I no longer get Red Plum inserts being that I live in Tampa).
I post high value coupons daily. Head HERE to bookmark my High Value Coupons page and once you are ready to start using coupons, follow this page. And once you are ready to buy what’s on sale, head HERE to see if I post your local grocery store’s coupon matchups. I try to do all of the hard work for you.
If you are saying “I hate couponing”, take time off to regroup. Once you are ready to start couponing again, it will be fun and you will once again be empowered as you save money that you can put towards debt, savings or luxury items. Couponing should be enjoyable. Not another job. Let’s be honest, we all have a lot of jobs already don’t we?
Have you taken a break from couponing? If so, why? Do you think you will get back into couponing? Share your thoughts – I would love to know that I’m not alone!