Coupon Collector No More

BlogJan12 001

Getting ready to take my coupons to the store.

As I prepared for my grocery store trip last Sunday, I realized how inefficient even my casual system had become.  I’ve written about my casual use of coupons in the past.   I had not really been following that system or bothering to take my coupons to the store with me.  One part of the reason was that I’ve been buying more produce and less of the products that have corresponding coupons.  However, a bigger reason was that the thought of sitting down at the computer and then going through huge stacks of coupons and matching them up before I even walked out the door had turned into a daunting task.  I didn’t want to spend all that time matching and cutting out coupons.  I wanted to get out the door, go to the store, and come home.

As I thought about going to the store, the coupons from the Sunday paper were sitting on the table and I was thinking about how  I should wait on those and look for ones that were going to expire sooner.  However, I also knew that once I filed those coupon flyers away, they’d simply end up lost in the madness of my coupon binder.

My overflowing mess of a coupon binder.

My overflowing mess of a coupon binder.

I needed a new pared-down “system” that would not overwhelm me.  I decided on an approach that really isn’t a system at all.  I’m simply going to look through the coupons that come in the weekly paper and cut out only the ones I’ll use when I go to the store for that week and let the rest go.  I know that there will always be another coupon much like there is always another sale if you miss the first one.   Besides, the last time I had looked at my binder and coupons seriously enough to put a date on anything was on…

I'm pretty sure every coupon in this flyer had expired.

I’m pretty sure every coupon in this flyer had expired.

I emptied out my coupon binder.  I will find a different use for it.

That is a lot of coupon clutter!

That is a lot of coupon clutter!

While I may not save as much money, I will gain a little more peace of mind and have less guilt about all the wasted coupons.  I won’t have as much coupon (paper) clutter in this house either which is one of my bigger issues.   I think releasing myself from the pressure of feeling as though I NEED to have a serious (or even a casual) coupon system will benefit my time budget and sanity more than a few extra dollars I might save at the grocery store.

Someday I might return to a bit more serious way of using coupons but it is not working for me right now.

Are you hanging on to any systems because you feel like you need to follow them?  How often do you re-evaluate what is working and not working with your own systems and routines?


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8 thoughts on “Coupon Collector No More

  1. Sarah


    I have the same system as your new one. I look though the coupons, choose what I’m going to use that week, and recycle the rest. And I don’t feel guilty because honestly, the money I saved using a lot of coupons didn’t come out to even minimum wage for the time I spent unless I bought 40 boxes of cereal at once.

    A woman down the street does that extreme couponing. Our families are about the same size. She’s all about how much she saves at the checkout line. She donates a lot of food that’s nearly out of date and toiletries too. I think she should donate it on the way home from the store instead of storing it for a year or two first, but that’s just me.

    I’m all about how much I save out of my food budget, and honestly, my neighbor and I come out about the same in actual savings on what our families eat.

    Coupons are her hobby, and more power to her. But they’re not my hobby and I don’t feel bad about it anymore than I feel bad about not enjoying golf or scrapbooking.

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. I’m glad to know that you also found the time spent wasn’t worth it. We aren’t big cereal eaters over here either so even having 40 boxes of cereal didn’t save us much money 😉 I would never be able to manage the extreme couponing. I think it is more fun to accidentally stumble on a deal while I’m actually in the store like yesterday’s discovery that my CVS had marked the Christmas pretzel M&M’s down to 43 cents a bag….may or may not have bought too many bags of those. AHEM.

    1. Jean Post author

      We did go back to only buying the Sunday paper here. As much as I enjoy reading the paper, I couldn’t keep up and was putting it unread into the recycle bin too many times. I didn’t even get around to looking at Sunday’s paper until yesterday! I’m not sure what I would do if I was only getting the paper for the coupons though. Maybe you can figure out a new system that works for you?

  2. Elizabeth

    Excellent! I am not a big fan of coupons because it feels like they are more about what the manufacturers want me to buy, or what the store is over-stocked on, rather than supporting me in what I want to or need to buy. I applaud your new approach!

  3. Deanna

    I have been in the coupon no more club as well. It’s slightly a shame since I used to save so much money doing it, but it was mostly stuff that just wasn’t/isn’t good for us, and we don’t eat enough of it to warrant stock piling it.

    I was a lot of time under a similar guilt in that I just KNEW I had coupons at home for the things I needed. Luckily, we have a store here in town that is not as fluffy as Hy-Vee, and generally their items are lower priced across the board, so not sale price low, but like already 25 cents or more lower, then additionally they’ll have coupons, especially like cereal/bars type just right there. Yeah, I could save even more stacking coupons, but geesh, the time I save not clipping, and the stress from not having them because I never bothered in the first place is saved as well. It also helps that we actually cancelled our newspaper subscription (go us!) and so only sporadically get the coupons.

  4. Pingback: Holiday Coupons: Taming The Chaos -

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