I’ve come across a lot of blog entries on coupons lately – narratives of successful conquests using “southern savers” or marathon CVS extra care trips. In these economic crunch times, several of my friends have become “extreme couponers,” and I applaud them – I’m all for saving money.
I tried it for a while. I clipped coupons from the Sunday paper and looked for the weekly deals online. I organized my coupons in my little accordion folder and put stars next to the corresponding items on my shopping list. I saved some money. But then my house started to get cluttered with newspaper inserts, and I felt pressured to go through every one to look for potential savings. I felt compelled to plan out my strategy before every shopping trip. I came to the realization – coupons, which were supposed to be alleviating financial strain, were STRESSING ME OUT!! And when I added up the time spent clipping, searching, printing, and planning, plus the cost of the newspaper (which we don’t read anyway), printer paper, and ink, it didn’t turn out to be a huge benefit for me. I figure I’m willing to pay that $5-10 for a no-hassle shopping experience.
So I broke FREE! And it feels great. Now I have more time to spend on things I enjoy, like hanging out with my husband or reading an interesting magazine article. I’m not against deals – I will still save a coupon if it is for something I buy on a regular basis, or I will google coupon codes if I’m buying something online, but I couldn’t be happier to be emancipated from coupon slavery!