To Coupon ... or NOT?

I went through the phase there where I'd buy 4 papers on Sunday, print coupons from 5 to 6 different computers (heh, working at an office with reduced staff is good for that) ... AND constantly stalk the coupon notification sites like a hawk. I also would constantly check in on my favorite website for the local grocery chain, Publix. Michelle does a bang up job on the site and IF you have a Publix in your area, you should check it out (I still do but only get what I need, not what's a good deal) ...

I never did get an organization program together that worked for ME although I did try the binder system, the shoe box and the bag. Just had to rely on my memory and lord knows, that leaves a lot of open areas!

Yes. I did save a ton of money. Yes. I did stockpile a LOT of stuff. Yes. I did try a lot of new stuff that I'd never have bought before.

However, I do not coupon like that anymore. Why? Well, several reasons.

Buying stuff just because it's a good deal is not really thrifty if you get right down to it. I mean, sure, it's nice to have 10 bags of chips but who is going to eat them all? YOU? Really? Is that what you want to be eating?

Stockpiling is fine and dandy, and trust me, I'm glad for the supply of pantry items I have at the moment. It should be able to keep me from doing any major shopping for a while (yeah, right. That takes WILLPOWER). However, It's killing me to know that I have all this food, and just the 2 1/2 of us to feed. Not even ... Princess is not home for dinner 70% of the time and Hubby will be traveling 2 of the 4 weeks this month. So that pretty much leaves me (and the Cats) ...

Not to mention, stockpiling on food is not always the healthiest way to go. Yes, some of it is, but the majority of stuff is so stuffed with preservatives the list of ingredients tops 20 ... I was aiming for 5 maximum for a while there and gave up on that ...

And then there is this: Cash is cash, and when it's gone, it's gone. I find myself (just this past Saturday, matter of fact) walking the aisles looking for a certain product that I had a coupon for and lo and behold, other items make it in my cart because a: it looks like a good deal; b: it looks yummy/interesting/tempting and c: there's a coupon on the package to encourage me to try. Umm, that list with 5 or 6 items turned into a cart with 25 items for about $50 more than I should have spent. I had that $5 off $50 tucked in my wallet just in case, along with the $1 off produce, $1 off fresh meat, $1 off dairy, cat litter coupon and that was all I was suppose to get. Ick. Whipped out the debit card as it was more than the cash in my wallet (the debit card is now tucked away in a safe spot at home til I go to the bank for the next withdrawal). Coupons, I think, make ME spend MORE at the chance for a good deal. That's the way I am.

So, for the most part, I do NOT coupon anymore. I do clip coupons for cat litter (the kind that I like, not Tidy Cat), cat food, dairy products (cheese especially), juices, and any time I see meat or produce (but not the bagged salad stuff ::shudder::). Health and beauty items, yes, but I've been buying that stuff from Costco for a while there rather then trying to play the Drug Store Game ... and that's pretty much it. Oh, I do grab the beer/wine coupons when I see them ... and let's not forget the $5 off $50 that Publix will honor from Albertson's ad every week or so. I suppose I should say that I do use coupons but ONLY for things that I buy anyways. NOT TIDY CAT (pet peeve!)

This is NOT to say that I won't go back to it more actively someday. But at this stage in my life, it's not worth the time and effort for stuff that I don't need/use/want. Sonny Boy will call me frequently and ask where he can find a coupon for something (and seriously, that makes me so proud of him for seeing the value in that) ...

Do you coupon? And if so, what IS your strategy? This is what Works For Me for the time being.

This is being posted over at the Year of Zero site too ... if you haven't check it out, you should ... I'm going to journal the Year of Zero ... well, as close as I can anyways!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I often feel guilty for not couponing because so many of my friends do and rave about how much they are saving. But I rarely see coupons for things that I actually was going to buy! I agree with you 100%.

  2. I stopped couponing 2 years ago when we switched to a whole foods diet and ditched the few processed items we ate like Pop Tarts. I'm trying it again for 2 months for items like toiletries and paper products. It was a lot of work, and I just don't know that I'm up for it. I do hope I can save money on buying food for our church's food collection. That would be a good thing.


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