Not-So-Extreme Couponing: Learning to Let Go (Sorta)

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Any good couponer has experienced that invigorating coupon high, but what happens when you find yourself going to extremes, all in the name of saving a few bucks?  There’s been quite a buzz in the blogosphere created in recent months thanks largely in part to TLC’s Extreme Couponing.  Many viewers are left with the impression that couponing creates, or encourages hoarding, shelf-clearing of sale items, and downright obsessive behavior.*  

Admittedly, I’ve found myself in situations where I was running out to buy something, all in the name of a “good deal”, only to later be ridden with buyers remorse, often thinking, “I didn’t even reallyneed that product!”  I’ve spoken to many of you, my dear readers, and quite a few of you admit to being new to couponing, so please bear my cautionary tale.  Just like any thing else, couponing CAN become addicting, and it, too, may spiral out of control.

Two and a half years ago, when my daughter was born, I became obsessed with maintaining a good diaper stockpile.  As you may know by now, I’ve learned to find ways to get some cheap diapers.  But over two years ago, when I was beginning to dive deeper in to the depths of couponing, I would go out and willy-nilly buy in to the diaper deal of the week.  I hadn’t yet come to realize that the boxes are seldom the better deal, and my gripping  -yet highly unrealistic- fear of running out of diapers was beginning to take over, so I wanted to be well-stocked.  I would schlep my sweet little girl here, there, and everywhere, all in the name of stocking up.  Loaded with gift cards and coupons in hand, I even found myself buying the big ol’ boxes of Huggies, Pampers, and store brand from Babies R Us.  (Note: they are NEVER, EVER a cheap deal.)

When I decided I was stocked well-enough with the current size diaper, I would start on the next size.  Keep in mind, my petite skinyata spent over a year wearing her six month clothes, so we were able to really take advantage of a large stock pile of size 2s, and then size 3s for quite some time.  But even though the logical part of me knew we were well-stocked, I couldn’t pass up good diaper deals.  Period.

Suffice it to say, I took a long, hard look in the mirror one day, and decided enough was enough.  There will always be good diaper deals.  I don’t need to use every single Huggies or Pampers coupon in my possession.  (Enter the Coupon Fairy!)  And while it’s fine to stock up on the next size, I can do so in moderation, without dragging my daughter here, there, and everywhere, soley to satisfy my crazy, unrealistic fear of running out of diapers.

Now that we’ve successfully crossed potty training off our list (yahoo!), I look at my collection of size 4 diapers, and am grateful in the knowledge that Baby Boy will be well-stocked already; but not without the burden of stockpiling.  

I digress.

Diapers are just one example of how I personally went over board (um, perhaps extreme, even) in my couponing endeavors.  It is easy to do, particularly as a SAHM, eager to just get out of the house.  It’s also easy to talk yourself in to believing that you did, indeed, need to rush out of the house right then and there to save a buck on ice cream, or a quarter on gum, or get that free deodorant (even if you already possessed a dozen other free sticks).

What’s not so easy, but must be done, is taking a step back and realizing that a good deal will always come back around.  As a couponer, one must take on the responsibility of keeping oneself in check, to keep from going to extremes.  

I share my cautionary tale with you, so that you may benefit from my wackiness.  Do you have a wacky couponing cautionary tale you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear it!

*I’m pulling all of these impressions from various blogs’ comments, Facebook comments, and Tweets I’ve read on the matter — that’s just a representative sample of the opinions expressed about the show.
Keep on saving!  :o)

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Keep on saving!  :o)

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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