shit, i forgot the coupons.

14 01 2011

for xmas, i gifted myself with a subscription to the sunday paper. it’s minimally cheaper than buying it at the store, and conveniently delivered to my front door before 7 am. thus, i can stay in my sweatpants and be lazy and not brave the cold cold walk down to the sketchy sketchy 7-11. or so i had hoped! first sunday, NO PAPER. i figured maybe it just took them a minute to get the party started. last sunday, NO PAPER AGAIN (later resolved with an agitated call to the circulation department- i hope)! ¬†thanks to a 7 hour a chorus line rehearsal on sunday, i didn’t have the time or energy to go get one on my own. i hit the grocery store on tuesday, but sadly, there were none left. a couponless week! what’s a girl to do!?

when i first started my coupon clipping adventures over a year ago, a moment like this would have sent me into a panic spiral. to think of all the deals that i would miss, the freebies loaded into the carts of strangers that wouldn’t be available to me without those magic slips of paper… i don’t remember if i ever cried over such a situation, but i also don’t remember not crying. when i first started out, i would get a crazy high off my deal mongering and would hit multiple drugstores multiple times per week- often spending hours in the aisles trying to cobble the perfect deal (poor boyfriend left to languish in the car).

but then, i kind of got over it.

i don’t have any idea how extreme couponers keep the ball rolling… it’s so much pre-planning and work! after a while, my coupon energy ramped down and my desire to have every single deal faded away (my stockpiles grew too large… i ended up with items i couldn’t use or donate…i was fucking tired…). if i missed a newspaper, so what? if i forgot to bring my coupons to the grocery store, meh!

i still go through peaks and valleys of coupon focus/mania, but in terms of the emotional highs and lows that i used to hit, i have figured out a few things along the way that are guaranteed to always talk me off the ledge:

1. deals are cyclical: for the most part, if a deal comes around once… it will come around again (and again and again). otherwise, it was for a product that wasn’t successful/good enough to make it anyway. and who needs a whole bunch of diet mouth spray anyway?

2. don’t waste your life searching for the holy grail: i remember my first big extrabucks score ever was “buy two neutrogena products, get $10 ECBs in return”, and someone in some forum had figured out that the $1.99 soap would work. it was amazing, and i haven’t stumbled across another killer deal like that since. definitely keep the eyes and ears out, but most months you don’t get to spear the mammoth, and that’s totally ok.

3. all is never lost: if you’ve missed the paper and there’s an amazing coupon that you absolutely need… you’ve got 2 decent options: #1- dig through people’s recycling bins on trash day. perhaps a bit embarrassing, but you’ll get what you want (possibly several), and you won’t have to pay $1.75. #2- use a coupon clipping service. if you’re too busy/lazy to go get the paper and clip out what you want, you can be guaranteed that a family of uber-wholesome¬†homeschooling baptists are happy to do the work for you (for a small fee). ¬†the coupon goddess SWEARS by her clipping service, and she’s one exceptionally smart cookie.


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9 responses

14 01 2011
audrey

I’ve found my coupon-clipping ebbs and flows to be very similar to my art-creating ebbs and flows, which is totally disturbing. Makes sense, though! When you’re running low on supplies (and cash) it’s time to work work and stock up – and then when the pantry’s full and you don’t have to spend three hours taping coupons to the Rite Aid flyer then no big thing!

24 01 2011
bessmarvin

you tape your coupons to your rite aid flyer? you’re my hero! but seriously, i think it’s healthy to take a break. also, i don’t have enough storage not to skip some deals!

14 01 2011
Erica @ Just Call Me Cheap

I feel just like you when it comes to couponing. Free stuff is great but after I had to throw tons of expired crap out because I way overdid things when I first started couponing I realized it is just not worth it. Not to mention I have two snot nosed little kids (whom I love dearly) that I would rather eat nails than take them both deal hunting. I get the deals when I can and when it is not going to put stress on my life. I have even been paying full price for Rice Krispies lately becuase I missed out on a bunch of deals- and you know what, I didn’t even bat an eyelash at paying $4.79 for a huge box. My sanity is worth way more to me now than it was a few years ago- it takes way more than some free toothpaste to get my ass out the door now (now if CVS had an ECB deal on some good wine then I could see myself turing into one of the extreme couponer hoarder people).

24 01 2011
bessmarvin

sanity and convenience are totally worth money! and after ages of always trying to get a deal/use a coupon… sometimes it’s a relief to just let yourself pay full price for whatever you want- even if it isn’t on sale. i feel bad enough dragging the boyfriend around from cvs to cvs… i can’t imagine trying to do it with kids. mon dieu!

14 01 2011
anastasiav

I have found that eBay is much better for coupons than the clipping services. In general, I can get 10 or 15 of most coupons I want for about .99 cents plus shipping, and I don’t have to deal with putting together a $3 minimum orders on weeks there are only one or two coupons that I need.

27 01 2011
bessmarvin

that is such a good idea! did you see? i totally namechecked you in my clipping service post! do you ever have problems getting things shipped in time? i worry about the lack of reliability of ebay sellers ruining deals.

14 01 2011
The Dealer

I went to Hannaford tonight and did not use a single coupon. Even splurged in the meat/poultry dept for a Sunday football party we are hosting. But knowing I am grocery-shopping free the rest of the weekend (except for a possible trip to the Winter Market) was worth it. I think.

27 01 2011
bessmarvin

i used to feel really guilty about days like that, but now i feel like they are a necessary indulgence. yesterday, i totally paid $3.99 for 8 VEGAN BUFFALO WINGS. outrageous, but sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

25 01 2011
i try it- coupon buying adventure! « broke 207

[...] last week when i was writing about coupon contingency plans when you miss a newspaper, i mentioned the possibility of buying coupons from an online clipping [...]

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