Sunday, December 27, 2009

I am Guilty of Coupon Neglect!

See that pile in the picture?
Do you know what it's a pile of?
That's the pile of EXPIRED COUPONS I pulled out of my coupon binder last week!
In preparation for a NEW Year of Couponing I finally got around to weeding out my binder.
And folks, I'll tell you it was NOT a pretty sight.
Some of those coupons I pulled out had expired 2 MONTHS ago, or MORE!!

That's right....My name is Sluggy and I am guilty of Coupon Neglect.

Over the past year, the year I began to coupon with intensity, I have used just about every filing/storage system out there.
I went from no system, to an envelope system, to a series of wipey boxes system, to a binder system, to a hybrid of binder and wipey boxes.
I also went from clipping ALL coupons to clipping what I'd probably use and filing the unclipped inserts to use later if needed.
I've also gone from buying a couple of Sunday papers for coupon inserts to buying 10+ papers for the inserts to buying 1 Sunday paper for inserts and buying individual coupons I'll use via a clipping service.

And you know what?
I haven't found the perfect system for me yet.  The reason is as I've moved through this year of coupon-ing, I've changed what I buy and how much I coupon.

I am going to sit down this coming week, before the new year begins and rethink my couponing methods and madness.  I'm hoping this will help me figure out the right method for me.

I have gone from buying everything I could get for free or almost free, no matter if I can/will use it, to buying a lot less in the last few months.

Buying all these things I didn't need, left me with tons of things that I ended up selling at a flea market a couple of months ago just to get it out of my life.
True, I spent very little money out of pocket and ended up with a 2 year supply of toiletries for my family and enough leftover to make $900+ at a flea market selling the excess.
The money I made was nice but it couldn't give me back all that time and energy expended to gather all those things I didn't need/want.

I also ended up with piles of diabetes meters that I can't use.  These were bought just to get something else for free or get ECBs or RRs to buy things I could use.  Though I have found homes for almost all of them now, these meters have taken up room in my home for many months and have taken up my time and energy as well--between collecting them, storing them, and rehoming them.  Time and energy that could have been used more constructively in my life.

Now I'm not saying that chasing after every deal is a bad thing.  It's just a matter of where you place your life's priorities.  I'm realizing that I need to be a little more choosy in the deals I spend my time and energy on.

Clipping and filing that pile of expired coupons took a fair amount of time and energy.  Though I did use a lot of what I clipped and filed,  look at what a waste of my time and energy it turned out to be for that pile! 
Is clipping and filing and using coupons and hunting down deals worth your time and energy?
You bet!
You just need to step back now and again and see where you can make changes to how much couponing you do & what you coupon on versus what and how much you should do!

So tell you have a coupon storage system that works for you?  

Are you a 'no holds barred' couponer who goes after all the deals?  Or are you selective?  

Do you buy things you won't use if that thing will help you get something you can use for free?  Do you think that that is a good reason for buying something?

Do you buy lots of Sunday papers for the coupon inserts or do you use a clipping service and just get the coupons you will use?  Which do you think is more cost effective in the long run--buying papers for inserts or using a service?

Do you need to rethink your coupon storage system and/or what deals you go after as I am doing?  

Leave a comment and let us all hear where you are in your 'coupon-ing journey'.



  1. Hi there! I just love your blog and even though I don't comment alot, I read every post! :)

    I have also worked and re-worked my couponing system. Like you, I used to "chase every deal" but now I am a tad bit more selective.

    I have found that by clipping the coupons, filing them by category in envelopes, and putting the envelopes in a container with a lid is a good solution for me. I take that container with me everywhere!

    I go through those envelopes at least once a week, pull out those that are about to expire, and I keep those in the very front of the container. When I go shopping, I check through those coupons first.

    Take last evening, for example: We went to WalMart and I had some of those soon-to-be-expired coupons in the front of my container. I scored some free body wash(when you bought a dedorant), but I had a coupon for what I was buying and I ended up with 2 body washes and 2 deodorants (that teen son needed) and paid Out-of-Pocket around $5.00 for it all.

    If I hadn't already pulled those coupons, I probably would have missed out on this!! The body washes are something that I don't usually buy, because they are about $4.00 a bottle, but when it is FREE! WOO-HOO!!

    I have bought papers and used a clipping service, and I have to tell you that the clipping service, even though it is a great service, doesn't get my coupons to me when I need them. So, I choose to buy one paper but I get inserts from other people.

    I look forward to more of your posts! :)

  2. Hi, my name is SonyaAnn and I too, have a couponing problem.
    I have have issues with clutter. We are in a small house so I don't have a lot of room for stuff. I do stock up but only on the things that we really need.
    I use an old pencil box for my coupons. And I only clip what I think I will need. And I trade coupons with a friend and then we both give away what we aren't going to use.
    Maybe find a happy medium. I think getting back some of your time is what is important. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Whatever it is, I can't wait to read about it in 2010!

  3. I'm still trying to figure out a coupon system. What I've been doing is clipping the coupons most likely to be used, then putting them in little folders marked by store. So the $1 coupons that will be most effective when doubled go in the GiantPA folder; the coupons for things at Target go in a Target folder, etc. It mostly works, but sometimes I know I have a coupon somewhere for something but it's in a different folder and I'm taking forever to search for it, or I forget about it and then don't use it anywhere... So it's hardly a perfect system. Plus, these little folders are quite full and busting out of the coupon wallet I have everything in. Also in there are all my store rewards cards, and a couple ATM and cc cards, so it really does become my wallet and I take it everywhere. I have seriously been thinking of switching to the binder system, but I know that I won't take it everywhere, therefore I won't use it as much, therefore I will end up missing out because I don't have it with me sometimes... :P Ideally, I'd get a slightly bigger version of the wallet that isn't falling apart. I'm keeping my eyes open :)

    As for getting extra copies of coupons, I refuse to buy more copies of newspapers - that just leads to so much paper in our already-big recycle pile each week. Plus, for the cost of 5 or 10 extra Sunday papers at $1.50-$2 each, I can get tons of specific coupons from a clipping service. When she doesn't have what I want, then I check ebay. I agree with the above poster that it doesn't get the coupons here immediately, but most deals are available all week, so I try to order Sundays and then receive the coupons on or before Thursday.

    Like you, I also started buying anything and everything to get a deal, and that was fine for the initial stockpiling. We now have enough 'poo and deoderant and body wash to last a decade or more, but since it doesn't really go bad, that's fine. Plus I can donate stuff and also have a "shop" for visitors to pick from if they forget their toiletries when staying here with us :)

    I think this year I'm going to concentrate on getting good deals that are of direct benefit, but mostly banking on the stockpile and trying to sock the resulting savings away as I don't need to shop each week.

    Of course, I say that every week, then some amazing deal gets posted and I find myself heading off to try and get it, whether we really need it or not - sort of a drug fix type feeling :)


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