Confessions of a Former Coupon Queen

I was a Coupon Queen. Not just a queen. THE queen. For several years, it was a part of my identify. I took pride in knowing that I got the best deals around. Period. I would never pay full price and in fact was upset if my receipt did not say that I’d saved at least 90% on my shopping trip.

There was a thrill, a rush even, to leaving a store having paid little to nothing for items. Even if they were items that I personally didn’t want, I knew that someone would want them. It was a high that got me on the couponing train even before it was cool enough to become a television show.

My co-workers kept me supplied with my coupon inserts and I repaid their generosity by giving free things back to them. I used my coupons to stock up on things for our home, collect things for co-workers, and create several boxes FULL of items to donate to families in need in my school during the holidays.

My couponing addiction required multiple hours each week. I had to find the deals, organize the deals, cut out the coupons involved, and then make multiple store trips. On “good” weeks, I would hit two stores per day on my way home from work. Once or twice, I even hit a store before work!

And then that silly couponing show began and everyone started doing it. The stores caught on and made the deals much less profitable. My “competitors” would clear the shelves before I even had time to hit one store. It was no longer fun. It was just frustrating.

Life at home got much more complicated. Professor X’s health declined as my kids activities after school increased. My meetings at school seemed to grow and grow. And I began to create sellable materials that took hundreds of hours of my time to create. It just wasn’t worth it anymore.

So this weekend, as I thought about what moving would look like, I dumped most of my coupon inserts. I sniffed a little. But not a lot. I really haven’t used them in months.
Interested in Couponing?   
Here are great reasons to coupon:

  • You are highly organized and want to find an outlet for your organization.
  • You want to help others but cannot donate money or time.
  • You never have enough stuff.
  • You like to be well-prepared for any emergency (such as running out of soap mid-shower).
  • You want to save a few bucks each week (note: you can potentially save $100+ per month if you put a LOT of time and energy into it).
  • Showing off your couponing deals brings you great joy and pride.

And… here are the reasons to skip couponing:

  • You may be able to make more money with that time doing something more useful.
  • You don’t need all of that stuff. No one wants to help you move it if you move to another home.
  • The healthy foods and items never seem to have a coupon.
  • You have work and family that needs your energy more than the coupons do.

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  1. Truly, I wouldn’t know where to start with coupons. I’m too disorganized to ever use them effectively and usually when I DO clip them, I forget them or I find the store brand is cheaper anyway.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I am a former coupon queen too and have been feeling totally guilty that I haven’t been keeping up. I keep staring at the inserts but find better things to do then cut and organize them. I’m letting go of the guilt. There are more important things and I can pay a little more for my stuff. Also I agree it is not as exciting as it used to be since that show started.

  3. I too, am an ex-coupon addict. I feel guilty for not using the coupons now too, but I just don’t have the time. I never seem to be able to get to the stores on time either, and then the shelves are cleared. That is just more frustrating than anything. The deals just aren’t as great as they used to be either.

  4. I clip coupons but definitely not obsessively. Only on items I use. I am a minimalist so having extra stuff sitting around would BUG me.

  5. I always wanted to be a couponer, but it never worked for me. I am not organized, and most of the foods we purchase don’t have coupons. I hope you enjoy the freedom of tossing the flyer when you get it. Eventually you might even call the distributor and ask them to stop delivering it. Such freedom! 🙂

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