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How to Beat Coupon Burnout

September 10, 2012
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Perhaps this title intrigued you. “Coupon burnout?” you may be thinking, “How can anyone possibly get tired of saving all of this great money?” For many men and women who start couponing, a year or two down the line something happens: they just get tired of the mental energy it takes to coupon and slowly withdraw from the game. Eventually, the coupon binder is collecting dust in the corner and they are back to paying full-price for items, ignoring the little coupon angel in their head. As silly as this may seem, chances are at some point you will feel the same way.

Why does coupon burnout happen? Let’s face it, as we’ve said before, couponing is not easy. It was much easier to simply hop in the car with your list and grab whatever you needed for the week. Yes, your grocery bills were outrageous but there is something appealing about throwing caution to the wind and just shopping. When I find myself sitting under piles of unopened coupon inserts and weeks of unread coupon blog updates, here’s what I do to overcome burnout: I go shopping without coupons.

Now, lest you think I’m a total hypocrite for saying that, let me explain. Inevitably a situation arises where you do not have time to stay current on blogs and plan your shopping trips accordingly. We all have busy schedules, vacations to enjoy and commitments that consume our time. Beating coupon burnout is giving yourself the freedom to pay full price for an item even if you know that you can get it cheaper.

This simple mantra helps keep me balanced: the sales don’t rule me, I rule the sales! To illustrate this, let me use the example of a good friend who went on vacation with her husband. She forgot her toothbrush and could NOT bring herself to purchase a new one when she had a closet-full of FREE product at home. So, she shared her husband’s toothbrush all vacation long, much to his chagrin! This is an example of allowing coupons, discounts and deals to rule your life.

Those who have mastered couponing in the long-term have embraced the word balance. Very few people who coupon can sustain an obsessive, extreme attitude for long. Yes, in the beginning you may be able to rush off to the drugstore first thing Sunday morning, toting your half-awake toddler in his pajamas, but when baby number two comes, that won’t be so easy! J Life situations change, attitudes change and one day the energy it takes to save a huge amount of money off of your grocery bill seems too much.  When that happens, take a deep breath and take a step back. Instead of ditching the practice altogether, become happier with less! Keep clipping coupons and saving money but allow yourself a break.

Beating coupon burnout is not a complicated science rather it is an acknowledgement that your reality has changed. If you find the enjoyment gone then make changes! Couponing was never meant to be a burden; it was always meant to be a delight! So, when you feel the temptation to ditch the practice altogether, leave the coupon binder at home, pick up a nice warm latte before you hit the grocery store, and allow yourself the freedom to shop!

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