An ode to couponing, my current obsession…

1 01 2009

Other than reading, I don’t have any lasting hobbies.  I get very involved with something for a short period of time and then move on to the next thing.   In the past few years, I have dabbled with running, crocheting, cross-stitching, mystery shopping, scrap-booking and now I am extremely interested in couponing. 

This hobby is something I don’t want to give up on.  I am amazed at how little we are paying for groceries.  I am proud when the cashier comments on my savvy ninja-like coupon prowess.   

The problem is that I tend to go overboard with things, which causes me to get turned off. 

Have you noticed that there are very few coupons in the Peoria Journal Star?  I have found that if you purchase a Chicago Tribune there are at least twice  as many coupons.  Several times I purchased more than one copy of the Chicago Tribune to get additional coupons.  It takes a long time to cut up all of those inserts.  Spending all of that time clipping coupons made me want to give my beloved hobby up all together.  Now I limit myself to one newspaper purchase every Sunday.  I also check a list of upcoming coupons on refundcents.com to see if  it is worth it to spend $2.50 on coupons. 

Another stumbling block was taking the time to organize the coupons.  For a while, I tried the binder system.  That took a lot of time, so I moved on to a large index card box.  After dropping it once and having to redo several hours of work, I put some rubber bands around it. 

In November, I stumbled upon the coupon train/coupon circle concept.  I joined so many that it was overwhelming.  On afullcup.com there is a forum for coupon trains.  This site allows you to make a wishlist of coupons that you want.  You can then join a train and make trades with other people.  At this point I had too many coupons for the things I wanted.  Once, I went to Wal-Mart and purchased 8 boxes of Fiber One Toaster Pastries with coupons.  The cashier asked me if I had been stealing people’s newspapers.  At that point, I realized that perhaps I was involved with too many coupon trains.  After all, it will take a long time to eat all of those Fiber One Toaster Pastries; and I can only use and store so many tubes of toothpaste, Lean Cuisine Meals and Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers (the ziti and meat sauce variety is delicious, by the way).  Now I only mail/receive coupons three times and week and I am seriously considering dropping it down to once. 

Life is all about moderation and if I want to continue enjoying this hobby I have to relax.  Otherwise, I will go on coupon overload and pay full price.  With the new budget in tow, I certainly don’t want that.

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5 responses

1 01 2009
Ramble On

Good luck at staying focused. I know what it is like. It is so easy to get compulsive about a hobby and then nothing. I usually pick the hobby back up, but then get compulsive again. Again, good luck!

1 01 2009
Ramble On

Good luck at staying focused. I know what it is like. It is so easy to get compulsive about a hobby and then nothing. I usually pick the hobby back up, but then get compulsive again. Again, good luck!

2 01 2009
Sarah

I should start couponing again I did it for awhile but I have a mild case of OCD so it can be a little bit consuming : ) I know alot of women though that save alot of money when they do it right though so good luck to ya! I got the book in the mail today too! Can;t wait to start reading.

8 01 2009
Erica

Hey Jen,

I follow your blog and I recently read this blog post that included your love for the Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers. I want to inform you about an innovative way Healthy Choice has incorporated interactive media with lunchtime entertainment as I would like for you to be involved in telling this story to your readers. On January 5th, Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers and MSN launched the second season of an interactive online experience titled The Working Lunch. For ten consecutive business days, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm EST, starting January 5th and ending January 16th, visitors to http://www.workinglunch.msn.com may participate in a digital experience by voting on sketch themes and directing an improvisational comedy group, which includes The Second City alumni and actors from the Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers television commercials.

I hope you are interested in learning more about The Working Lunch and as a representative of Healthy Choice, I would like to send you free samples of Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers. If interested, please send me your mailing address at Erica.Hartfield@ketchum.com and I will send the products to you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at the same email address. Also, please follow http://www.Twitter.com/theworkinglunch to stay up date on The Working Lunch initiatives and visit http://www.YouTube.com for the best of clips of the live comedy from Season 1 and Season 2. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day!

Erica Hartfield
aim and Twitter: musicfan214

8 01 2009
Erica

Sorry I called you Jen…Think I was still thinking about your post on “Such a Pretty Fat” 😉

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