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The Inevitable Couponing Slump…

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Check out this email that I received from reader, Margaret….

I know I cannot be alone. I’m just wondering how other people handle the inevitable slump. I just don’t feel like clipping coupons, checking deals, or driving to various stores to get the deals — even though I am on such a tight budget that it’s a must. I skipped a week here or there over Christmas hoping it would help me get my mojo back. But here it is the second week of January (or is it the third) and I am still in a slump, a funk, or whatever. How do others shake that sluggishness and reclaim their get-up-and-go???


On a fairly regular basis, I receive emails (like the one above) from couponers that either say they are on coupon burnout or that they want to give up completely. They want to throw in the towel and the coupons! They’ve had a bad experience with a mean cashier, their coupon beeped, they’ve invested 5 hours organizing and still don’t know what is what, they’ve over-spent at the grocery store because their coupons didn’t scan properly, the person behind them in the checkout line scowled and glared, they just don’t feel like clippin’…. and the list goes on and on and on.

I know from experience that couponing can definitely present a variety of challenges, but I also know that in the long run, it is absolutely worth it! Have you ever fallen into a Couponing Slump? If so, please share your tips, suggestions, and advice for how you have climbed out of it. I can’t wait to read all of your words of motivation, inspiration, and wisdom! :)

* I am also excited to mention that I will be starting a new series in the next few weeks on simplifying couponing and making it feasible for everyone, so stay tuned!

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357 Hip Readers Commented

  • Janet says:

    To keep my spending in check i review what I spend weekly overall. Keeps my couponing under control. It’s sad but I typically find that it cost me more to buy less?

  • cshepeck says:

    i live in a very rural area, we do have a Wal-mart and a Walgreens, but thats it. I would have to drive at least an hour to get to a Target or a CVS. One of our local grocery stores accepts the on line coupons, the other dosen’t, and neither of them ever double the coupons. I check this site a couple of times a day and it helps me out a lot, but i also miss out on a lot of the good deals because of our rural location.

    • chrissymaem says:

      I know what you mean. It is The same for me . It has been hard to see some of the great Target deals lately. But there is an up side to living in the middle of nowhere. My freezers are full of beef,chicken ,pork and veggies we raised ourselves. So my grocery bill stays pretty small. And the bonus is I get great cuts of meat that I could not afford to buy.

  • Natasha Luckett says:

    We move alot being military and it’s tough after a move to start over on my stock pile after having used it all up or given it all away. I’ve found especially after Christmas when I’m in deal overload that the best way for me to get back into couponing is to find just one friend who has never done it before and teach them just one store (usually cvs or walgreens) I find watching their enthusiasm as they see how much they save and teaching them the deals reinvigorates me to get back into it.

  • gemini345 says:

    I get in those slumps as well. What I do is take a break from all of the clipping. I file my coupons by ad insert type such as Red Plum, Smart Source, etc. and mark the date on the front. Most of the couponing websites tell you which ad insert the coupon is in and the date. So when I want to go shopping I print the online coupons and clip only the coupons required. This saves me time and helps keep me on budget.

  • Honestly, the holiday clearance is what “resparked”my love for coupons. I have got more Glade candles for free than I know what to do with and cookie and cake mix to last me all year. While this might not be a “must buy” item, it keeps me from running to the store and paying full price.

  • Janice says:

    I’m looking forward to your articles on simplifying shopping with coupons. I can’t wait to learn how to do this better!!!! Thanks so much Collin!!!!

  • Starla says:

    It’s a new year, so it’s a new challenge.
    When you find a penny on the ground, do you leave it, or pick it up? I pick it up, because it is cash, just like a coupon. A penny saved IS a penny earned!! Use the coupons for products your family actually use, and then share, recycle or send off any others to our American soldiers and their families. They can use still use them for up to 6 months after they expire.
    Collin has addresses to send them to on her website.

  • k says:

    I had coupon burn out real bad , i just put everything to the side for awhile and only bought the thing we needed for that weeks meal preparation, but yesterday i actually sat down and cut a few coupons and it was fun again for myself and my daughter.i guess we took about 4 months off …just gave me time to spring clean my coupon binder…ooo and we always pick up a penny starla…Happy Couponing!!!!

  • Elaine says:

    Couponing for me is a win/lose battle. I win when i see all the good coupons that I can use, but then i they end up A. not being on sale; and B. expiring a day or two before they do go on sale. I have Food Lion, Walgreens, Martin’s and CVS less than 1min from the house, a walmart 5 min from the house and a Kroger, Target and Kohls about 8 min from the house. Regardless of the stores that I have, i can never find a good deal like everyone else finds. My primary shop is Food Lion and Walmart. I take the coupons i have but most of the time the things I eat on a regular are never on sale. I’ll look at Walgreens sometimes and see if there are things that I could use and sometimes find deals, same with Target but I usually only use the deals that I see on this website when it comes to getting a good deal. So I can def see peoples POV on this topic and it’s hard unless you’re out everyday shopping, in which i don’t have the time being a busy working mom of 2. That’s why I try to rely on websites like these to help me when i do happen to be out and about. So thanks Hip2Save for giving me a boost when I feel let down :)

  • tish says:

    i almost feel like i could have written that!! i slumped all the way thru the holidays, from thanksgiving until just last week – i got back into it, and my first trip back using coupons, i spent $20 and saved $60!! i had been spending $80 a wk in groceries just because of my “slump” when I saw my savings i was reminded of why I do this – for the financial reward – AND I got to buy “luxury” items that I don’t normally splurge on – like yogurt and my favorite coffee creamer :) that was a plus for me too!

    • Lisa says:

      During the month of december we did not have any inserts for about 3 weeks. So when I shopped I used the coupons I had saved for a sale and managed to find some pretty good deals. Jan 6 we had 5 inserts and suddenly I felt behind and overwhelmed. This last week I was so busy I made several trips to the grocery store to pick up a few items and didn’t even take a coupon once. Boy! I remember why I do coupon now! I spent twice as much as I usually do. Needless to say Im clipping this weekend. I also like sharing what I do and helping my friends out who are just beginning to coupon. A plus is I have met really nice people in the different stores. It can be someone who notices my binder or the person in line behind me watching my total go down to 50% or better but someone always is interested in “How do you do that” and I always share. This web site is one of the first tools I recommend. Thanks!

  • Jill says:

    My husband helped revive my couponing get-up-and-go when he thanked me for working so hard to get deals and save us money. We saved $2,600 last year on our weekly groceries! Thanks Hip2Save:)

  • Melissa says:

    I’m in a slump too but I’m running low on deoderant, toothpaste, and laundry soap so I better get moving….hate to pay full price for those things!

  • Terri Marks says:

    I found when I get into “the slump” the best thing to do is curb it back a bit. Set limits on how much time you will spend a day “couponing” or set a quitting time (I was working up until bedtime everyday). Only cut out the coupons you know you will use and pass on the rest. Limit your visits to the store…one day a week. Pretty soon you will be fresh and ready to go again…and maybe some of the limits will remain…because they are healthier all around!

  • Kathy S. says:

    Personally, I had to cut back on how many coupons I would cut (or inserts saved) because I would become overwhelmed on keeping it all filed away and organized. I resolved myself to the fact that if a cents off coupon caused me stress then it wasn’t worth it. So now I only keep coupons that are $1 or more off a single, routinely used item. I has saved me from becoming completely burned out and quitting it altogether.

  • Angela says:

    I live in Louisiana and we do not ever have the amount of good coupons that a lot of the ladies here on the board get. I can get the coupons cut but not filed. What good does that really do me? Unlike the other ladies on the board I do ever get anything “free”. I was excited to use the BIC Razor coupons from a couple weeks back that were a buy 1 get 1. Paper came form Texas as my parent were there. I never get those kinds of coupon. I went to Target with my coupon and the ladies razors in the pink box were 4.99. I got 2 and gave my coupon over and it took off 7.99 so I got the razors for a 1.00 a pack. I do not know how I got that lucky since it said up to a value of 7.99 but was trhilled never the less. Happy Couponing!

  • Kathy says:

    I have been in a couponing slump since last August! We bought a new house, husband had surgery, sold the old house, holidays were on on, I work full time and go to school full time. Something had to give. Couponing was it. I still haven’t started back up. I tried. Bought the papers a couple of different times but just can’t find the motivation. I went shopping last night. I have a family of 5. My grocery bill came to $310! Now keep in mind I hadn’t really grocery shopped in like two weeks, but still. $300!? I think I just found my motivation. Lol. What I think I’m going to do is only clip what I know my family uses. I’m not going to try to do the stock pile this year. I have done this in the past and love it but I just have to focus on the family until I’m out of school. So this is what I’m doing different for the year 2013.

  • Emily says:

    My boyfriend and I have been living together for two years and we split the cost of groceries and do our shopping together. He cooks and I do the dishes, it is a pretty great arrangement! He likes to be involved in the food buying because he will have an idea of what meals he wants to get and what we’re running low on. I am involved because I know pretty much what coupons are in the file and what is on sale in the flyers at the two grocery stores we shop at. We only get two papers but we also get one in the penny saver each week. It can add up to five or six inserts a week. I usually clip coupons while we’re doing laundry on the weekends or while he’s cooking dinner. When I start to feel bunt out, overwhelmed or behind, he steps up to the plate and helps me. I ask him if he’ll help me clip coupons b/c I’m feeling burned out and he does. He doesn’t complain about it. We only clip coupons for products that we use, might like to try for the right price or know we can get free and give away. We are also careful to not clip coupons for foods we shouldn’t buy, like oreos and M&M’s. Without the coupon, we’re not tempted into buying cookies, candy, etc. because they’re also on sale and a good deal. I do, however, clip each and every ice cream coupon! A girl has to have one vice, right? My advice for the burned out couponers, ask for help. It isn’t so bad to sit and clip them when you’re talking to someone else.

    • Jenny says:

      You’re a lucky girl to have a bf that helps clip! Mine is always impressed with my savings, but I doubt he’d be into clipping with me :) He DID, however, buy me an awesome cutter (that I really wanted) and it can cut up to 20 sheets of paper at a time! So, that cuts down on my time spent clipping!

  • claire says:

    I started off couponing a few years ago going full hog – buying multiple Sunday papers, combing the internet for the best buys, rushing to CVS and Wags first thing on Sunday to score their deals (because the stores near me never have enough inventory on their hot deals). I did that for about 2 years before I finally admitted that the searching for deals was making my whole shopping process a lot longer than it ever was before I started couponing! I tried all different organizational methods and found them to be more or less the same in terms of my time required.

    This past year I stopped subscribing to the Sunday paper and I started focusing on only buying the deals for products I would have purchased anyway. There are a lot of crappy products out there (ie. unhealthy, not good quality, etc) that could be free, but I don’t really want to eat/use them so who cares that they are free? I could donate them, but if they don’t meet my standard, why would I give it to someone else? I’d rather donate quality goods to my local pantry.

    Now I get most of my coupons online and focus on menu planning for the bulk of my savings. I might only be saving 40-50% instead of 70% off my total bill, but it’s a heckuva lot less stressful and I have more time with my family. When you prioritize the healthier foods in the supermarket (fruits/veggies, healthy meats, whole grain carbs, quality dairy items, etc), it’s more difficult to find coupons anyway.

  • Suzanne H says:

    I certainly know all about the coupon slump. I generally sit down with all the coupons I printed and the inserts for the week on Friday night so I can grocery shop on Saturday. Many times I will sit for 4-5 hours. Some nights it doesn’t seem worth it but I always find that the weeks I really do a good job – clip, sort, file, go through the ad and pull coupons – that’s when I save the most. So it does pay off! One thing that helped me is giving up my coupon binder. I love it and it’s super easy to find coupons in but I could never keep up with the filing! I bought a plastic box with a snap on lid with a handle and cut down dividers to fit it. Now I take my coupon box with me. It can be a pain b/c it doesn’t fit nicely in a cute purse and I do have to dig a little for a coupon while in the store but ultimately, it does save me time and it fits across the top of the shopping cart which is really nice! Also, a HUGE motivator for me is finding a new place/source to donate stockpiled goods. A friend of mine asked over Xmas if my husband and I would volunteer with them this spring to cook a meal and do a bingo type game for parents who are staying at our local Freedom House (I think that’s the name). It’s a place for parents to stay while their children are staying in the hospital receiving various treatments. Most of these children are quite ill and the parents have traveled here to try an experimental drug or treatment. Some of the parents came with little to no notice (this hospital does a lot of organ transplants). She asked if we would pitch in to cover the cost of buying toiletries, gum, etc. to give away as bingo prizes. I told her to just leave that part to me! I have been picking up any great deal I can on those items and hope to have enough to give everyone something in addition to prizes for bingo!

    • Cassy says:

      Another great charity is the Ronald McDonald houses. There is one in Cincinnati and they take almost anything from food to medicine to personal care to toys (all new, non-expired stuff, of course). The families staying there have access to a kitchen with free pantry items (they put all the donated goods in there). The one in Cincinnati was nice enough to offer me a tour when I dropped off a box and it was a really, really nice facility. I think they have a list of accepted and needed items on their website.

  • linda says:

    I think couponing slumps are quite natural its alot of work and we need to allow ourselves time off. I stop couponing every year around thanksgiving and don’t start back up til sometime in January. I still look for coupons that only pretain to christmas shopping girls gotta save some money. It was a little hard to get back into this year but I gave myself a goal my daughter is getting married this year. Destination wedding in FL so there will be alot of people flying in. Im ma king a welcome basket for all the guests rooms with toiletries I can get for free or next to it I have til sept already have a box full of items. wish me luck

  • ann says:

    I am a mom of 2 young children, I work 8 hours or more a day, and still in the evening I have to take the kids to their other classes…, so having time to do coupons, is a challenge. I am always stressed about it. I see the deals, I print the coupons online but most of them go to the garbage, because I don’t have enough time to actually use them. And I feel bad because I see the deals passing by me. I used to clipped the coupons every week the year before, but last year, I was just clipping what I needed. I noticed that it takes me a lot more time to do it that way, and when I am never ready when I get to the store. I will see a deal, I know that I have the coupons for it, but the coupon is at home, somewhere in a bin :-(… I love coupons and it help me so much get the things I need for my family. I was using everything walmart brand and was still spending $600 a month in 2011 for grocery… Last year I spent and average of $350 a month, I am getting brand items and had so much more to give away to other people in need. I hope this year to organize myself better, to avoid stress and really enjoy the saving… Thanks Collin for your amazing web site!

  • mommy1 says:

    I have a child with special needs and pretty serious health issues and my spouse and I also have many health concerns ourselves from our time in the Army. It is hard but you have to tell yourself it is worth it, even if you only save some money here and there. For us, saving money is more of a necessity because of our child.

  • Lori says:

    Free Beer.
    My husband regularly made fun of me clipping coupons and taking so much time at the grocery check out and was particulary obnoxious (obnoxious is his ‘thing’) one day when I finally snapped, turned to him and said, “See that beer, your gotta-have-it-micro-brew for $8 a sixpack?! Today its free. I saved $9 using these silly coupons, so it’s a wash – your beer is free. Thank me now or later when no one is around to hear you, just thank me!” The cashier laughed out loud and he said, “Really? Free beer? We should do this more often.” And that was the end of it. Whenever I get in a slump I think of that moment and his astonished face (and momentary humilation) and I get back on track. Or, I buy a new lipstick or nail polish or a little something I don’t really need just for me, WITH a coupon and with the savings from the other coupons I used that trip. And yes, sometimes I buy a microbrew six pack for myself, that stuff WAS delicious. :)

    • MommySpendsLess says:

      My husband was the same way until one day he went to buy a razor from Walmart – one of those $8 Mach ones – and I told him I had several already under the bathroom cabinet that I’d gotten nearly free. He didn’t say much (also didn’t buy the razor) but then a few days later we were hanging out with friends and he started bragging about my coupons and all the things I get for free :)

  • valerie says:

    Last year my family moved to a new state and I got in a big slump. Also my husband has never been particularly excited about my deals each week which was discouraging. So I decided to keep a running tally of what I was saving. I would write on my wall calendar when I shopped and add it up at the end of each month. I usually shop once a week, I don’t shop daily or anything like that. Last year I saved $10,000!!!!! Now whenever people behind me comment on my big stack of coupons I can tell them how much I saved last year and instead of being annoyed they are usually interested. If someone is still annoyed behind me I think if I handed them $60 to help pay for their groceries they would take it and be happy, that’s what couponing is to me. Free money!

  • jenkins7000 says:

    I take a break! Live off the stock pile that you have created! If I am low on something, I check favorite websites (hip2save) on sales. I will only stock items that I feel I am getting low on. If I need grocery items, I shop at Aldi. They have great prices and unique/different food items. I always get that urge back when it comes down to paying full price for something! Remember, that you don’t have to get every deal out there! Enjoy all the deals you have gotten already!

  • Glad to see all these comments…I have cut down on clipping coupons this year. I dont use those big binders and I only use a small accordian type organizer. My husband said I was becoming addicted to couponing and he wanted me to spend more time doing other things. So I stopped rushing on Sunday morning to CVS before church and I go maybe on Mondays now and if the items are gone I say oh well and will get a rain check if its something we really need…I use this website most of the time and it has helped a lot. I shop at cvs, riteaid, walgreens and Vons. In 2012 I bought 13,000 worth of products and some food , I spent $3,000 so that’s $10,000 worth of stuff for free. I thought that was a pretty good amount, we have enough razors, shampoo, lotion etc to last a very long time. I dont keep track of my meat and produce purchases because we have to buy it anyway and I dont spend a whole lot . The Vons Just for U programs has helped a great deal and their markdowns are great because my 2 teenagers and 7 yr old eat plenty. So I was in a slump and was feeling overwhelmed but now I’m glad I am going to change my ways and if I miss out on a deal or coupon its not the end of the world. So thanks hip 2 save and all the readers, this is a great website…

  • MommySpendsLess says:

    I couponed for 4-5 years, followed a few deal blogs religiously and shared deals and tips with coworkers and friends to help them get started. I organized with a recipe box, then a binder then went to the full insert/accordion file method. At one point I even created a spreadsheet with sorting macros to track all my coupons/values/expiration dates.

    Then we had a baby and when she was about 14 months old I went back to work full time to a new job with a short lunch break. I kept buying newspapers but the price of my local paper went up to $2 and I found I had several full newspapers floating around my trunk and house – I wasn’t even keeping up well enough to pull the inserts out! I realized then that I had to give up couponing for a while.

    For the last year or so I haven’t couponed seriously. I still check Hip2Save a few times a day and keep my eye out for sales and clearance deals, which have saved me a lot of money on clothes, shoes and toys and paper products (Amazon/Staples deals on TP and paper towels). I glance through the CVS and Publix ads to see if there’s anything that’s a good price after ECB or BOGO without coupons. Occasionally I’ll print a few coupons and a coworker has given me a few extras here and there.

    I’m not saving like I was but for now it fits our lifestyle and we’re still living within our means. I’m considering a 6 month super couponing period to get a great stockpile of toiletries built up so then I can slack off again for a while. I know that I’ll get back to couponing regularly sometime in the future – at 3.5yo, my daughter’s getting old enough to start learning and helping which I think will make it fit into my schedule better (she already knows to look for red stickers at Target and has had fun using some store coupons, like the JCPenney button promotion).

    I will say that once out of it, it’s hard to get back in because I’m starting over with NO coupons. I imagine it will be discouraging for a month or two when I don’t have the coupons listed for half the match-ups.

  • Stephanie says:

    It was hard to keep up with couponing over the holidays but after the holidays were over I made a promise to myself to get caught up on my clipping & filing and start saving money again. Well – I clipped, filed, got rid of my expired coupons and made 1 (very successful) trip to the store with hubby. A few days later, I wanted to go to meijer’s to get a few of the deals that were about to end – it was a cold windy day and in a rush after putting groceries in the trunk, I left my coupon file in the cart and drove off. I called meijers day after day but no one turned it in :( ….feeling very discouraged. The next trip to the store with hubby (to get a few things) – he was surised how much our bill was – and I said yeah, I miss my coupons. Still I didn’t go right home and start cutting (my excuse was that I wanted a file like i had ). So this past Monday, I come home from work – and my hubby had all my coupons out for me and had them in a plastic bag…he said he would have sorted them but didn’t know how I did it. It was awesome. I already made a small “deal” trip to the store and told him that I only spent $13 and saved $42 and that was thanks to him! Some advice to all: Put your name and phone number in your coupon binder – it may help someone return it to you.

  • Margaret I was where you are just a few months ago…I think all couponers lose their mojo!

    Even though e, too, are on a tight budget I decided to take a break from couponing. I continued to shop and stock-up on the sale items. We also ate from our stockpile and freezer…I got a bit creative with a few recipes. :O) I eventually got my mojo back and am now back to couponing.

    That being said, don’t feel bad if you have to take a break!

  • Jennifer says:

    When I get in a slump the first thing I do is check my stock. It makes me feel good to know that I have so many items that it’s ok if I miss one or two (or even 12!) of those deals. I look through my food cabinets to see how I can use up some of my bargains in new ways, then only shop for the things I’ll need – like fresh fruit or vegetables. Then I put my focus else where. I spend some time redoing my home – just rearranging the furniture or swapping decorations around. I’ll also try to find some other way to save money or bring in money like selling a few things on ebay. That way I don’t feel like guilty about not following (chasing) all those deals. They’ll be there when I’m ready to go back.

  • Tracey says:

    Allowing yourself the time off from couponing IS one of the perks of couponing! You have your stockpile, you’ve done a terrific job saving money and sometimes we all deserve a little time off! After paying ‘full retail’ a couple of times, the brutal reality check on how much items cost helps us appreciate HIP2SAVE and wanting to get back to saving a buck.

  • Sara says:

    I think that for me it has been our Target not being as friendly with their coupon policy and limiting items. While I understand that people come in and try to make huge stockpiles. There are people who need 4 of the same item and dont want to come back the next day for the other 2. With that being said, I dont clip my coupons unless Im using them. It wastes time for my family to clip all of them because we only buy specific items when they go on sale. This really helps the exaustion and time with couponing, especially with a new baby in the mix. I think the holiday clearance deals like Fredricks and other online stores with free shipping & some great deals on clothes and other fun stuff are really helping me to want to coupon more. Thanks for all you do Collin!

  • Sara says:

    I also wanted to add that we try to live an organic/ all natural lifestyle so a lot of the coupons we need are typically few and far between. I have also found that sustainable living helps our family. We make our own homemade laundry detergent, have a small organic garden built out by our pool and really try to get bulk deals on produce & meats when they are on sale. I do coupon still, but would love to get more deals on natural and organic products.

  • emily says:

    thank you so much for posting–i work full time, and work has been following me home…im exhausted, and the last thing i feel like doing with my free time is couponing…..but who knows how much money i have unnecessarily spent because of my slump! im so glad to hear im not the only one that goes through this….

  • Elizabeth says:

    The wonderful thing about couponing is that you can take a “time out” for as long as you need, come back to it, and if you were a wise couponer before, you may not have even noticed the effects on your cupboards or pocketbook. I had about four to five months where I did not coupon because of the birth of our fourth child, my first c-section, and then a move across country. Through this whole transition process, we were not without our basic personal care necessities, and we did not have to waste money running to the store for misc. items. I really felt prepared, even though I was not planning to be out of the “coupon clipping club” so long. I slowly began couponing again, and am enjoying stocking up again on those “freebies.”

  • When my hubby went on leave from work for an ankle injury, we started getting food stamps. For 5 people it was a great help and that’s when i started to use coupons more, even though the food was free, I was having more money rolled over to the next month. Why not do a post on foodstamps and couponing. Bet these days alot of people are on them.

  • Jo says:

    Yes, I’m part of the “I want to just shop normally” club too. But then my hubby reminds me that I could never be comfortable just picking items off the shelves and not caring about the prices. That’s just not me. So I scaled back the couponing and focused on the items that are used in our home, my son/dtr-in-law, and other son’s homes, and made my “couponing world” a bit smaller. Still getting deals, but not getting upset if the deals pass me by. I have to focus on the deals I do get, not the ones that get away.

  • Meliza B. says:

    I too just went through the slump of coupon cutting and running around town. Since I’m also tight on time. I started just buying in bulk at Bjs and Costco and this is because I calculated that the price per unit at the warehouses was much cheaper, I’m stocked for months and I also use coupons that they send me. If I do find an incredible deal somewhere and I need a coupon I usually print it or buy the coupon on ebay. There are millions of ways to save money just find what works for you. Hope this helps.

  • Donna says:

    I would say…………time to use some of your well earned savings and treat yourself. Spruce up your coupon organization with a new binder if you are a binder person. I just bought new file holders and finally found a long 3×5 index box that holds multiple alpha sorters. This motivated me to go through everything and get back in the groove. Also, give yourself a break. It’s January. You have a whole year of savings coming up. Time off is fine.

  • ER says:

    I am currently coming out of a slump and fall into one about every 3 months. Normally I don’t shop on a buget. Instead I make my list on excel and deduct the coupons to determine my total price per store. Then I compare it to my available funds and remove anything unnessasary to bring it to an acceptable amount. Anyway to get out the slump I start small. I made my first shopping trip in over a month on Wednesday. I looked the deals over on my way to work and looked up the coupons when I came home. Breaking it up was nessasary to keep from becoming frustrated. While making dinner I pulled the coupons and put everything in my bag. I forgot about it after that until I was ready to go out and went to Shop n Save, Khuns and Giant Eagle. I was in and out of each store in less then 20. I gave myself until the weekend to make addtition purchases, Saturday is my free day. I spent $46 for $114 in products and got almost everything we needed. I take my coupon bag with me everywhere so if I decide I want to clean it out, pull my coupons or anything I have it. That way I’m not rushing to find time to coupon. I do it when I have the time and feel like it. Hope this helps because coupon is great. It’s the only reason I have most of the things in my home and enough food to not shop for a month lol

  • Ashley says:

    I tend to get in a coupon slump once every few months. Every time I do, I make sure I use everything I’ve got (even coupons that I know I should wait and save bigger on a sale day, gift cards, those special $5 off purchase of groceries, the b1g1 free’s, any discounts I can hunt up) to save a bunch on that trip so that I can reward myself on something for being good and sticking to my coupons, whether that ends up being a pair of beautiful clearance boots I find online or if I take my fiance out for dinner. It makes me feel better about the whole thing.

  • Betsy says:

    Sine I live in a small apartment, I can’t really stock that much. And, personally, I wond’t do the…. have stuff in every nook and cranny. If my toiletries type stuff doesnt fit in my small linen closet and under my sink — that’s it. And, the big thing (unless I’m going to donate it) I never buy stuff that is a good price but I don’t use. I wont’ get candles (and that type of stuff), certain foodstuff I know I shouldn’t eat …. so I just ignore those sales. I only stick to things that I need and good for me (foodwise). And, I know that I can only store two bottles of laundry detergent so I ignore any sales till I get low.
    I take breaks when I just take a quick look at CVS sales, and if SUPER good deal, and on an item I really like, I’ll get it. Otherwise, I’ll just wait a few weeks, since the sales come around. If you are getting worn out, just don’t go for every deal, don’t order those free sameples that often up (not always) a tiny bit of shampoo etc. Stick to basicss, things running low on, and use and need.

  • Kasandra says:

    I am not so much as in a slump then in a “newer job demands” position. My job now takes up all of the day time and much of my evening hours, including weekends. I love my new job, but it leaves me with so much less free time to search for, clip and organize my coupons. Where I used to save hundreds of dollars a year, now its a lot less. I find it depressing to stop at the supermarket and pay full-sale price for items that I know there are coupons out there for, I just cant get them. The last time I tried to orgsanize my binder, I found that almost all of the coupons had expired by as much as 3 months! Thank you Colin for doing what you do, at least I know that if I have any spare time, I can at least browse through your page and see if there are any bargans I can use, since you already have it all organized!

  • JLee says:

    I took a break from couponing because I just didn’t have time to organize and prepare ahead of time. Then I felt a coupon trip coming up because I had run out of a lot of stuff and got inspired to make a Pinterest dinner:) So after I got the Winco coupon on this site AND in the mail, I was inspired to go ($10 off of $50 rare coupon)…that’s 20% off all your groceries. I went when I wasn’t in a hurry and brought additional coupons, got prepared ahead of time of which coupons to use and brought a list. So after an hour of grocery shopping (I needed a lot of stuff!) my total came to $100 even plus change. I kindly asked if I could use 2 of my Winco coupons since I had one printed one off this site and one cardboard one in the mail. The checker was SUPER nice (which is another reason why I am hesitant to use coupons at time when they’re time-consuming) and she called the manager over and he said I could use 2 but the 2nd one could only value at $5. I was super happy with that since the coupons read only one per transaction but it never hurts to ask. Well the manager came over to authorize it and the coupons each rung up as $10 off each! The manger goes “oh well!” and let me have both at full $10 off each! I was thrilled and it totally made my preparations worth it. THEN the checker got really excited and said “You just said $30 with all your coupons…that’s awesome!” Side note: This was kinda a fluke so I wouldn’t recommend trying to double these up since the print does say only one per transaction so I just lucked out at the goodwill of the manager. Yeah for couponing! I must admit, I’ve had my share of hassles with coupons so this was finally my saving grace!

  • Laura B. says:

    I feel the same way! I’m getting more discouraged as the weeks go by, too. Even though we got 5 inserts a couple of weeks ago, there were very few coupons I could use. I went to Publix yesterday and only had 3 coupons I could use! We are eating much less processed food, more fruits and vegetables and fresh bakery and deli items, so I don’t have coupons for much. I had a coupon for Smart Balance, some cereal and some ziploc bags. That was it. For me, having weeks go by when I only see a few dollars of savings is what discourages me the most. I’m definitely in a slump. Can’t wait to see the new series from Collin! I’m sure she’ll have some inspiration for us!

  • Emily says:

    We are on a really tight budget because of our situation we actually bring in without OT less $ then we are paying out in bills. I just started couponing and already I have seen a large reduction in what we spend. DH luckily is able to work OT most weeks so I use some and put some aside for savings when he can’t work OT and also have a small weekly amount used for debt reduction so we can get out of the hole we are in. Couponing has been a life saver and I think it has given me a new perspective on a lot of things. I used to go to the store with no plan and just buy. Things are so much easier now because of the plans I make ahead of time.

  • I see couponing as a way to make life better; I get a thrill when I work an amazing deal. However, even something fun can become a burden if you “have” to do it all the time. When I see stacks of inserts that “have” to be done that’s when I stop; take a break and use my clipping time to do other things. I’m usually back on track in a few daysor a few weeks. And that’s ok.

    Even during a couponing hiatus, pat yourself on the back and give yourself credit for all the work you did and money you’ve saved.

    Here are a few things I’ve done that’s helped:
    1. I get just 2 Sunday papers each week.
    2. I go buy my papers. I do something quick and fun while I’m out getting my papers. Like getting a couple of fancy schmancy coffees and popping by my sister’s house for a quick visit.
    3. I stopped following coupon “brag” blogs.
    4. I count my blessings that Hip2Save doesn’t do coupon bragging. I cannot say enough positive things about this.
    5. I vowed to never again watch Extreme Couponing.
    6. I repaired my coupon binder with funky duct tape then started adding silly stickers. It’s a work in progress.

    Good luck!

  • G says:

    Like someone has mentioned here, the deals do come back and you don’t have to stress out and take advantage of every deal. As a mild couponer, I use mostly printable coupons and that’s enough for me. I’m still saving $$. I don’t have a newspaper subscription or buy Sunday newspapers. I only started couponing exactly 12 months ago, and that was when I took advantage of the great B1G1 deals on toiletries that we need and actually use. The same deals came back about 6 months later. I didn’t take advantage of it again because I still have some. A year later and I still have some. I have learned to pick and choose the deals I want to take advantage of…stuff that I know we eat, use and need. Even if there’s a great deal (to almost free), for example, on prepackaged waffles, I skip it because we don’t eat it. If there’s a $1 off coupon for an item (that I still have or don’t really need), and I would still have to pay out of pocket plus tax…I skip it because my goal is to really spend as little $$ as possible. I did this in the beginning, but I also learned to not invest our $$ into a store anymore in order to get something for free, because I don’t like the feeling of being forced to spend the rewards coupon before they expire.

  • Princessbooboo says:

    I have been clipping and using coupons for few years and experienced few slumps here and there. Whenever I feel like not clipping or using the coupons, I don’t do it!

    Relax, it is okay. In fact, I decided to go back to school this summer, so I was super busy and not feeling like clipping coupons, so I put all the coupons aside and focused on school. Whenever I had to go to store to get groceries, I checked the ad, see what I need to pick up, male a list (and list of things I want to cook for a week), think which item I may able to find coupons, and look only for specific coupons, and go to the store. If I did not find any coupons, then that was fine. I only spend about $30/week anyway.

    We cook meals every day, and eat lots of vegetables and fruits. I took about 4 months off during the semester, did a lot of couponing and stocking up during the winter break, and I will take a break in few weeks when my school becomes busy. Just make sure you don’t buy unnecessary things or go to store too often. I go to the store once a week and that helps me save a lot of money.

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