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Finding Balance…

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As I have stated many times in the past, I often struggle with finding balance in my life. If I spend too much time on the computer, I feel like I am neglecting my kiddos and my hubby and vice-versa. With the holidays approaching and all the hot deals that are likely to surface, I know I will feel even more pressure to hang out with my computer way too frequently. And it seems that I am not alone. Check out this email that I recently received from a reader…

I love to save money and get excited on many of the deals you post. However, recently I feel like I am married to my computer, coupon book and your site :).
I have let my home duties get behind and I am always checking in on your site. I also love to read what others say as I learn so much and also love to offer replies on questions others may have – as I know how much others have helped me learn –plus, there are times I am corrected and I actually am thankful I was, it’s another learning experience –better at home then in the store with that cranky cashier.
So, now I sit here wondering – is it ok to take a break or will I go through couponing withdrawal? Will it be hard to get caught up? How long of a break to take?
I get Sunday papers delivered, so I won’t be behind on my inserts. I am just so exhausted of separating, cutting, sorting, planning, – and getting to the stores early and making sure I do not forget to cash in rain checks on time and before the expiration date of my matching coupons.
Coupon shopping is weekly and never ending it seems. I recently had to buy quite a bit of food without coupons to get restocked on some things I let get behind. And, it made me think – oh no! My husband is upset that we ran out of such and such and the cupboards are not full and so now I had to pay full price. So, I am adding my weekly shopping food coupon shopping trips back into my schedule.
But, I am only one person and my kids are too young to help and I do not spend nearly any time with them like I should. I am luckily to clean the house, cook meals, do laundry, organize the budget, plan out appointments for the family and get them there, so on, so forth. My husband works (long days: approx 60-70 hours a week, 5 days) and I do everything else – a 24/7 job that doesn’t include a full nights rest, thanks to my little baby girl who still doesn’t sleep through the night. Between my toddler and now 9 month old – it’s been 22 months so far and not one night have I slept through a night yet.
I like to think I am a typical SAHM who is married with a few kids and a couple pets. So, what are your thoughts? What do you hear from others on this?

With that being said, how do all of you find that perfect balance (or is there even such a thing)?! Do you ever feel overwhelmed with couponing and deals? Do you ever want to go into a grocery store, leave your coupon binder behind and purchase everything at full-price just to take a break? If you have taken a break from couponing, how long of a break did you take and did you come back feeling refreshed? Feel free to answer any or all of these questions and share any additional tips that you may have.

Join The Discussion

Comments 321

  1. Christylee

    Like somebody posted about Stay At Home Moms having to keep a schedule working moms need to keep a schedule. I am not only a working mom but I own my own business and I am a Girl Scout Leader of 17 5th graders. I have my schedule I keep for all of it some weeks I don’t get to the store but I buy enough that it doesn’t matter. I also come home and unpack my stuff with a permanent marker and write the price on the bottom of the product so when friends/relatives may need stuff I share my great prices with them, that is my high I can shop and get my money back while sharing it with others. Free (ofcourse I have to pay tax) personal hygene items and feminen supplies go to church with me on Sundays for the food pantry that serves our local neighborhood only. DO what you can when you can and take a break too. I am so thankful to H2S for posting the deals I love the new website so I can print off only the deals I want and hit Wags and CVS weekly usually spending average of $40 at both and that is alot of groceries. This week I stocked up on Campbells Hearty Soups for the winter 4/$3 after coupons LOVE IT 🙂

  2. Nicole S

    I totally understand the original poster’s point of view. I was a SAHM for a while and now I’m a WAHM. And quite honestly, it’s all the same in my eyes! Whether you take care of your kids, husband and house full time, or work full time, it’s not easy being a mom. Period.

    That being said, I have felt the same way about my couponing. I feel like I’m missing out on my kids’ lives if I coupon too much but I feel like I’m missing out on deals if I neglect my coupons… so here are a few tips I think might help you.

    First, if you don’t have time to clip coupons, I suggest getting at least one set of coupons per week and NOT CLIPPING THEM! With a permanent marker, I label the front of each book.. like for example.. I would write “P&G , 10/10/2010” for Sunday’s P&G Insert. It helps me keep them straight so when I look at hip2save or other sites, I know where to find the coupon they’re talking about. That way I’m not spending valuable time clipping coupons that may just end up expiring before I use them.

    I’ve also felt guilty when I’m running late, the kids had too many appointments, my husband’s too busy with work, etc. and I run to the grocery store and pay full price. I totally understand! I read one of the posts here where someone suggests that you focus on one store. That’s a great idea! I mainly do deals at CVS, unless there’s an irresistible deal somewhere else. Remember that even if you don’t use coupons on EVERYTHING, using coupons on some things (like shampoo, conditioner, pain medicine, etc) still saves tons of money!

    Another thing that Collin recently pointed out is that a lot of generic brands can save you money without sacrificing taste. I agree with this! I watch for sales and try to only buy what’s on sale at my local grocery store each week. For example, if we need meat for meals all week and ground beef and chicken breasts are on sale, I buy 1-2 packs of each and stretch them out throughout the week. I know some people might not like that, but there are tons of free recipe sites to try out so you don’t get bored eating the same thing frequently.
    This is a GREAT way to save money without having to clip coupons.

    My last piece of advice is something I had to learn pretty quickly (I’ve been couponing for less than a year). The BEST thing about couponing in my opinion is that there is ALWAYS another deal to be found. So you missed out on one great deal… so what…. there will be another one, a better one, at some point. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s not worth it. And if you do miss a deal, just remember the time you spent with your kids is better than any deal you may have missed.

    Try not to feel guilty either way, you sound like a great mom and I think a lot of us are in the same situation. You’re not alone! We’re all here for you 🙂

  3. Steph

    Recently I missed a deal on Cetaphil at CVS. Then we ran out of face wash. I let almost 3 weeks pass before biting the bullet and paying full price because it was just too painful…

    • shannon

      i think that stuff is b1g1 50% off at rite aid this week

  4. Lara Babot

    I was gung-ho about couponing when I first started – and LOVED how much money I was saving. But, I too, was spending too much time on the computer – clipping – organizing – shopping….I had to learn that I only need to focus on the things that I would have bought before couponing. If there’s a deal on those products – I make sure to go get it. I also have cut down to 1 grocery store and 1 pharmacy (Walgreens) – and I only go to other stores if, again, the deals are on the things that I would have bought before couponing.

    This has helped cut down on the overwhelming binder – clipping – organizing – and shopping. If I buy a Sunday paper it’s b/c the coupons that I’m going to use and keep are worth more than the newspaper…I then cut the rest and put them in 2 envelopes – I mail one to my mom and one to my sister-in-law – that way someone else benefits from the coupons I wasn’t going to use.

    Another tip is to only shop one day a week, and stick to it. Don’t keep going out every day that Collin posts a new deal…just remember that the deal will come back around – and unless it’s something that you NEED – then you don’t have to rush to get it just so you can save $1…spend that time with your kids – and if you have to miss the deal, oh well…you can pay full price for it when you go back the store next week – besides it’s not worth the gas that it takes to get there….

    My goal each week is to save 20 – 30% off my grocery bill at the commissary – as long as I stick to that – I’m satisfied. I know I could save more if I put more time into it – but hey – I have a family and they are more important 🙂

    ALSO – I try to only check hip2save every 2 or 3 days – I just keep hitting the ‘older savings’ button until I see a post that I remember. Do I miss deals? Yes. But, b/c I only go to the store once a week – I don’t need to look at it every day. I just go back through to see if there are any coupons that I need – and print those.

    Sorry so long – hope this helps.

    • Cathy

      i agree with once a week doing the main shopping, usually monday or tuesday for me. collin posts most deals for the drugstores on saturday. i often do a filler trip later in the week, and that is when i may try to get other deals that collin wrote about that were unadvertised or newly discovered.

  5. Kim Barnes

    Although I still check your website every couple of days and sometimes participate in coupon deals that can be done online, I no longer use coupons in the stores. This sprung about for numerous reasons.

    Before I had my son (Our first), I LOVED couponing but felt like I dealt with opposition from cashiers everytime I went couponing. I tried to pick certain cashiers, certain times of days, make conversation, etc, etc… but 75% of the time, I was faced with an issue. That was fine until I had my baby and my whole world changed.

    Now, not only is my free-time very, very limited, I also don’t want to be arguing with a cashier in the store while I try to entertain baby and keep him happy during the transaction.

    It’s sad and it’s definitely resulted in a big increase in my grocery budget but… sometimes time is money. Anytime I can get a great deal online, though, I do and I still love your website.

    The other day, I passed a lady in the supermarket with her coupon binder, madly flipping through, looking at her coupons and I had a little twinge of, “Ohhhh, I remember how fun that was!”

    That said – I am expecting our second (and last!) child, who is due just one week before my son’s first birthday. Needless to say, we’re going to be busy so for now, I’m on the online deals but not the in-store ones.

  6. autumn

    I feel overwhelmed all of the time. My husband works alot of hours too and we have 4 kids. I am always behind on everything. I stopped trying to get EVERY deal and I do not do EVERY store. I choose what I can handle for the week. I also live 45 minutes from any stores. The one thing that is helping me is to limit my computer use and to only work up deals on things we actually use. I am thankful for this site, the brain work is done for me. I have taken time off here and there, you will just ease back into it. There is always a DEAL out there and you can’t get them all. When I really get behind I will stay off the computer until I get caught up. Well, I am never really caught up but I will stay off until my head is not spinning from the overload of work.

  7. Bunky

    I am a typical SAHM mom that deals with the same issues everyone has. I take the summer off from couponing since the kids are home full time, vacationing and playing really get in the way of the extra time that is required for couponing. I would also worry about not getting my newspapers when I was on vacation thus fueling frustration when I couldn’t get a deal because I was missing coupons.

    I don’t feel guilty about taking the summer off anymore. I would feel guilty about purchasing newspapers and never using the coupons. I’ve had unclipped coupons pile up before and that stresses me out, so I just don’t purchase them over the summer. It works for me. Childhood is so short, I’d rather be spending the time with my children making memories rather than stressing out over the deals I missed. I do concentrate on making sure I have a good stock pile by the time summer rolls around so we can live off of that for awhile.

  8. Thanks for the deal

    I almost always end up having to buy the things I need without coupons. I don’t want to but that is the way it works out. I like to shop at Target b/c if later I take my reciept and find the coupons on the things I got using your coupon database they will refund my money and it’s easy. The coupon deals are for items that get put away most of the time and that I don’t need at the time. I want to run to the store every day for a deal and I do best just getting 5 items or less b/c otherwise I get to stressed and mess up. Couponing is hard for me but I do love it and I can’t stop looking for those great deals. I have been doing this for 3 years now and I can’t find time to put a binder together and figure out how to use it. I have lost my credit card at least 4 times this month b/c I am so worried about the making sure the coupon got taken off or I paid the right price and tring to keep the children happy – I stick it in the bag, pocket or someplace strange- ugh. I get overwhelmed with all the coupon stuff on my desk and on the floor next to my desk – I print so many and never use them. Sometimes I feel bad becasue I spend hours looking, cutting the deals that my family hates it but then I save us $100 in a week so what do you do? Life is hard in the coupon world but it’s so much fun!

  9. Zsuzsanna

    You have to learn to focus your attention on products you always buy. Because I felt couponing so overwhelming I did not even get into food couponing. Only drugstores. I stopped after a very heavy 6 months, because I let my house go and kids, etc. It happens.
    Now I am concentrating only on those certain items I realized what worth for me to buy at the drug stores, so I have a permanent list for those stores, and where ever I have the most match with my list and the best coupons is where I go that week. (I used to hit all 3 drugstores… than I realized I spent too much for the month. Went over my budget.)
    Our grocery stores have pretty dissapointing coupon policies, so I don’t really bother with them. I normally buy everything in bulk at Costco and only buy thing from the grocery store I need to create my weekly meals or produce that is on sale, manager specials, etc.

  10. Jennifer

    Oh my goodness! That sounds just like me…but I also work full time as a teacher. If I skip clipping for a weekend, I get bummed later on down the road when I don’t have the coupon for the great deal you mention!

    • Dianne

      I am a retired teacher, 2 years now but I was couponing while I was teaching. Granted I didn’t have children at home but I spent a lot of time at school before and after school as well as grading papers or doing lesson plans at home. I would coupon primarily on Sunday even with making a trip up to school to get ready for the next week. Weekends I can hit the special deals only on the weekends that stores like Safeway have. Then Sunday when the drug stores ads come out I could go get those also. If I didn’t get time to do the drug stores on Sunday, I would go after school and do one or two small, quick transactions and be on my way home. I focused on the free items only and the deals that did not take a lot of time or coupons to accomplish, like printables, coupon booklets, store coupons, stacked with rebates that had to be processed seperately by mail. I only did the ones that could be done online, like Staples, Rite Aid, and the way Walgreen’s used to do rebates. They were quick and easy.

      Now that I am retired, I focus on the same things only now I only get the items if they are really really cheap $.25 to $1 depending on what it is food wise. But non foods, I won’t pay anything for (except tax if I’m in Arizona, summer in Oregon=no tax) because I have the time to wait and compile coupons for and after doing this for 4+ years, I know the cycles and what prices will be coming up and my stockpile is a year in advance. I only print off those printables that I know I will be using, I print the high value ones because I can usually work those into free or money making deals. I still end up giving a lot of things away because I make money albeit “funy muny” but that pays for the things that I do buy for my husband and me.

  11. Christina

    The best advice I heard was from my sister: “Another deal will come.” I try to remember that it’s okay not to get in on all of the deals. It is still difficult to go to the store without a list, but somehow those kids still need food regardless of what coupons you have organized to save money!! My best strategy is to stockpile on the big ticket items (or items we use all the time) when they are on sale (diapers, toilet paper, juice boxes, personal hygiene, etc) and when the pile is getting lower… regroup and find another deal.
    That being said, there are still things that I refuse to buy if I don’t have the coupon. Like a date night to the movies with my hubby. $10 a ticket??!! Honey, I’d rather spend that money on a drink and some conversation and wait until we have the coupon for the movies!

  12. tiffany

    It’s ok to take a break and go shopping without coupons. If that’s what you’re mind needs to clear than it’s ok. I know I’ve been couponing major hard core since being layed off work in Jan and I know that’ll change once i start working outside the home again and that’s ok. There’s a lot of food items we don’t use coupons for but i’m able to save on soooo many other things that’s it’s ok. I do most of my food shopping at Aldi’s so I know I’m saving a lot of money there. My three DS’s are in middle and high school so I don’t have little ones around anymore and I do have the time to put into it and I still find it overwhelming and time consuming at times. There will always be another deal and another coupon. Don’t feel like you have to rush out to get every deal there is today or this week. They come and go and will come again!!!

  13. Debbie Mc.

    Boy, I could have written that email myself! I have a 3 year old daughter and now an almost 4 week old son, and both my husband and I work full time and are very active at our church. There are so many deals out there to be had, freebies to sign up for, and surveys to take that it can take over your life! I started using H2S and other like sites to find the deals in May of this year, and for 3-4 good months I did it all! Consequently, my house and family suffered, my sleep schedule suffered, and at times my job suffered.I didn’t even put any effort into the baby’s room until 2 weeks before he was born! My competitive side wanted to save the most, to find better ways to make a deal happen, and to hold up my receipts like medals of honor.

    I’ve since come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to do it all, so I’ve backed off. My binder is in shambles, and shopping trips with 2 kids at this point are an “if I have to” scenario. If I can grab deals, stack coupons, flip through my binder in the clearance, I will. But if not, I get what I need, and get out. Just as so many others have said, another deal will always come along, and very few deals ever happen just once.

  14. Bridget

    It is funny that you post this today! I think there have been too many good deals back to back. These Jewel cats are killing me! My house and car are a wreck! i think coupons 24/7 -doing the math on cat deals while I drive. I want to take a day off work to get organized but is that really a “vacation day”? The deals do come back around. I don’t know why I worry about missing them.the last day of the month I freak out that some good coupons are expiring! Today my DH tells me we are out of sour cream… a necessity in our house (his addiction). I say ..yeah I know I am going to get some. I realized on Sunday we were out after the 25 Breakstones from July but I didn’t have coupons with me. They were $1.49… in the past I definitely would have paid that!

    I think my head examined! I reallly need to back off and take some of the suggestions from the other readers! I can see I am not completely crazy! If I could just make a living shopping! There is no better feeling than getting a great deal! Any psychatrists want to comment about this addiction?

  15. olga

    OMG I know what you mean I work part time 30 hours a week out of the house. and the rest of the time I am at home with a 8 month old and 3 more kids and it is not easy try to keep up with the deals and making sure you have all the coupons to get the deals. I give my self a limit when I wake up before all the kids I go to the computer to see what is going on that is 30mins and in the afternoon another 30mins and at night when everyone is a sleep and I am done cleaning the kitchen like 1 in the morning I cut my coupons and make my shopping list for the next day. I go out shopping 3 times a week and if I miss a deal or a coupon that has maxed its print it is okay something better will come along later . just hang in their don’t give your self more then what you could Handel.

  16. Christy

    Wow, when I was reading her story, I immediately thought of myself!! I get to a point where I feel like I just can’t miss a deal and it gets to be quite over whelming and exhausting actually! I notice the laundry piling up in the laundry room, vacuuming needing to be done, etc because I am glued to this computer! It’s nice to know that I am not the only one. I think we need to form our own little support group. 🙂 Between email, Hip2Save and Facebook, I am hooked!

  17. shannon

    Wow…I am sooooo very glad to hear someone else is having the same problem. I work 40 hour weeks (12:45pm-9:15pm) This leaves no time at all for anything. I stay up way too late trying to find deals and wake before the kids get up to continue. Im exhausted physically and mentally. I often wonder how I get everything else done. My kids are of all ages ( 16, 6, and 20months) so Im always running somewhere for someone. I really wish the economy didnt cause us such a big mess. I didnt “have” to coupon before, now I feel if I dont we wont have enough money to make ends meet.
    Oh so very tired

  18. M

    Does one ever really find BALANCE….. I HOPE SO.. Cause BALANCE I’m looking for you .. still!! =)

  19. Paula Abraham

    Wow! I’m seeing a lot of the same feelings that I have here. I am addicted to couponing! I have tried to stop, but I just can’t. Either I have a RR to use up or something that I think I just HAVE to have because it’s a money maker…and I can’t just let it pass. My little 18 month old boy doesn’t get enough attention and is always being hauled around on my shopping trips. I’ve tried cutting back to 1 day a week, but I can’t get to all of the stores I want to in 1 day with my sanity still in tact. (My little boy doesn’t like to shop as much as I do.)

    To top it off, my family is leaving to go to Disneyland on Wednesday morning and I’m way stressed about getting everything ready and packed, and yet I have some coupons expiring for things that I want. I’m trying to figure out how to get those items and still get everything ready to go. Why can’t I just let them pass and get them the next time the coupons come out? Why do I have to go out the day before we leave and try to get everything? I have even thought about going to a Rite Aid or Walgreens in CA because there were some items I wanted to get that our stores were out of here. I know couponing can save money, but I think I end up spending more sometimes than I should on items we don’t need. My house is cluttered with all of the “free items” from stores and freebie mail packages. I can’t seem to get caught up and find places for everything. I’ve even started giving things away just to get rid of them. I NEED to take a break, but I can’t let go. What can I do?

  20. M

    I totally agree w’ alllll of you!! But how to balance, i’m hooked and love couponing and need it also to make ends meet for my family. HELLO MY NAME IS M. And I have a CCDLA ((((Coupon Clippin Deal Loving addiction ))) 😉

  21. stdwht

    I’m the mom of 4 teenagers , 3 dogs and a care provider for my dad. Couponing can be overwhelming and time consuming if you let it. I have set myself a time to do my couponing and I really try to stick to the schedule. I know that Monday is the Day that I really sit down and look at my Kroger and RA papers. It usually takes about an hour because I look at my different sites for the best deals using my Q’s. On Tuesday morning I do my shopping. I make One and I mean only one trip for the week. If I miss a deal, I miss it. Its not like its going to make my family do without anything major. As far as cutting and clipping, well, I do that while I am watching my CSI or survivor. The kids know what I do and why I do it and they stay clear. If I don’t feel like clipping, I just write the date on the insert and file it. I don’t waste time clipping the inserts when the P&G comes out because there are usually too many in that weeks paper and it becomes overwhelming.

  22. NYCSingleMom

    As a single mom with no outside help, I try but fail at couponing because of the time commitment and so admire your dedication to saving money and posting these deals. Seriously, I am amazed. I thank god for your dedication because you make my life easier even if I cant take advantage of everything.

    http://www.nycsinglemom.com

  23. TinaMarie47

    I am new to couponing and at first went crazy over it. I stayed up until 2 am printing coupons and plotting out my out my plan of attack. I found the first outing stressful and overwhelming. I didn’t leave the store with the high I had hoped for from my victory. So I have decided to revise my approach to it. Don’t get me wrong I have learned so many great things from my couponing experience and one is that we can tweak it to work with our lifestyles. I now coupon mostly for the items I normally use. I am trying to live a healthier more fit lifestyle and many of the foods out there don’t fit any longer into my lifestyle so even if they work out to be a great deal, I don’t need them. I still save an impressive amount without going overboard on time spent couponing. Balance is doing what “reasonably” works for your lifestyle. No one ever has it all together (not for long anyway). I am trying to learn to give myself a break. I don’t think most of us would lay the type of guilt trip on anyone else that we lay on ourselves for not being perfect at it all. Prioritize your life and then enjoy it!

  24. Carrie

    You just have to realize you can’t get every deal. I go to three store once a week. I take my lists and my coupons and whatever isn’t in stock, oh well. I used to try to get all the deals. I was going to the store three or four times a week. It gets too overwhelming. I get sad when I miss out on good deals, but just to keep my sanity, I have to forego some things. I hate paying full price for anything now that I’m couponing, but sometimes you have to.

  25. CindyW

    I found that couponing was like a drug to me. It was an addiction. I loved the high of the good deal and opening my freezer and seeing it stocked with things we love but couldn’t usually afford to have. But this summer I decided to not coupon for 3 months. We had less money every week, less food,and It wasn’t until my year’s supply of stocked up body was ran out that I realized that couponing is a good thing. I’m lucky that I have taught my children the value of a dollar and that the one still at home (she’s 16) knows how to coupon too so she helped me get re-orrganized again. She gets just as excited as I do when we go to CVS and score $45 worth of things and I onlt pay a dollar something and they give me bak $16 in ECB.
    Couponing can be time consuming. iIt is a part time job, but when done right We can make $70 an hours in the store. That’s a lot more than my husband makes, and I do brag (so does he). But…you have to find the happy medium. I clip on Sunday’s, shop on Friday’s at the groceries, and Sunday’s at the drug stores if there are good sales. But it may be easier for me because my children are grown. I will say though that I wish I’d know how to do this when all 4 of the kids still lived at home. We could have had a lot more money in our pockets if I had. My advice is to cut your time on the coupons to a moment that is all yours. Not easy to come by when you have young children, but you could invite family and friends to join you in saving money and perhaps do a coupong clipping, shopping, babysitting pool to even out your time with household chores.
    Good luck. Coupon burn-out happens. take a break if you must, but don’t give it up. I have weened myself from hourly check-ins with Collin to checking 3 times a day. I give up on her because it’s “Hip2save”

  26. mjk2

    Interesting post. I love couponing but I do take a break without feeling guilty when things get too busy for me. I also do not clip coupons unless I know for sure that it is a product I would buy anyway without a coupon. I file the inserts each week and only print off coupons I need for a deal.
    Having said that, I just cleaned out my pantry and threw away a huge garbage bag of expired foods, pasta, rice, salad dressings,etc and put aside another huge bag of items that will expire in the next 3 months for the food bank. So, for me, even though I got these items for free or almost free, this has been an eye opener and makes me re-think spending time getting a deal on things I may not use or things I already have a stockpile of.
    I will certainly be more careful about what deals to spend time on.
    There are just too many great deals out there to do them all.
    Thankfully, Collin posts so many and does all the work of putting deals together and then we can just choose the ones we want and that we have time for!

  27. Jill

    I used to coupon alot more before DS was born (he’s now three).. it’s not as easy to get out and do it (nondriver) and hard to bus it with ds and bags 🙂

    BUT i do try do as much HAB prods as I can between CVS, and BJ’s wholeslae i do okay (need to get more on the ball again with CVS it’s just too easy)..

    Also shopping at Aldi’s makes me not feel as bad abotu not using q’s since they don’t take them since thier prices are pretty low anyway.

    I’m also a SAHM with number two due in Feb.

  28. Katyln

    I’m a mother of a 5 month old and has a husband who is going to school fulltime. Not only do I work fulltime, I have to cook, clean, and do the shopping. There has been days where I’m tired and don’t do any couponing, but then I’m stressed out, because I have inserts everywhere around the house and it takes long to go through and try to find what coupons I need for that week. One day I stayed up all night until 7 am to get all my couponing done. Even though it can get tiresome its worth it. Especially if I can save my family a ton of money.

  29. Kira

    I figure that as long as there is food on the table, my kids have clothes on their backs, the mortgage is paid, the house is at least picked up of most of the clutter but maybe not “Clean”, my kids are basically happy and I’m not flat on my face on the ground from stress, then I’ve found a little bit of balance. I don’t think it’s possible to have complete balance in any one’s lives.
    My kids are 6 and 8 yrs old and I still wake up most nights to check on them. I think it’s residual from all the sleepless nights when they were babies, my body just got used to it. I wake up exhausted everyday, just to start the day over. I’m not technically a SAHM because I run a daycare in another location for about 5 hours a day with another girl running the 1st part of the day, but it still wears on me trying to accomplish everything that needs to be done at home everyday. I can’t take a break from couponing, although sometimes it would be nice to just buy whatever I wanted. It would also be nice to spend more time with my kids instead of prepping the shopping list and piles of coupons. I can’t afford to do that though. I can’t do it all, all the time and sometimes things don’t get done. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.
    Don’t stress about every little thing that can’t be controlled. Life happens and if we stress over all the little details, we’ll just wear ourselves out even thinner than we already are. It’s not worth it. Hug your babies and do the best you can in their lives and that’s all that really matters.

  30. Kira G

    I write this as I am getting the 7 year old to get dressed for school and my almost 1 year old is getting into something in the hallway. The clean and folded laundry is stacked high on the couch after yesterday’s trip to the laundry mat to get caught up on the laundry, no comment on the state of the kitchen floor. My husband works over 40 hours as a mechanic then comes home and works out of the house as a mechanic until midnight some nights. During the day I make calls, order and pick up parts, and do EVERYTHING to keep the household and his home business running. I volunteer one day a week at my oldest’s school, am contemplating PTA, am the art docent for her class and possibly all the 1st grade classes, am working on getting a Girl Scout troop started, and NEVER get enough sleep. But there is one thing I have learned from my husband and his fairly recently found obsession with bicycling, when you find something you love to do that is good for your health and sanity you make it work. He now (in the last year or so) takes 3 hours off of home work on Saturdays to ride with friends, and we ALWAYS take Sundays for family time. We make it work, and even though everything seems to pile up, and the 1 year old still doesn’t sleep through the night we all look forward to just hanging together and regrouping on Sunday. LIFE can be overwhelming, take time (even 10 min) to just regroup and prioritize and it helps. Also please remember IT’S COUPONING NOT OPEN HEART SURGERY and balancing is in the eye of the beholder!

  31. Yami

    One thing I always try to do is having the coupons always in my car. That way if I know about a good deal, I know I have them handy, if not..(cause I also have forgotten sometimes), is not big deal… paying full price once in a while is not bad at all after all I have saved. And just having the inserts classified will be my next thing to do cause it really saves a LOT of TIME.

  32. April

    Perhaps you could take an entire week off and not even go shopping at all? Rather than pay full price for groceries and household staples, just try to make your pantry/freezer stretch as far as it will go. My friend calls this, “Living off the land!” Spend the extra time with your family and pray that God will help you find that perfect balance so that you don’t feel guilty and your kids still feel loved. Couponing is a necessity, so don’t give it up entirely! We just have to keep our priorities in order…

  33. Donna

    I have to admit, couponing is an addiction!!!!!! I was just saying that to my husband the other night. I know that when I turn the computer on, I will be on for at least 3 hours. I try to time manage my computer time so when my little one is napping, then that’s when I hit the computer so that way I don’t feel like I am wasting time when she is up. On the other hand, sometimes I find myself on when she is up and I feel guilty. Or I usually go on when the kids are sleeping which doesn’t help me because then I’m up til midnight sometimes 1am. If I have to make a grocery run, it is after I put the kids to bed or I make 1-3 hrs on one of the weekends. I realized that when you start couponing, it’s great to get great deals and then you start becoming greedy with your own money as to where it goes. Because you know in your mind, it’s a great deal but you can’t pass it up because you have those coupons. And as a coupon community I think we should all band together in support and praise of the deals that one finds instead of bashing each other because we weren’t able to score that deal. I am one that keeps to myself when I see posts like that but it’s just really disturbing to me that a fellow couponer would respond like that. So what if you had to get a rain check, you will get it eventually. The deal will come around again. Sometimes I miss a coupon or a deal, oh well then maybe I wasn’t meant to get it or you think, you really didn’t need it anyways. I know there are times where I KNOW in my mind I would not purchase it but then hey, for .20, why not right?! It is really hard to balance it all but in the end, things get done but not in a timely matter. I have to say doing coupons really is draining and tiring!! I’ve also learned it’s okay to take a get away vacation and splurge!! It felt so good not having to worry about coupons although I did get to use them while on vacation!! Which made me feel good anyways!

  34. Becky W.

    This is quite an amazing post! I am a full-time working mother with 5 (his/her children) ranging from 9 – 15 yrs and my husband works full-time as well. It is quite a struggle to juggle all the children’s activities let alone keep up on the couponing. Couponing is more of my passtime. What I do is focus on three stores (Safeway, CVS and Wal-mart) to keep down the stress. I have as of yet, to visit Rite-aid or walgreens for deals as time does not permit let alone I have to drive to two different cities to visit a Rite-aid or Walgreens where CVS (though small and I do not like it) is in town. Keeping it simple is the key. I stocked up on all the personal hygiene items when the deals were rolling strong, now that I have a substantial supply, I am now focusing on food only. This makes shopping much more managable when only perusing for food deals. Now my pantry is getting well stocked with soup, pasta etc.. I enjoy reading Hip2Save deals as well as some of the posts (when time permits). Thank you for the words of encouragement, but honestly, don’t stop couponing, just streamline. I saved 70% at Safeway the other day, sticking to ONLY the deals and not going outside that and that made me feel on cloud nine and the trip was FAST too. Keep up the good work, and balance, yes, clipping all those coupons are a waste, clip only what you need and donate or give away what you don’t.

    Take care Ladies and find your Balance in life 🙂

  35. L j

    I have to coupon DETOX every so often. I go for a long bike ride or run and get all those deals out of my head. I am then ready for the next that come along! 🙂 Sometimes this is daily!

  36. Janet

    I thought about myself as I read your post. My daughter is off at college, I work full time out of the home and have a 2 hour total commute each day to and from work. I HATE to get behind clipping and sorting coupons ( I use the binder system). I get a little stressed when inserts are piled up. I always feel like I am missing a good deal! I have recently taken about 3 weeks off from couponing just because I had so much to do. It was a necessity. I just didn’t have the time. Yes, I did have alot of coupons that expired, and I probably missed alot of great deals, but the world did not come to an end 🙂 My husband is a great help around the house, and my daughter helps me when she is home from school. When my binder is in order, I always keep it in the car so that I will have it with me. I have stockpiled ALOT of stuff. I get a good feeling knowing that if we run out of something, I don’t have to run to the store to replace it, I just go to the closet and pull it out instead! Yes, sometimes the furniture is dusty and the laundry is piled up but I get a great amount of satisfaction knowing that I am saving my family lots of money and am able to help others as well when they are in need.
    If you need to take time off, go ahead. Don’t feel guilty. No deal is as important as your children and family. You only have so much time with them before they are grown and gone.

  37. chrissygwhite

    I can really relate to the writer. I have a toddler and I spend nearly all my time with him during the day – housework and everything comes second. I check on this website several times during the day for quick moments – using the lemon icon to make lists. (I love that!) At night, after cleaning, cooking, and cleaning some more, I am spent. I rarely have the energy to look at coupons. I use weekends to try to catch up, but it is time to go shopping and I find I am often running out the door without a perfect plan. So, I do the best I can – I’ve streamlined it to only 2 stores (can’t keep up with all of them) and when I go shopping I buy as much as I can. I take breaks from couponing often – and this means Aldi instead, and eating from the pantry. Well, don’t feel guilty for taking a break! And remember, if you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of the babies! Take a nap, when you can. And my husband also gets a little confused/concerned when we run out of a staple (b/c I was waiting for a deal!) or when I am the shopping natzi – not letting him grab anything from the store. I find that letting him help, even if it means more $ is worth it, because I get a rest, and we are happier! Saving money is awesome but so is quality of life.

  38. Busy Mama

    We live well over an hour away from anything other than Walmart, so I miss almost all of the deals since I generally only make the trip in to a “real” grocery store (I love Kroger!), Target, and Walgreens about once a month. Even so, my pantry is bulging, I have more body wash and toothpaste than we can use in months, and I spend very little at our local Walmart. If you miss a deal (or two, or ten), you will still be ahead budget-wise since every little bit helps. The deals always come around again, and when they match a scheduled trip into town I always load up. The savings on the deals are rarely worth the extra time, effort, and gas to take a special trip into town.

  39. Holley

    I am also a SAHM with four kids. My husband is in the military and works almost every day. On top of the four boys, the house and the husband I am a full time college student online. I have found that I am cooling off a little with the couponing. It takes a lot of effort and time to do it like Collin does it. I have found that I love going to CVS. I will check on H2S to see what Collin has posted about CVS deals and then head out. Target is another favorite. My main goal is my grocery bill. Last week I saved $75 on groceries at the commissary and I was loving it. I figure this is my contribution to our family. I may not have a job right now but I can save money on things that we use every day. You do not have to coupon full time to enjoy it. I coupon part-time and I save enough money to satisfy me and my family. Good Luck!

  40. Kathleen

    Unlike everyone else above, I am not a mother. I do not have a family. I am a college student who is addicted to couponing. I spend hours a week organizing and clipping. At first my roommates, three teenage boys, thought I was crazy. What college kid clips coupons? Honestly, I don’t understand why they don’t? Between student loans, books, rent and other assorted bills .. couponing to lower my grocery bill is one of the few things I can actually control.
    I have to admit, I spend way too much time online looking up deals and running from store to store. It takes up alot of time and gets in the way of things I should be doing like school-work, cleaning the house, or actually being a normal college kid. I’m working on finding a balance but at the same time, I feel guilty when I miss a deal or pay full price for something.

  41. Lyla Durrer

    I found these comments very interesting, but at times a little sad. I am no longer a SAHM. I am now a SAHG. 🙂 I think I like it much more, because I don’t believe I have the courage to raise a family in today’s world. I’ve noticed several common threads in the posts. Such as, “typical” SAHM. I don’t think that there is such a thing, because even though you have similarities, non of you are “typical”. All of your trials, tribulations, and the way you deal with each, are unique unto yourselves. Finding the “perfect balance”…I don’t believe any of us will ever accomplish that. If we have a little balance in our lives, we have balance. No need to dwell on how much or how perfect it is. Just tweak what we have a little each day, and before long you will notice a great deal more balance and harmony in your life. Much less stress, and with less stress you will become better at finding that balance that works for your family on a daily basis. I also think it’s absolutely necessary that you take care of yourselves. If you don’t, you aren’t going to be able to take care of that lovely family you’ve created. Proper diet, nutrition, and exercise for both mind and body are not only essential to you, but to your family. When prioritizing, this should be close to the top of of your list. Smile…even if you think you have nothing to smile about. Look off into the clear blue for no reason, and smile or laugh outloud several times a day. Kindness…one of the most powerful words there is. Pass it forward daily, some how, in some way. Ask yourself…”What is the worst thing that can happen if ______?” A question that you can ask yourself about that load of laundry that doesn’t get done, when you forget to turn on the dishwasher, clip a coupon, miss a bargain, put your make-up on perfectly (or at all). You get the idea. You might be surprised at the answers you get back from yourself if you answer honestly and not in a state of fretfulness. It took me a long time to learn how to eliminate a lot of small, insignificant things from my life. It doesn’t happen overnight. There was a time when I think I was driving my family crazy by trying to be “perfect”. I couldn’t even walk by a table and see something out of place by so much as an inch. I HAD to stop and rearrange it to where I thought it belonged. Once I realized that perfection could never be accomplished, no matter how hard I tried, we were all much happier, and healthier. You are all wonderful, hard working mom’s and dad’s, regardless of whether you work at home, outside of home, and in a lot of cases, both. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t care nearly as much. You wouldn’t be here seeking answers, or sharing your dilima’s of daily living. But, one thing for sure…you are unique (one of a kind), and as Martha would say, “That’s a good thing”.

  42. Janet

    First you work at home moms are amazing!!!! I am a full time teacher and wish I could coupon like most of you!
    One, spend time with your kids!
    Two, don’t feel guilty about not getting a bargain, you are doing a great job by spending time with your children. Remember they are worth more than the $20 you saved.
    Three, be excited about the bargains you do get.
    Four, remember you are only 1 person.
    Five, spend time with your kids. Most families are very jealous of the opportunity that you have. (Some don’t realize how hard work at home moms work though.) Enjoy them they grow up fast.
    Good Luck!!!

  43. Debbie

    Glad to know that I am not the only one in the world sometimes feeling overwhelmed by couponing! I keep up the best that I can, but must admit that paying full price for an item can be tremendously painful. Considering the long term sad state of our nation’s economy, we may all likely be trying to stretch our dollars for months to come so finding deals and saving money is more of a necessity than a hobby. Just think how much more time consuming all of this would be without the help of sites like Hip2Save!!! What a privilege it is to provide for my family, nurture and care for my family and community. I love the opportunity I have to try and the best home economist that I can be! Babysteps! Check out http://www.flylady.com.

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