If you answered yes to any of these questions you could be going through coupon burnout. But relax. Most couponers experience some level of burnout at different times during their couponing careers and yes, I do mean careers. Let's face it, as fun as couponing can be, it really is like having a career or a part-time job depending on your level of involvement in it. And just like any job, there are times when a well deserved vacation is in order.
Beating Coupon BurnoutThe following suggestions will help you overcome coupon burnout.
- Get Rid of the Guilt
Couponers are often in charge of keeping the family budget intact. Money saved by using coupons is usually distributed to other needs such as family vacations, clothing for special events, summer camp, etc. When we find that we are burned out with couponing, we may begin to feel guilty for not putting forth more effort to save money where we can.
We may feel guilty for passing on super deals, simply because we feel too bored to rush off to the stores to snag them.
It is at this point that you need to put away those guilty feelings and instead congratulate yourself on all that you have saved over the past months and years.
- Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Saving money in today's economy is no simple task for most of us, but if all you ever do is save, save, save and never splurge a little, you risk turning saving money into something negative. A rewarding solution is to use some of your coupon savings on something for yourself -- like a pedicure or a new sports bag. This will help break the cycle of being burned out and remembering the benefits of all your good couponing skills.
- Take Vacation Time
To many of us couponing is a job in itself. We have a set number of tasks we have to perform in order for us to maximize the benefits of couponing. And just like in a job, those tasks can become boring and almost annoying if we don't take enough time away from doing them.
Before you reach complete burnout and start throwing away coupons, take a well deserved vacation and focus on something else. You can even schedule it in on your yearly calendar so that you have it to look forward to. And remember, when you are taking your well deserved vacation, stay away from all of those tasks that come with your (couponing) job.
- Use What You Own
If you have been couponing for awhile, chances are you have built a pretty good stockpile of food and personal items. But what good is a stockpile if you never use it and just keep adding to it? Doing so can contribute to couponing burnout for a number of reasons, one being that you have to manage and find room for your stockpile. Also, a deep feeling of being wasteful can set in and you begin to feel more like a hoarder than a savvy couponer.
It is at this point that instead of adding to your stockpile you need to reward yourself by organizing it and using it. You may find that you really do not need to buy another bottle of shampoo (even if it only costs you a quarter) for the next 24 months. Not only will you save some money by not buying anymore until you've used some, but it is one less item on your "snag a deal" list.
- Reorganize Your Coupons
This may seem like an odd suggestion for someone suffering from coupon burnout, but organizing your coupons can be very rewarding. Buy or make a new binder. Toss out coupons for products that you do not need or want. Get rid of expired coupons if your stores do not accept them. A coupon binder can be just like a messy closet. You can't find anything, nothing looks appealing to you and you feel frustrated. But once it is cleaned up and organized, your attitude is refreshed and going into your closet is not something you dread. Coupons work the same way.
- Shop Without Your Coupons
Sometimes we take for granted the good things that we do or have and the only way to renew our appreciation for them is to go without. Try going shopping without your coupons and that may kick start you back into using them. One or two shopping trips where you pay full retail will usually do the trick.
Problems and SolutionsCoupon burnout will come and go. When you start to feel it come on try to identify the areas that you are most burned out with, for example:
Problem: The negativity you encounter when checking out in stores.
Solution: Try a new store or another location of the same store.
Problem: The chase of running to various stores to get all the good deals.
Solution: Limit how many deals to go after. Instead of 10, drop it to five. Shop at just one store for awhile.
Problem: Too much coupon mess!
Solution: Take a week off from other couponing tasks and just reorganize your coupons.
Problem: Disappointment with your own couponing efforts.
Solution: Remember, any money saved with coupons and smart shopping is a good thing. Avoid comparing yourself to other couponers by not going to the coupon forums for a week. Focus instead on your own success stories.
One way to do this is to take a non-couponer to the drugstore with you and show them how they can also start saving. You'll be amazed at how knowledgeable you have become about saving with coupons.