I’ve received several emails and tweets asking about coupon burnout since my post on Saturday. Coupon Burnout is actually quite normal! It happens to all of us. Sometimes you just get tired of clipping and organizing, and dealing with cashiers. Here is a post that was originally published September 29, 2008, that I think will help many of you out. While it’s not specifically about burnout, I think the tips in this post apply to all of us, whether we are new to using coupons, or experienced pros. Enjoy!
When I first started couponing, I would walk into the grocery store somewhat apprehensively. Coupon binder in hand I would grab my grocery cart, and glance around to see if I was getting any strange looks. “What will people think of me carrying around all these coupons?,” would cross my mind as I went through the automatic double doors. “Will I get evil looks from store employees?” It can be quite intimidating if you are new to couponing. Your heart is already racing with anticipation to see how much you will save. And you’ve spent hours upon hours preparing for this trip.
I remember getting so obsessed and excited, that sometimes I had trouble falling asleep. You’d think after spending hours sitting on the floor looking at inserts and clipping coupons, that I could put it out of my mind long enough to get some much needed rest. And then when I did fall asleep, I would dream about coupons. The mind can become bombarded with the never-ending bliss and sometimes fear of saving money.
Will they have everything on my list? What do I do if they don’t? Will the cashier accept all my coupons, or will I have to argue? You are afraid they will say something, because you just don’t think you can stand your ground. I remember at check out one time, I was so afraid the cashier would give me trouble, that I’m sure I would have burst into tears if she had said something.
For the longest time I thought, ” is this really worth all this stress?” Some days I really felt like I was having heart palpitations from getting so excited about couponing.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I think it’s actually quite normal to go through this when you first start out. It can even last several months. Trust me when I say, it will fade in time. I still get excited sometimes, but it is less often, and nothing like it used to be. You will get used to it, and it will get easier.
Here are some tips for you if you are experiencing any of this.
1. Take a Break. If you are exhausting and stressing yourself out to the point where you feel like you might have a nervous break down, stop! No amount of money saving is worth your health and safety. There are always deals to be had, so take a break for a few days, or weeks; however long you need.
2. Get Proof of Store Coupon Policies. Email or call companies asking them to send you their coupon policies. If you have proof of what the stores’ policies are, then you will feel more empowered when facing ignorant cashiers (and you will face them at one point or another).
3. Don’t Try to do Every Deal. If you are really getting into deal hunting, you are realizing that there are so many deals to be had each week. If you try to do them all, you will drive yourself crazy.
4. Keep Your Transactions Small. This kind of goes along with number 3. It is especially good to keep your transactions small at drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. Getting too many things will not only make your out of pocket higher, but will also stress you out more. When you are new, it’s hard to think of everything you need to do. I use to give myself migraines trying to figure everything out, and this is because I was doing too much. Keep it small and simple. If you do a little bit each time you shop, you will slowly get better and better.
5. Be Patient With Yourself. It will come easier with time. It’s hard right now. It’s hard to figure out how each store and couponing works, but it does get easier. Just keep taking it a step at a time, and it will start to become like a second nature to you.
6. Stop Obsessing! Take a break, calm down, and stop constantly obsessing. Enough said.
7. Don’t Give Up. Don’t burn yourself out, and don’t give up! Couponers save thousands of dollars every year. Keep working at it until you’ve got it. If you need encouragement and a kind word, find yourself a great coupon mentor. And keep checking sites like this for tips and motivation
What are some tips that you have for new couponers, and/or people dealing with burnout?