Confession of A Coupon Addict

I am finally willing to admit that I am addicted. It is consuming my thoughts constantly, and it must be controlled. I am addicted to coupon shopping. It's the thrill of the hunt for the deals, and triumph of finding the shelves stocked, and ready for my match ups. But, last night my DH brought to my attention that it has to stop.
Here's my confession. We went to Publix and everything was well stocked, all my moneymakers (Zantac, Schick razors, Aleve, Bayer) and all the scrubbing bubbles products I wanted. Notice I didn't say needed, because in the previous 3 days I had also been shopped and got multiples upon multiples of scrubbing bubbles. I didn't need more, but the thing is I got approval from the store manager to use the $5 Target Gift card wyb 3 scrubbing bubbles products. So I got 12. (mind you I already have over a dozen at home). My newest challenge this week has been to get gift cards for my overages, so I can actually go negative on my orders because the gift card absorbs it. So I can get the dollar value high with all those $7.99 starter kits, and then I can use multiple Publix $5 off $50 coupons, plus a competitor $5 off $30 coupon and before you know it - they paid me to shop. So, this week I've accumulated $90 in gift cards from my coupon overage.
But I screwed up yesterday. Bad. I was so excited when I saw the travel items I use for overage, and started filling the cart, I was too pre-occupied to pull the coupons to match up with the items. I pulled all the other ones but not my overage items. When the total at the end of the shop was $33, I was wondering why it was so high, but didn't want to prolong the checkout, it was already too long - the cashier wanted to double okay the Target gift card coupon with the manager, etc. So, I figure it must have been from throwing a couple things in the cart that weren't planned. Of course my mind is churning, "what happened, why wasn't it twelve dollars???" as we walk out the store - and then it hits me. I forgot to give them my $5/2 Zantac coupon and the $3/1 razor coupons and the $1.50/1 nyquil coupons. I did the math in my confused little brain and realized I paid $21 more than I should have. So we're checking the receipt and sure enough I didn't use the coupons, checked my envelope and there they were in the back. We debated about going back in to apply them, but decided against it because they paid us $7 already for the $40 gift card and our cart full of groceries. How could I go in and say pay me $21 more?
I suppose I could go back and have them apply the coupons to the receipt, but I figure its a lesson learned. I can use the coupons next week, since they don't expire for a while. But, I confess I have a problem and I need to control it. I was so despondent, forlorn and felt like such a failure for paying that much for groceries. Thirty three dollars is the most I've spent in almost a year for any shopping trip. It just kills me. The stupid thing is, most people would be ecstatic to have a shop like that where I saved $144 (81%). That's what makes me realize I have a problem.
Here are indicators of my coupon addiction, maybe you see yourself here too:
  1. I have bought coupons from a clipping service
  2. I get multiples of the Sunday paper delivered just for the coupons
  3. I go "recycling" in the neighborhood scrounging through peoples curbside receptacles for coupons on recycle night ( I know, Yuck)
  4. I create a spreadsheet list for my shops, calculating quantity and prices. I panic if I don't have it. I update it many times throughout the day as I figure out new combinations of purchases, and new deals.
  5. I clip and print coupons almost every evening while on the computer.
  6. I bought an old PC just to print more coupons, now I have 5 computers (I know, WTF!!)
  7. Add to that, I have 2 printers
  8. Of course my fridge and freezer are full all the time
  9. I bought an extra freezer to store food from my couponing.
  10. I have to freeze some foods that won't keep in the fridge (meat, cheese) because I've purchased more than I can eat before it would go bad.
  11. I bought a big storage shelf to store my stockpile, and its full and overflowing on the floor.
  12. Of course, all the new kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets are full of product.
  13. I've got coworkers and neighbors who give me their inserts, as if my 6 isn't enough, plus the 10 I get from recycling. Why do I need 20 copies of coupons??
  14. My coupon insert box is full and I'm starting to stack on top of it
  15. I buy stuff I know I don't need. I just got 36 Gatorades last week on deals, did I really need the 20 more Powerades? There's only 2 of us to consume all this stuff. And who needs 2 dozen scrubbing bubbles products?? Our bathrooms are brand new from the remodel, they're not even dirty yet!
  16. Before couponing, I hated to shop and would only go once a week - 4 times a month. Now I go almost every day to the store. I went 11 times in April and its only the 15th. I shopped 22 times in March.
  17. I have a hard time giving the stuff away if I think I might need it someday - even if its a remote chance.
  18. I buy cat food and treats when they're free, and I don't even have a cat. Now how bad is that??
  19. I'm signed up on several coupon forums to make sure I get all the deals
  20. I subscribe to over 100 coupon blogs and read hundreds of entries daily to keep up with the deals
Okay, I think you get the drift. I'm confessing my addiction and I'm ready to change. I've vowed not to shop except one day a week, not matter what deal I'm missing. Check back later for my list of corrective actions to help me curb my addiction.
Do you have any advice on how to control this obsessive behavior? I'm open to suggestions.

3 comments:

  1. I need like half of your obsession and it would be a win/win! LOL...Found you via Friday Follow & am your newest follower...pop in and see me if you can!

    http://boobiesbabiesblog.blogspot.com

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  2. I'm the opposite. I wish I would focus more on coupon and price tracking. Just when I say I will, I'm making a last minute trip to the grocery store and making up the dinner menu on the fly. My addiction appears to be not planning.

    Laura Pagles
    @fatwallet

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  3. Anonymous4/20/2010

    OMG...I soooo need to print this off and bring it in to my therapist if that is ok with you? I have been going to therapy because of OCD related issues that are fairly mild but I can TOTALLY relate to you. I too have been using overage for g/c's which means our homes are stocked up on groceries so what else can we venture into lol. My therapist tried putting me on a 20 coupon per week max and I failed miserably. BUT therapist loves my donations to her for other clients that are cash strapped like the diabetes meters, prevacid, etc. I also give tissues to her for office use since hers are the cheap kind so got her stocked on nice, cushy puffs/kleenex for those teary moments. She does have a cat so I also get her coupons for those needs. This week I found myself getting the milkbones deal at Publix just to get my total up and I don't even have a dog. Ok to stop rambling and get to the point, ask yourself if there is anything or anyone that is being neglected due to your couponing OCD. It's just me and my DH and I even asked him this question and he wasn't feeling neglected and in fact, likes going shopping with me. It has become a thrill for both of us and kind of a date night activity if you will. Also do force yourself to donate some of that much beloved stockpile. Believe me, I know this isn't easy since we do work hard for this stuff. But I take my stuff to the St Vincent Depaul for homeless at least monthly and usually have almost a trunk full. (small car lol) It feels so good to hand my beloved goodies over to an actual person to see first hand it going to such a good cause. I use the FIFO method for donating....first in first out. When my bins are full I take whatever has been sitting the longest and donate it. Wish I could do yard sales but live in a villa so not an option for me but might be for you. I LOVE your site and wish you the best at this cutting back endeavour. Looking forward to your updates! :) Kim

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