Why I Stopped Extreme Couponing

[Happy Friday! Here’s a little ditty on Mrs. Picky Pincher‘s love/hate relationship with extreme couponing – something I’m sure we’ve all thought about and/or tried at some point ourselves! Let us know where you stand in the comments at the end :)]


I am not an extreme person. If given the choice between couch-lounging and base jumping, I will always pick my couch and sweatpants. Always.

Predictability is a good trait to have, especially since I’m dumping $225,000 of debt to the curb. And that includes credit cards, student loans, and even my mortgage. It’s a lot to pay off and I’ll try just about anything to eliminate it.

In my quest to vanquish debt, I became a Savings Extremist. A year ago you would have caught me lounging on my couch as usual, manically clipping coupons and reading sale papers.

Somewhere along my journey I became a crazy extreme couponer.  For the six months I couponed, every Sunday was like Christmas morning when the newspapers (plural) arrived with the next batch of coupons. I had accordion folders filled to the brim, bursting with meticulously-labeled Red Plums and Smart Source coupons.

I was this close to digging through the trash looking for coupons.

I was a little obsessive, but there were many upsides to extreme couponing.

It was fun: There was nothing like the thrill of scoring $60-worth of swag at CVS for a paltry $10! I salivated over my three-foot-long receipts with a $5 total. Math has never been my strong suit, but I really enjoyed planning my couponing hauls. I stuck it to The Man by swiping products off shelves for rock bottom prices. I did my fair share of happy dances.

There were good deals: I once scored a giant jug of Dr. Bronner’s soap for $10 – which normally retailed at $20. I also bought $4 bottles of shampoo for a mere $1 apiece, and cold medicine for $1 per pack. I won’t lie: you can find great deals with couponing!

I was always stocked up: Toothpaste? Check. Shampoo? Check. Hair gel? What brand do you want? I have 13. Extreme couponing is most effective when you stack coupons and buy multiple products at a time. Which meant I always had a treasure trove of household products and snacks at my disposal. It’s been over a year since I quit couponing and I still haven’t finished our stock of shampoo! It’s a great way to stock up on lots of items at once, and on the cheap.

Although extreme couponing was a blast in many ways, I decided it ultimately wasn’t for me. After saving over $300 by couponing, I called it quits.

Here’s why I stopped extreme couponing.

It was a time-sucker.

I spent an average of 15 hours a week couponing, and this was below the average (hardcore couponers spend upwards of 30 hours a week couponing!).

I spent hours scouring sales papers, company websites, and handfuls of coupon books to match deals. I carefully planned my weekly trips to CVS and Walgreens with precision math. I knew exactly how much money I needed to spend for each trip, taxes included. I memorized the rewards points balance on both mine and Mr. Picky Pincher’s store rewards cards.

It took for-freakin’-ever. Extreme couponing required an insane amount of planning that didn’t fit into my schedule. I already worked a full-time job and barely had the time to plan the shopping trips, let alone complete the act of the actual shopping.

I grew weary of extreme couponing after realizing it was my main hobby. I had video games to play and cats to pet, after all. I didn’t want to spend half of my waking free time at a drug store!

Bye-bye money

I’ve always been a big fan of spending more money on quality things. Whether that means buying sheets with a higher thread count, dropping more cheddar for good shoes, or buying in bulk. Couponing seemed like a natural way to use today’s money to pay for tomorrow’s bills – I dug it.

As it turns out, extreme couponing still costs money, even if you do it with care. I justified my addiction with the old adage, “You gotta spend money to make money!” and felt that, even though a CVS run cost $15, I was saving money in the long run.

Mr. Picky Pincher mercifully pulled my head out of the clouds. I was spending at least $15 a week between my couponing runs to Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart which added up to an extra $60 a month that we didn’t plan on spending.

I was spending more money on things we didn’t really need—which meant we put less money towards our debts.

At first that didn’t sound so bad. “So what?” I thought, “Those costs will even themselves out in our budget.” But they didn’t. Our expenses increased. The sixteen bottles of $1 nail polish weren’t saving us money—they were costing us money.

I lost my sense of practicality with extreme couponing. I bought hair gel, brushes, and crates of toothpaste that I didn’t need at all. I would buy items just because they were on sale. I was overspending every week and it added up quickly.

Finding cheaper alternatives

Even after realizing how resource-intensive couponing was, I still couldn’t kick my obsession.

I stocked up on makeup remover wipes, fancy lotions, packages of pizza-flavored chips, and bronzer – which is ridiculous when you’re vampire-white like me.

I cluttered our extra cabinets with this extraneous stuff, confident I’d use it all eventually.

But after watching the bills stack up, I wondered if there was a cheaper way to enjoy the same items? After snooping around, I found several cheap and easy alternatives for things I already bought.

Here are just a few items I make now to save money:

  • Instead of buying Neutrogena makeup wipes, I started using coconut oil to remove my waterproof mascara. Works like a charm!
  • We fry our own chips instead of buying 3 for $1 Pringles at Walgreens. I’ve also started opting for healthier whole food snacks, like almonds.
  • I bought a safety razor handle and a pack of safety razors. It cost the same as a new pack of razor cartridges with a coupon. The upside is the safety razors cost pennies compared to disposable cartridges and I get a better shave.
  • I love sugar scrub, so I started making it myself out of coconut oil, sugar, spices, and essential oils.
  • I use homemade dry shampoo instead of store bought. I add essential oils to corn starch and run a small amount through any greasy parts of my head.

The result with these are actual savings. By opting for a DIY approach, I got the same (or even better) result as store bought products. Couponing encouraged consumption of products that I found out I could make cheaply at home.

I know people hear “DIY” and think “Oh man, it’s so much faster just to buy it at the store,” but this didn’t happen in our case. After factoring in the time it took to hunt for coupons, match deals, and do the actual shopping, DIY always came out ahead.

This was the nail in the coffin. I canceled my multiple newspaper subscriptions, recycled my coupon books, and gave up extreme couponing.

The Bottom Line

I still love to use coupons, I just use them more judiciously now. By focusing on non-consumption and producing a few household items myself, I’m able to save more money than I ever saved with extreme couponing. I still think it’s great if you don’t get carried away, but in the end it just didn’t work out for me. This experience has made me realize that there isn’t a right way to save money, though. It’s all about doing what’s right for you!

How about you? Have you tried extreme couponing before? How did it go?

Mrs. Picky Pincher is the blogger and resident money maven at www.PickyPinchers.com. She blogs about paying off debt while living the good life.

[Photo cred: YouthfulHomemaker]

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  1. Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto March 24, 2017 at 6:22 AM

    PP hanging with J$!!! It’s a great day! I agree with your points! My wife and I have started taking the same approach (bulk oatmeal, anyone? Add some diced apple and brown sugar = yum, for almost free!).

    Great to see you posted in BA$, love your blog!

    1. Mrs. Picky Pincher March 24, 2017 at 8:56 AM

      Oh my, I’m blushing! Thank you so much! I’m trying so, so hard to get into oatmeal, but alas, it makes me gag. :)

      1. Lindy March 24, 2017 at 9:11 AM

        I too want to love oatmeal but have the same issue you do. However, my husband makes a quinoa oatmeal (check out Thug Kitchen’s recipe online) and it changes the texture enough that it doesn’t make me gag. Of course, adding the quinoa makes it not as cheap. But I figure the health benefits are worth it!

      2. DH January 16, 2021 at 6:40 PM

        I can’t seem to manage it either!

  2. Mustard Seed Money March 24, 2017 at 6:48 AM

    My wife doesn’t do extreme couponing as much as she shops the sales. She normally checks out the ciruclar of the three grocery stores closest to us and then decides where she’s going based off the deals. Before I got married I use to spend $500 on food. Now that we have a family of three we still spend $500 on food. She is amazing when it comes to finding deals.

    1. Eileen March 24, 2017 at 1:59 PM

      Yup. This really makes a difference. Planning your shopping list around what’s on sale (even if you aren’t going to eat it this week) is the best way.

      I typically check the sale flyers on wednesdays to check what’s on a good sale and plan to buy it, regardless of what my week’s menu will be. On Sundays I check my freezer and pantry and make the plan for dinners for the week and then flip the page over and list out the things I need for that + the things I plan to buy on sale.

      I shop once a week and if I forget something, I don’t drive to the store, I put on a small backpack and go get it. I get some extra exercise and I can’t bring home much other than what is on my list.

      1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:17 PM

        Great idea :) also – never go shopping while hungry!!

  3. Carrie Willard March 24, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    I agree. I stopped playing the “drugstore game” because none of the products I would want to use ever were part of the great deals. Also, shopping with my kids and working the scenarios was just too stressful. It made me short-tempered. If you do ONE thing wrong, it ruins the scenario and everything ends up being full price – and since the stores mark up everything to these deals, you’re better off just getting the Suave shampoo for $1 at WalMart and calling it a day. LOL.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:18 PM

      That’s the same “one thing” that scares me with doing credit card hacking and all that… well, besides just like keeping things as simple as possible :)

  4. Money Beagle March 24, 2017 at 7:32 AM

    Any time you attach the word ‘extreme’ to something it definitely introduces potential problems. Even with something as good as coupons, there are risks that you certainly saw firsthand. Good luck on maintaining a balance. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds.

  5. Band of Savers March 24, 2017 at 7:53 AM

    One of the reasons that we’ve never really gotten into couponing is that we rarely see the coupons for the stuff that we actually need. When we have seen helpful coupons and tried to save them we’ve found that they generally get forgotten about and end up expiring before while stashed away waiting to be used. Then it just turns into clutter and we realize that we obviously didn’t need the product anyways. We tend to try to got he route of only spend money on things that we need to use at the time and tie up our money in stockpiles, even if it was at a good price. But to offset the prices involved in this method we get the generic store brands instead of the pricey name brands.

    But in college we did use to scour the adds every week and do all our grocery shopping with price matching at Walmart and that did save us a ton even though it require a few extra hours per week.

  6. Amy March 24, 2017 at 8:03 AM

    I was never a true extremem couponer, but I did use them on a regular basis. I’ve essentially set them aside in recent months for many of the same reasons you outlined – time, money, product quality, etc. I still scan my grocery store’s weekly ad to see if there’s anything that I should stock up on, but other than that, I ust buy what I need when I go.

  7. Paul Burckhardt March 24, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    My wife did this a few years back. We used to get multiple copies of the paper for this purpose. Yeah its great to get 10 bottles of dawn for 64 cents but when you calculate the amount of time spent, depending on the value you place on your own time it is an extreme money loser. It took so much time and planning that I honestly would rather just pay full price.

    As I would tell my wife ” It’s only a good deal if we were going to buy it anyway” which equated to about 5% of our actual purchases. We eat primarily from the produce and meat sections of the store and typically do not buy boxed food, with the exception of Ghirardelli brownies, I mean, I’m only human…

  8. Money Under the Cushions March 24, 2017 at 8:26 AM

    Great post! I used to be the same way. The rush after the hunt and find. I got tired of it because it does take a lot of time. I still have fun finding freebies, though. Love the sugar scrub idea! I think I’m going to look into making some. Thanks!

  9. Jax March 24, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    When I was extreme couponing I always lamented that if I just had a little more time, think of all the deals I could get! I think it was a mixed bag for me-I definitely got many things that I used frequently for pennies on the dollar (pasta, shampoo, toothpaste) but I also bought things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I will say, though, that I sold a lot of what I bought for a profit online, but again, that took even more time.

    The only thing I miss about extreme couponing is all the free toothpaste. It’s been years but I still get slightly angry when I have to actually pay for it.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:22 PM

      Haha… pretty cool you started flipping the stuff online at least :)

  10. ZJ Thorne March 24, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    I have never been into extreme couponing myself, but I have one friend who does it in a manner that looks healthy on the outside. All of her items end up in homeless and/or battered women’s shelters. She loves a deal and counts this in her charitable giving. Once her business ratcheted up, she cut back some, but her stores are still around whenever a shelter calls.

    I’m with you on DIY stuff. I don’t dry-shampoo, but I use my own shampoo once a week and coconut oil as a deep conditioner when I’m out of the shower. Cheaper products tailored to my body’s chemistry are perfect.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:25 PM

      That’s a GREAT use for all these extra items!! Your friend is an angel!

  11. Rachel @ The Latte Budget March 24, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    I agree with so many points here. If time weren’t limited, I would coupon. But I can make more by using that 15 hours a week to freelance write or work on my blog and earn a lot more than if I would have couponed. Great post!

  12. COD March 24, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    If you are buying mostly healthy stuff at the the grocery store coupons don’t do much for you. When is the last time you saw a buy one get one free for apples, or chicken? It may be on sale, but it won’t be a coupon. We gave up even bothering because 75% of our grocery cart comes from the outside edges of the store (meat / produce / dairy) and there are never coupons for that stuff. Spending an hour scouring papers to save $3 on Doritos just isn’t a good use of time, especially when the store brand Doritos are always buy one get one free anyway.

  13. Full Time Finance March 24, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    We’ve never gotten too far into the extreme coupon game. The reality is, even if we made money doing it I don’t expect it would cover our time. Instead we simply tailor our menu for the week to whatever is on sale. We also buy things like meat in spurts and freeze it. That doesn’t take too much time to do an still saves a significant amount of cash.

  14. lauren March 24, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    I used to coupon at a mildly extreme level. I typically did not buy products that I wouldn’t use unless it would *make* me money. I never spent more than a couple hours per week getting my lists together.

    I still coupon, but not extreme. Now that my head is not in it 100% I screw up a lot of deals and end up paying a little more sometimes for products because of it.

    Another issue with couponing is that overall, you don’t get deals on HEALTHY foods. I could spend $40-50 tops a week on a semi- healthy grocery visit but now I am trying to eat very healthy and spend $100 and can barely use coupons.

    CVS, however, is worth it. I save so much money there on laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo– things we USE every day. And it takes only minutes to look over the deals on some extreme couponing sites.

    I struggle deciding whether to even get a newspaper anymore…is it worth it? So I called the newspaper company to tell them that and they gave me $3 off every billing cycle. :)

    As long as you pay attention to weekly sales, a few coupons here & there and seasonal deals, you can save $!

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:28 PM

      I’m just glad they still make newspapers! I don’t get a subscription, but i always enjoy picking one up to read when at my mother in law’s house and just gives me a nice cozy feeling… Also, I always feel smarter reading the paper than the web? Even if it’s the same article?

  15. Joe March 24, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    15-30 hours is way too much time to spend dealing with coupons. That is a bit extreme. It doesn’t seem worth it. You can get a part time job or start your own small business with that kind of time commitment.
    How much time do you spend on DIY? I’m assuming a few hours per week at the most. That’s much more palatable.

  16. Linda@Frugal Turtle March 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    I attempted extreme couponing for a couple of months about 9 years ago. Like you, I ended up buying junk food or stuff that we didn’t need just because I could get it for cheap. I didn’t spend that much time on it though. A couple hours on Sunday and then a couple more hours throughout the week. I’m just glad I came to my senses.

  17. Kris March 24, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    I used to religiously clip coupons back before there was “extreme” anything! The thrill of coming home from the supermarket with a week’s worth of groceries for less than $10! So what if we didn’t really *like* the crap we were eating – it was practically free, which always made it taste better, right?

    Eventually, I grew tired of spending so much time and effort to save a few dollars on something I didn’t even really want! About 10 years ago, I decided to only clip coupons for items we would actually, in normal life, use. Then, when I routinely didn’t even cut enough coupons to offset the $3 cost of the Sunday paper, I just stopped.

    These days, I still get the monthly circulars from the one warehouse club we belong to, and I do cut coupons from that – but ONLY for items I ACTUALLY buy, and ONLY when I ACTUALLY need them (i.e., not buying for my Future Self). Then I’m happy to spend the 2 minutes cutting a couple of coupons for toilet paper or dish detergent, and save a couple of bucks on a purchase I would have made anyway.

    1. The frugal prof March 24, 2017 at 4:54 PM

      This sounds like my experience with Costco

      I used to buy huge quantities of unhealthy stuff, but it was such a great deal.

      I grew tired of it. And it was costing me money buying big quantities.

  18. Mike B. March 24, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    My local Acme has a digital circular that I can clip coupons online, and pick up the items later in the store. I give them my Acme code/cell phone number and the discount is applied at checkout. I don’t have a newspaper subscription; it doesn’t seem worthwhile to get one just for the “slicks.” But I’m all about using old school razor blades to shave with. I buy a year’s worth of blades for under $10; and I actually enjoying shaving now with the brush, the lather, etc.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:29 PM

      Oooh that actually sounds pretty nice! And gentlemanly! :)

  19. Rose March 24, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Like you eventually realized, extreme couponing does cut into your time necessary to pet the cat:) – I do think it is almost a right of passage for anyone fixated on saving money and/or pay off long term debt.

    I’m blessed to live in an area with all sorts of discount and outlet stores, outlet malls, dollar stores and close-out warehouses, incl. a HSN (Home Shopping Network) outlet and even Furniture outlet warehouses. Plus, I have a military ID to shop on base, tax free with meat and liquor purchases consistently 30% off. Not to mention a son who likes to fish and brings me fish and crab, and since he started keeping chickens – free eggs.
    Now that I am retired I do grow a small herb and veggie garden – ever had orange-mint tea fresh from the garden or butter sauteed carrots with home grown fresh spearmint? Divine – and so much more fun to spend your time on, than chasing coupons for a product you can in essence do without.

    Of course, I still use coupons and take advantage of all the bogo deals that abound in our area. I figured out what the time span is between the next bogo deal for each of our favorite products and I stock up with enough product, plus two weeks.

    Always pay attention – I think you owe it to yourself or rather your financial health, to not only find but keep looking for opportunities to save even more. Join some of the buying clubs (if like me, you have the space) or share the club card with friends and family, so you only have to buy one card. Or – better yet, do a mystery shop and get membership for free.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:31 PM

      Oh man, I miss the military prices a lot… we grew up traveling the country (and world) with the military and no matter what base you went on they always had what you needed and at a great price (usually). Miss all the traveling too!

  20. Primal Prosperity March 24, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    I’m such a minimalist at heart, that I couldn’t bear the thought of keeping so much stuff. I’ve seen those extreme coupon shows and these people have closets dedicated to their stuff. We live in 320SF, so that wouldn’t work. :)

    Also, the few times I perused coupon sections, it seemed like the coupons were always for things that I wouldn’t buy anyway. But, the Dr. Bronners deal was a job well done!

    I like the DIY also, but mostly for minimalist reasons, not financial. Kind of like how the couponists love to see where they save money, I love to see how many items I can multi-purpose. One of my favorites is that I mix together baking soda with either olive oil or coconut oil (depending what I have on hand) and it makes a deodorant, facial/body scrub and toothpaste, all in one little container! :) I also like to mix yogurt and spices as a facial mask. This way, I’m not buy extra bathroom items with chemicals and throwaway plastic containers.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:33 PM


      You ever read Bea Johnson’s No Waste House blog? She’s allll about multi-purposing and making her own stuff – you’d like her:


  21. Apathy Ends March 24, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    I don’t blame you for calling it quits – that is a ton of time and work to save money! I couldn’t imagine cutting that many coupons or searching for them.

    The extent of my couponing is using a card at the grocery store that automatically applies any of their coupons at checkout and doing a quick google search before buying something online!

    Thanks for the in-depth review!

  22. Paul @ ABL March 24, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    PP and J$ – a winning combination!

    Extreme couponing sounds like the very worst of the extreme sports and has slim chances of ever being added to the X Games. But your history is pretty entertaining – thanks for sharing, and glad you’ve now struck the right balance!

  23. Mrs. BITA March 24, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    I’ve never been able to play the couponing game. I can’t even seem to play in the little leagues, never mind extreme couponing. Every time I grocery shop they hand me a bunch of coupons at the checkout counter. I glance at them and most seem to be for products that I have never bought and don’t plan to buy. Occasionally I’ll land a ‘good one’ and excitedly tuck it away into my purse. And there it will lie, long past the expiry date. Eventually I purge my purse and gaze sadly at what might have been.

    And I’m with you as far as the couch is concerned. I’d pick that every time too.

  24. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner March 24, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    I used to coupon a ton but I realized I was trading time for money. While it was great to get some items for free or dirt cheap, it wasn’t the best use of my time.

    1. Manuel Schulze March 24, 2017 at 5:26 PM

      I totally agree! I think if you use that time to make money on a side gig, you will end up much better.

  25. The frugal prof March 24, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    So interesting!

    I always thought that if you combined extreme coupononing and then sold the extra items via EBay it would be the perfect combo and I’ve never heard anyone talk about it.

    You can sell vitamins and all kinds of stuff on Ebay. Seems really smart and then you don’t have inventory sitting around.

    Feel free to steal this idea!!

    Thnx. Great post!

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:38 PM

      Yeah! I’ve never thought about that either, but someone above in the comment mentioned selling off stuff when he was done w/ couponing. Between that and donating to shelters I feel like it could turn a lot of waste into good stuff. Even though still time consuming.

  26. Mrs. COD March 24, 2017 at 5:08 PM

    Love this! I’ve never done extreme couponing, but the time and organization it requires don’t sound fun. I also think I’d probably end up buying stuff I didn’t need. As you said, it’s not saving if you didn’t need to buy it in the first place! That’s why I never use my Kohl’s coupons when they’re like $10 off of a $75 purchase. It’s just a ploy to get you to spend. I will, however, use Kohl’s cash when we have some!

  27. Manuel Schulze March 24, 2017 at 5:25 PM

    Couponing is not available in Germany as it is in USA. However, it doesn’t appeal to me at all. I like to focus on making more money and try to save money by conscious spending. It’s also taking a lot of time for saving some money. I mean in that time I can enjoy my life or work (and make much more money than I would save with couponing).

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:43 PM

      Interesting that couponing isn’t big over there.. I wonder what other countries do it a lot or not? Maybe we have so much of it cuz our people like to CONSUME LIKE CRAZYYYY!

  28. Liz March 24, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    I just wrote a post on this today too – you’re not saving money if you’re spending money! I’ve made the same mistake in the past, but today I stick to stocking up on staples I’ll actually use (paper towels, toilet paper, diapers) not things I won’t (crockpot sauce?). Great post & nice to see you over here!

  29. Han Chang March 25, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Wow that’s dedication, but glad you’re over it!

  30. DJ @1000WaysToSave March 26, 2017 at 5:10 PM

    I can totally see how couponing would be a total time sucker. Keeping track of all those coupons, expiration dates, which stores double, etc. I’m not sure it would be worth the ROI. Regardless, good job on doing something creative to try to improve your finances.

  31. Matt Cullen March 28, 2017 at 6:23 PM

    TIME is the reason I can’t be bothered with extreme couponing. We’re a busy family and always on the go, I can’t imagine dedicating 15 hours every week to couponing.

  32. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 1, 2017 at 9:12 PM

    The main reason why I don’t usually use coupons is because it takes such a long time to find a coupon for the things that I need. It could take me an hour to find a coupon for $1 off. Although I do feel guilty for not looking for great coupons out there, I have to stop myself for my own sanity.

    That said, if someone handed me a coupon for something I need, I’d definitely use it. Thanks for sharing your story!

  33. Young and Finance May 4, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Couponing is definitely a time sucker. Cutting all of those coupons seems to take all day especially when you have just 1 more sheet left and then you have to file them (even the ones you KNOW you’ll never use). It has its benefits but it can be very time consuming.

  34. Debbie January 11, 2018 at 3:04 AM

    Oh boy. Another doozie for me that struck my coupon addiction nerve. This was a real problem when we moved. Hauling 96 packages of toilet paper, 72 tubes of toothpaste, 66 sticks of deodorant, 84 rolls of paper towels, 69 bottles of body wash/shampoo, 57 bars of soap, 48 bottles of dish detergent was exhausting, not to mention countless cans of veggies, soups, tomato sauce, peanut butter, jelly, boxes of everything from cookies to mac & cheese. We have enough toothbrushes to last into the next century. The list goes on & on but the real killer was 46 heavy containers of laundry detergent. What a pain in the ankle (and every other bone it took to move all these treasures…cough cough). And yes, I had already donated a ton of my stockpile! This is when I FINALLY realized this obsession had gone off the deep end. God forbid I missed a sale or a coupon expired at one of the 10 stores I shopped, I’d cry in my pillow all night, LOL okay it wasn’t quite that bad but man, this was a drain on my time & emotions running from store to store & hoping to get there before they ran out of stock on a good sale item (I always fell for the fine print in an ad “while supplies last” = run to store immediately). Not enough room to store all that toilet paper so I was forced to pile it up floor to ceiling in the guest bathroom/sink/tub. NO MORE! It’s nice living off this stockpile but I now only clip coupons for things needed in the immediate future & only go to 2 grocery stores within 2 miles of each other. I stock up on sale items we use, with or without a coupon & no more big stockpiles. I no longer HUNGER for this FEEDING frenzy, LOL. No more extreme anything for me except regret for letting myself get caught up in this crap.

    1. J. Money January 12, 2018 at 2:33 PM

      Wowwww that is fascinating!!! I need to save this comment somewhere and bring back to life in a future blog post – this is great!! Not to revel in your craziness here, but just that it’s such a powerful description of the downsides to this – that not many people talk about! It’s super helpful to hear, thank you!

      1. Debbie January 17, 2018 at 2:22 PM

        I remember once a month Harris Teeter had “Super Double Coupons”. They doubled any coupon up to $2 (so a $2 coupon would double to $4). They were the only store in the area to do this. Lines of people added to my anxiety “forcing” me to get up at 4AM to arrive at the store at 4:20AM to beat the competition on the first day of Super Doubles. Store policy: no check out before 7AM during Super Doubles. Like an idiot, I shopped the store 2 hours & stood on line over 1/2 hour until they opened the cash registers at 7AM. Some sale items were out of stock by 7AM on the first day! And they almost never restocked during the sale (I knew this as I’d go back to the store 2-3 times during Super Doubles after I printed out more coupons or if my mother snail mailed me more coupons) so this added to my frenzy. Coupons were almost a narcotic to me. Today I’m proud to say I’ve attended Super Double coupons only twice since we moved & it was purely by accident that I walked into the store for something else I needed. PS I used to wait in the parking lot for drug stores to open at 7AM, especially on Sundays, when traffic was low & the sales started. Everyone knew me by my first name since I was a regular customer. Since we moved & I broke the coupon addiction, now no one knows me in any store, LOL PPS I found myself emailing companies asking for more coupons pretending to be a brand new customer wanting to try out their products. It worked every time. Presto, more coupons emailed or snail mailed to me. Lordy lordy, what a trap I allowed myself to fall into.

        1. J. Money January 19, 2018 at 10:52 AM

          Just… WOW. Haha…. I am more and more fascinated as you go! :)

  35. Debbie January 20, 2018 at 4:55 AM

    Stay tuned for another chapter from the diary of a Cranky Coupon Collector AKA coupon junkie. What good is having 50 jars of peanut butter if they all expire next week? The best advice in the world: stay out of stores! See less, buy less, spend less! Shop at 1-2 grocery stores & use their sale inserts. Clip a few coupons only for items you truly use/need. Put the rest in the recycle bin. PS if you truly want to save $$, set up a budget, say $75 a week. Take $75 CASH to the grocery store & then you won’t/can’t spend more. It worked for us years ago when we were saving for a house, long before the coupon crazies took over my sanity!