Taking A Step Back - I'm a Coupon Junkie

07 August 2008
I have to confess something: I am a coupon junkie. Now you may laugh at that, but it's true. It took me getting away from how I'd been shopping to realize how much of an addiction I have. I felt that I HAD to go to CVS weekly, sometimes several times a week. Things didn't even have to be "money makers" there, if it came out to be free then I wanted it. It had nothing to do with need. It was a compulsion. The same thing with the grocery store. If it was free after coupon, I would go and get it. I felt that I must. Why not? After all it was a freebie.

Now, I have never been wasteful with things I get this way. We use them, donate them, send them to the troops, or pass them on to a neighbor. I don't want you thinking I have shelves full of things we will never use collecting dust. Waste was never an issue. I felt that I was doing a good deed by passing things along.

After moving to a new town, I've had lots of time to think and pray about things. I realize now that I was doing a good thing, but with wrong motivation. I loved the thrill of the hunt for great deals. I adored getting free stuff, regardless of what it was. I had a burning desire to shop, which is very much out of character for me. I was doing all of it for me, how it made me feel.

Now I know better. I still faithfully clip coupons and scope out fantastic deals. I am still passionate about frugal living, doing the absolute best I can with as little expense as possible. I still love teaching others how to live well on less. But, I don't do it for how it makes me feel. I no longer get anxious and tense over missing a great deal. Sure, I get disappointed from time to time. And I do sometimes really miss CVS, but it doesn't consume me. I no longer have the burning desire to rush out shopping. When the stockpile gets low, I restock, but I don't add to it all the time. I once felt like I had to do this or we'd starve. I would truly like to have a better food stockpile, but I now realize that will come in time. For the longest I was motivated by envy and jealousy, thinking"I want a stockpile like Jane Doe's! I have to get a huge stockpile RIGHT NOW!" This had very little to do with taking care of my family and everything to do with my selfishness and greed.

Things are different now. I do what I do because it is responsible, it is being a good steward, it blesses my family. And I feel so great! Before I was wound up rather tightly and all my focus was on how well I did with my couponing. I think a lot of us get caught up in the euphoria of scoring great deals. There is something extremely satisfying about knowing you are feeding your family better than ever on less than you ever dreamed. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Don't let it consume you.

This has been on my heart for a while now. I know a lot of you bloggers out there are very like minded as far as why you do the things you do. I just wanted to share what I had struggled with so it might help others. Maybe I am in a select few who got "hooked on the coupon high" I don't know. But, I just felt this needed to be shared.


alex said...

I have only been playing the coupon game and CVS-ing for a few months now and already I am catching myself feeling the way you did. Sometimes I just want to get something because it is free, whether I need it or not. I have to catch myself from buying things just because I will get ecb back. Lol. It is definitely a struggle sometimes. :)

Becky said...

I know exactly what you mean!!! I have backed way off too!! We are so well stockpiled on everything, PTL, so, I have taken a break, still clipping and saving but, not overboard!!

Little April said...

I know the feeling I am adicted aswell I try to back off but I see a great deal and it sucks me in I am trying to find a good balance.

Anonymous said...

I am right there with you! I would not be able to go asleep thinking about coupons matching with sales and calculating the prices in my head! Ugh! I want to be a good steward but, as you said, it started not being about that! It started being an obsession! Thanks for your post! It helps to know I'm not alone!

Anonymous said...

I get that way at times too! So I usually give myself a couple weeks break! (Like this past two weeks - I haven't really HAD to go shopping besides milk so I didn't!!!) I do try to remind myself that the deal will come around again! They always do!!! When you start dreaming in coupons, you know you have a problem! LOL! My new obsession in now my blog! LOL!

Darla said...

Yeah, I TOTALLY get that! My brain won't turn off sometimes and I just wanna make it STOP.

I used to get panicked if I thought I was missing a good sale, I've learned tho that that same sale will be going on in a few short weeks once again (there's always a holiday coming up in America =).