Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Couponing Burnout

I follow this blog to do my couponing, which several people have asked me about over the last year or two.  And while I love saving money, I have noticed in the couponing community, there is a fallout point, a "burnout" point if you will.

Then, I saw this post where Jenny talks about how to organize your coupons, and gives a finger point to why there is the burnout.

The Massive Coupon Binder.

Every extreme couponer has it, and everyone who is envious of the extreme deals and steals contemplates getting/making one.  I fell victim, and I do mean victim - as this thing stole my time, my sanity, my patience, and left me bitter and mad.

It's just a bit too much, as in, way too much.

If you're unfamiliar with this torture device, I'll give you a rundown of the typical binder.  Every coupon is classified into a category of usually around 20 categories.  Everything from baked goods, to laundry detergent, to hair care to over the counter medicines.  In each category, there are several sheets of baseball card protectors.

Every Sunday, the object of the game is to clip all the coupons from the paper, lay them out by category (usually on my floor since there's so many categories), and then proceed to take each pile, and origami them into works of art coupon chaos.

Unless you're Sir Speedy, or magic with tiny bits of paper into even tinier plastic pockets, it takes for-ev-er.  For-Ev-Errrr.

I can't tell you how many hours I've spent cutting and cutting to only get tired before I even organize them.  Or I've been sitting on my floor looking down so long, both my neck and rear hurt.

So, I've created my own system.  It's a organized enough I can find things quickly by category, but I'm not spending 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon folding ridiculous bits of paper.

I still use a binder and those dividers that I spent so much time on, but I put full sized sheet protectors in between each divider.  No more origami!!

Some people use this system with an accordion file system, but one of the reasons I didn't like it, was that I couldn't see in there without digging first, and it didn't have enough categories.

I've also stopped clipping every single coupon.  I don't care of buying Depends with my coupon will give me $5.00.  I dont need them/want them nor do I have space in my 770 sq foot house to store them til I donate them.  Those coupons would just sit and expire anyway, making me work even more taking them out later than just tossing them to begin with.

So, if you've experienced this "couponing burnout" but love the deals and hate the binder, I say create your own system that works for you.  Just because it works for one person, doesn't mean it will work for you.  I don't care if Susie Q. saves $400 a month using this binder and thinks you will too - if you dont have the time it requires and the patience for that folding mess, you're gonna stop couponing altogether soon, and you'll be more frustrated that you spent money and time on that binder to begin with.

Where you a couponer who burned out on the binder?  Have you stopped couponing altogether or have you found your saving grace in another system?