Friday, January 6, 2012

Looking Back...Looking Forward

So, it has been a year exactly as to when I started this "couponing" adventure. I have to say that my cabinets, pantry, and closets are all still pretty well stocked from the last couple of months, but I haven't really done much shopping. As I think about the past year, I remember how excited I was at the crazy good deals I was finding with coupons (especially the drugstores, those are still my favorite). I got somewhat discouraged around August and I'm sure if you look back with me, my posts dwindled...and faded out.

It happened for two reasons. The first, simply because getting my degree has taken priority in my life. I'm a perfectionist, so this means anything less than an A is unacceptable for me. I was accepted into a special program at my local college in order to start clinicals due to my obsessive studying, so I guess it does pay off in the long run- I went from a start date of August 2013 on the waiting list, to May 2012. While the classes I'm currently taking aren't even for my nursing degree, I still feel they are very important to me (remember, I'm a perfectionist!). So, that being said, this last semester was very time consuming and somewhat more stressful than what I have experienced in the other 4 semesters previously. So, it became easier to just use my stockpile from the previous 7-9 months rather than grow it. So, the little shopping I did do, while was coupon oriented, was not oriented around a stockpile, therefore I chose not to take that precious time to share most of it with you.

Second, I was discouraged. I was discouraged over coupons that I needed never in my inserts. I was discouraged at the drugstores for their overzealous attempt at catching couponing fraud...and in the meantime chasing a legitimate couponer away. I was discouraged over the never-ending battle of keeping organized (OMG this drives a perfectionist INSANE!) It is so very frustrating to see posts of people that buy things at drugstores and grocery stores that they probably will never even use before the expire, but yet I can't even get 2 for my family of 5. I know you can get a raincheck (heck, I've even recommended it on this blog), but with my limited time, driving back and forth to the stores is not something I can do. If those "extreme couponers" are ever questioned, they usually say they plan to donate. And I applaud them for their attempt to make the world a better place. BUT! What about the families like mine? The families that struggle EVERY DAY to make ends meet due to circumstances beyond our control (medical disability in our case). The only reason my family gets food on OUR table is because of coupons. So, while I do applaud you for your efforts Ms. IBuy10BoxesOfCerealToDonate, what happens to my kids when I can't even get the 2 boxes I need to last a week? *sigh*

I'm rambling now and discouraging myself all over again. The point of this post is to bring about my new new savings. While I still plan to coupon, and I still plan to stockpile, I am going to make more of an effort to get less frustrated with it all. I've always followed this mindset, but it does make me angry when I can't even get 2 boxes of Skinny Cow chocolate this week at CVS. That is a treat for ME. I love chocolate. But, I'm trying hard to also loose some weight (goal for the year is 50 lbs, but that's another post) and to be able to snack without feeling so guilty would be wonderful. But, I've come to the conclusion, that item is probably not something that I will be able to get. Too many hoarders...Oops did I say that? I meant freebie scavengers. ;D

I hope that I haven't offended anyone, and if I did, well, you offended me first by buying everything on a shelf and not leaving anything for my family! :D I look forward to:
1. Falling in love with Couponing again this year
2. Finding some great deals that no one else seems to notice
3. Poking fun of Ms. IBuy10BoxesOfCerealToDonate when I see her in the stores
4. Learning more about coupons, b/c it is always something new!
5. Loving my stores again

So, my final question is when does STOCKPILING change to HOARDING? I like to think that a stockpile can be used up in 6-8 weeks, maybe even 12 weeks. I shop only for that 4-6 week mark for my own family sometimes less. Hoarding...well. We've all seen it.

*disclaimer* Ms. IBuy10BoxesOfCerealToDonate is not a real person...It's just my name for when I see someone sweeping or almost sweeping a shelf ;)Pin It

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