Coupon Burnout: Overcoming the Guilt of NOT Couponing

In addition to people who hate couponers, there’s a segment of shoppers who feel guilty that they don’t coupon. What to do if you have a bad case of Coupon Burnout. 

I’m part of a lovely book group, and many of the women were in my January coupon workshops. Last night was a get-together and when a couple of the women who I haven’t seen in a while saw me, they told me they fell off the coupon bandwagon, or that they just can’t do it, or that they just can’t shop like I do. The guilt was palpable and it made me uncomfortable.

Target Store Display on a recent coupon shoppi...
If you hop from store to store and feel your heart racing when you find products for free with coupon, you are heading for Coupon Burnout. Then, you’ll quit couponing and the guilt will set in. Stop the silly cycle of burnout and guilt. Take it slow! (Photo credit:

I am not sure if they still think I’m an extreme couponer (I’m so not). When I told them that I don’t use coupons every time I shop, they were shocked! I only use coupons when I see a great deal that’s on sale that matches my coupons (i.e.: free containers of Wet Ones wipes at ShopRite this week–we use them all summer on our boat and at the beach so of course I’ll grab four to eight of them!). But folks…there’s no need to feel guilty if you DON’T use coupons, for heaven’s sake! If not couponing works for you, then that’s completely okay!

The guilt is going to set in soon since a new season of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” show begins end of May. Inevitably, more people will ask me how to coupon, more people will go nuts with coupons, and then they stop couponing. Just like the women who went to my workshops. They have a case of Coupon Burnout. The trick is not to use every coupon you see in every store you shop. It’s a matter of what you need, what you want, what’s on sale, and if you have the coupons to stock a few of the same product (so you don’t have to go out and get one full price).

A bit of guilt is normal after going gangbusters on couponing. But that phase should last a short time. Just enjoy coupons, enjoy what you buy, and stop feeling guilty every time you see me :–)

~Marilyn, TFF


2 thoughts on “Coupon Burnout: Overcoming the Guilt of NOT Couponing

  1. I am SO guilty of this… I see a coupon for something I normally wouldn’t buy, then end up spending more money because I have a coupon for something! I also feel a bit disappointed whenever I end up with a coupon for an item, then discover that the store brand is cheaper anyways. It’s a bit discouraging.

    1. I will say that it does take some quick mental gymnastics (and a calculator, which I always seem to forget to bring to the store) to figure out some of these coupons and whether it’s worth it or not. It really can make everyone nuts! That’s why I really suggest just sticking to coupons that work for what you typically buy, and forget the rest :–) It takes a bit of couponing to get to that point, though. That’s what I’ve found to be the case. ~Marilyn

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