Confession: I haven’t redeemed a single coupon in weeks! My printer is out of ink (I’ve been holding out with hopes of some back-to-school sales), I havenXCHARXt checked my mailbox OR inbox in days, and IXCHARXve let 2 super Shoppers Drug Mart promotions pass without so much as planning a trip. That means IXCHARXve been paying full price for our milk (horror!) and other staples. One might assume that I’m in a bit of a coupon slump, or that I’ve “quit”.
Actually, I’ve just been pre-occupied with family life: enjoying the summer vacation with our kids at home, visiting with family & friends, and most importantly, rolling with the ups and downs of my brother’s stem-cell transplant to treat his Multiple Sclerosis (thanks for all of the notes of support y’all sent after my Got a Coupon for that Lemonade post a few months ago). And instead of paying full price for groceries, weXCHARXve been able to live off of our stockpile of frozen meats to bbq, canned beans, tomatoes, lentils, etc. for side dishes, all that FREE pasta we amassed over the winter months with our OOP$ moments (thatXCHARXs $0 Out of Pocket which happens when the value of a Canadian Coupon covers the sale price of an item) and IXCHARXve only had to go shopping for milk, eggs, bread, fresh fruits & veggies, plus the odd trip to Bulk Barn to top up on Quinoa, sugar, flour, spices, and SXCHARXmore ingredients! oh, correction: I have used coupons! I never shop at Bulk Barn unless I have a $3 OFF $10 coupon in hand. Our local newspaper has one to clip on the off weeks when thereXCHARXs not one in the flyer or online to print.
I haven’t stopped collecting Canadian Coupons during my summer break, though. Otherwise, I’d be setting myself up to miss out on some great deals and OOP$ moments in the fall/winter when items go on sale that match my coupons. I’ve ordered my WebSaver, GoCoupons and Save.ca mail coupons on a weekly basis and continue to do the odd Tear Pad Tour when I’m at a new grocery store. They’re all stuffed into a zipper sac at the moment though …. organizing them will have to wait until back-to-school .
Being an Extreme Couponer, a Savvy Shopper, a Frugalista, a Save-at-Home-Mom, (whatever you call yourself …. I prefer the latter!) doesn’t have to be an all-consuming role. It’s OK to take a break. In fact, I think it’s almost mandatory at some point – we need to use the stockpile if we really are including those shopping trips in our savings strategy. If you also take the odd break away from actively couponing, I recommend trying to keep those mail coupons coming, if you can manage the time; it’ll make for an easier “start-up” when you’re ready to dive back in again.
Our kids start back to school on August 27th. Needless to say, I have a serious date with my coupon binder planned for the 28th! Hope youXCHARXre having a fantastic summer, too!
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