I can still remember the first thing I got for free using a coupon. It was a little bottle of Purell hand sanitizer I got for free after using a coupon for $2 off any size Purell product.
It wasn’t something spectacular, but using that coupon opened up a whole world for me. If I was willing to rethink how I shopped, I could get things for free or nearly free. The possibilities were exciting.
Soon, I was addicted. I had 15 boxes of free Honey Bunches of Oats in my pantry. My linen closet was bursting with cheap razors, shampoo, and toilet paper. My bargain hunting was getting out of control.
Fortunately, I know I’m not alone. I’ve also come up with a list of things we can do to curb our addiction to deals.
Create an inventory. Go through your cupboards, pantry, and closets and make a list of everything you have. It’s usually quite an eye opener to do this exercise.
Commit to using your inventory. That’s right: Stop hoarding and start using those great finds you’ve gotten. Consider a moratorium on shopping until your stockpile has gotten back to normal levels.
Learn to pass up a good deal. This is probably the hardest thing a bargain hunter can do. Ask yourself if you need it, if you will use it before it expires, and if you have room to store it. If you answer “yes” to all three questions, then consider buying it. Otherwise, just ignore it. There will always be more deals.
Teach someone your shopping tricks. Inspire a friend or family member to learn how to stretch their dollars using coupons and freebies. You’ll be able to experience the thrill of the hunt through someone else’s eyes.
Donate your deals. If you simply MUST shop, then start donating your excess freebies and cheapies. There are many local food shelves, churches, and shelters who would be thrilled to get your excess food and toiletries.