Not for Sale

I fully acknowledge that it's far too early in the Holiday Season to be feeling this way already, but lately I've just been feeling bombarded by "stuff." I haven't even begun my Christmas shopping (or tackled things for my daughter's birthday, which falls between now and then), and already I just feel like I need to stay away from stores to get away from the craziness.

Even at home I can't escape it, because it's all over my email. It seems like every store wants your email address while you're checking out- and then all of the sudden you've subscribed to their massive email lists. Hurry! Save now! Limited Time Offer! By Invitation Only!

Look at me, look at me, look at me. Buy me, buy me, buy me.

I like a good bargain, and I try to remember to use my coupons when I have them. But the whole "quest for a good deal" becomes overwhelming doesn't it? I'm always second guessing myself- should I buy this now, or wait for a sale? Did I have a coupon at home? Is it worth it to spend an extra $20, to get to the $50 minimum for the $10 discount?

I hate spending full price for something when I could get it on clearance or use a coupon. But I also hate the over-indulgence that couponing can promote. Maybe it's not like this for everyone, but for me I often end up feeling like I NEED to buy something to take advantage of the sale or use my coupon before it expires (even though I will probably get a new one next week).

If I set a budget and I get a good deal on something, I never just say, "Great, I've got what I came for," and then pocket the change. I end up buying more stuff and then coming in just a few dollars OVER what I originally planned to spend. But I got twice as much stuff. That counts for something right?

So this year, I think I'm going to try something different.

First of all, I unsubsribed from everything that I could possibly unsubscribe from.

I am just telling myself that something will always be on sale somewhere, so I don't need to keep track of it on a daily basis. I can't stand opening up my email and being bombarded with sale notifications 100x a day. And, no more Groupons or Living Socials or sample sale discount site alerts. The sale prices are great, but they're usually on a full price item that I would never buy normally.

Second of all, I am setting a gift limit, not just a price limit.

Each person will get a pre-determined number of gifts. I will do my best to find a good price on things before I head out (a quick online search for a coupon code), and then I'll get what I planned to get. I'll spend what it costs and move on with my life. I'm not going to obsess over getting the best deal, and I'm not going to use a good deal as an excuse to buy more stuff.

Is it just me or is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by "stuff" lately too? How are you staying sane and not falling into the coupon trap this season?


  1. Thank you for confirming that I am not the only one who feels this way. I too buy more to get that next $10 off cash card or whatever the incentive is until now! I am done with the savings game since it has given me more indigestion than true savings. I love your idea of having a set present amount! I can't wait for a more relaxed holiday with my new gift buying philosophy of "if you get a good deal, it was a bonus".

  2. I ALWAYS end up spending more with coupons than without, and I think that's the hook for the coupon-companies.
    As far as the gift limit, this is when Hanukkah is superior to Christmas (hahaha!!) it may not have all the fun decorations or the amazing Santa (last year both Sam and Marilyn lamented that Hanukkah was 'lame' because no one came down our chimney) but there are 8 nights and I can do whatever I want for them. One gift per night, two gifts per night... two gifts on the first and last night and one gift every other night? All gifts on one night... first, last, maybe the middle- it sets a pre-determined gifting limit. Perfection.



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