Battle fatigue

It happens each time I have a garage sale; it takes me a few days to recuperate.  Worse, I find I am tired of all the deals. Yesterday when we traveled to Cedar Rapids I only ran into Walgreens because I couldn’t stand the thought of $6 in catalina coupons expiring, or I wouldn’t even have stopped there.  I didn’t bother to stop at Salvation Army to check the bookshelves and my size of clothing, unheard of for me.

Being a “coupon queen” takes a lot out of you.  It involves watching the sale ads, ordering coupons, clipping inserts, organizing the coupon box, and having the constant mindset of wheeling and dealing.  And, for me, it all comes to fruition on the garage sale day when I sell my extra stockpile.  Three intensive days of selling that nets me a nice profit.  And then I still have the cupboards full of health and beauty items and shelves full of cheap cold cereal and peanut butter for our own family’s use.  That, and a hidden stash of special items for the Christmas baskets we give our adult children. I’ve been doing this so long it is just a part of who I am. I can no more go to the grocery store without my coupon box than I can go to the bathroom without a magazine.

I arm myself with my coupon box, ready to fight inflation.

But yesterday, as is usual after a big garage sale, I was tired of it all.

And for one day I passed for normal.

Maybe “normal” isn’t the right word. Perhaps “average” would be a better term.  Yesterday, other than the catalina deal at Walgreens, I didn’t hunt clearance shelves or even stop at a thrift store, and if I had gone to a Hy-Vee I probably would have just picked up some oranges and other fruit and not even searched the other aisles for good deals to combine with my coupons.Today I went to the grocery store and used a measly two coupons. What would it be like to shop like that all the time?  To just use coupons occasionally? Maybe someday I will become the “average” shopper, and not cart my coupon box everywhere or plan meals around the deals of the week.


While I am fighting this battle fatigue I am also planning a strategic writing session tomorrow morning, before children are awake.  I am working on Chapter Six with my new book, a book that answers the question Who are these people, the extreme coupon users? And as I read the stories from women and men that are like me, I find myself reaching for the Sunday ads I’d ignored completely, and checking my favorite websites.  And then, today I got an e-mail from Pamida about double coupon week starting on the 14th.

And I find myself thinking about how on Thursday I plan on going to garage sales in Epworth, and how I have to go through Dyersville, where the Pamida store is located, to get to Epworth.  And then, how close Epworth is to Dubuque.  Dubuque, where the Target store is and the Gillette Fusion razors are on sale this week, with a $5 gift card.  And I think about the $5 gift cards I have in my purse from the last razor offer.  And how many razors I sold for $3.00 each this past weekend.  And the gears in my brain start turning, and yep, you guessed it…

The fatigue of the battle is lifting, and I order coupons for Gillette razors and check my coupon box for $1 coupons to double at Pamida.

Onward, Coupon Soldier, marching as to war…

5 thoughts on “Battle fatigue

  1. Lisa says:

    Gosh I just loved this post. That is how I feel from time to time. I just put my add in the paper for my yard sale on April 24th. (we were to go camping but cancelled it). I hope to do 1/3 as good as you did, but mine is only ever a 1 day sale. If this doesn’t go well, I am thinking of taking my things to a flea market. Did you ever try that? Just curious? I really want to sell this stuff and I have about twice as much as I did last year. Half of my spare bedroom is full and it’s a big room. I loved your pictures of you tables too. Maybe i will take some and put on my blog, but it’s been so long since I posted on their nobody even looks at it. Well thanks for sharing. How far is the closest Walgreens from you? Mine is about 1/2 hour. I don’t do many of their deals because of the distance, I wish one would be built closer to me.
    Happy shopping when you go.


    • Mary Potter Kenyon says:

      Lisa- Good luck on your garage sale! Walgreen’s is an hour away from us, so I really have to make my trips worth it.

  2. christel says:

    I do the same thing.. take a day off or two from coupon-ing after my sale.. it is just too much for the brain/body to handle, lol. Then, I get right back at it.

  3. Susan says:

    I can completely relate Mary! Couponing, shopping the thrift stores, looking for sales, comparing prices, and always finding ways to save money can become a full-time job. But, that bottom line sure does change when I don’t have my coupons in hand! So glad to hear that you’re back in the battle against spending money unnecessarily! Welcome back! 🙂

  4. Janice B says:

    Mary, this all sounds familiar, LOL! I don’t have yard sales anymore (too hard not living in town and my SIL that did moved out to the country to) but the planning to go to more yard sales, and what I can stop at along the way to make it a worthwhile trip, LOL!

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