I admit it.  I’m a couponing hypocrite.  I’ve even discipled others in couponing during my coupon hypocrisy.  My couponing disciple is doing well, by the way.

I even went to three stores on grocery day without using a single coupon.  In my defense, two of them don’t take coupons and the Big Box store excursion was merely to buy fabric.  As I lamented my day sans coupons to my husband he reminded me that I should cheer up because we were en route to his birthday outing and I had a coupon that gave us 29% off.

There are reasons for my hypocrisy.  For example, I will euphemistically say that I’m simplifying when we all know that that’s code for not putting in the effort.  I’ll go back to the simplification thing.  I, according to my family, am a Type-A personality, meaning that I am more than willing to heap stress upon myself.  The stress has detrimental effects.  So, I can say that I’m making a decision in favor of my health and my family’s safety.

I’m also trying a few experiments that don’t necessarily lend themselves to couponing.  I’m considering the possibility of working more when Kid #2 goes to preschool in the fall.  I’ll have one kid entering preschool in the fall and another entering preschool in the subsequent fall.  Okay, maybe “considering” is the wrong word.  Maybe “hoping” is a better word.  Anyway, I’m putting my efforts into practicing what I want to make at home and what things I want to buy preferably with coupons.   I’ve restructured my frugality.

This restructuring is coupled with a push for healthier choices.  My son went from homeschooling to going to school this last school year.  He doesn’t have access to a microwave at school, so his school lunches are limited to sandwiches and the like.  Instead of discovering what lunchmeat I can get for nearly free, I decided to feed him healthier lunchmeat due to the large volume that he was consuming.  So, instead of hunting for the best deal of lunchmeat per weight, I bought a couple of packs of coupons (technically, I bought someone’s time to assemble the packs because coupons can’t be sold) of the brand that I am willing to feed my child many consecutive days.

There are some things that I don’t think I willing to make from scratch often enough not to have to use coupons.   Bread— while I feel better about making it from scratch I can buy an almost as good quality for a dollar a loaf when they clearance it.  I just have to make a monthly trip to get enough to fill my freezer.  Yogurt— while yogurt is ridiculously easy to make, I am not spending enough consecutive hours at home to babysit the yogurt-making process.  I could plan it correctly.  The only problem is that I would have to plan my yogurt babysitting time around my test grading time slot in order to have it done in time for my weekly housewife day.  So, I may make it from scratch again, but I think I might buy more packets (I mean “time”) of coupons for organic yogurt (because I’m not willing to feed my people the modified food starch).  It’s not that I won’t ever do these things, but I’ve decided that I can’t count on having the time to do it regularly.

There are other things that I have found are way too easy/cheap to make to buy and bother with coupons.  Laundry detergent—there are not enough coupons in the world to make me want to choose dye and perfume laden detergents.  No longer will I find phantom blue spots on my toddlers’ shirts.  I have, however, started making powdered detergent instead of the clumpy liquid.  That process needs a little perfecting.  Granola bars—they’re so easy and they freeze so well (That last part sounds a little odd, right?  I’m just afraid that they’ll get lost in the pantry.  They don’t really have to be frozen)!  No more garbage-on-the-go in this family.  Face scrub – by far, the homemade one is better than store bought (though my husband contests that it doesn’t smell as pretty).

So, as I bewail my lack of couponing awesomeness (it’s been a while since I have saved 67% at the grocery store or 89% at the drug store) and my lack of Martha Stewart-esque DIYness (and my spell check is going crazy), I can claim Thomas Edison’s logic (not failing, but finding ten-thousand ways that don’t work) in finding my mom mojo.  I don’t intend to stay a couponing hypocrite or a slow baker.  I intend to figure out how best to streamline that mom mojo so that I can work at super-efficiency if I start a new life chapter.

I will determine what is worth my time and what tradeoffs are not as valuable.  I will determine what things must be scheduled rigidly and what can be put off when I have to choose between doing for the kids and doing with the kids.  I kind of feel like I’m in mom college, learning best methods.  I know that I’ll have to give up plenty with a life change, but in the mean time, I can make a list of what I’m willing to give up first.  When I come to a place where I have to give something up, my Type-A personality won’t have to struggle and kick and scream and stress.  I can just say, “I’ve already mourned the loss of not doing all of the mom stuff.  Here, I’ve enumerated a list.  Free up time by eliminating items from the bottom up.”