Since my son arrived, (eleven months ago), I’ve focused much less time and energy hunting down bargains in and around my area. Before his birth I thought nothing of dropping by the drugstore on my way home from work or making an extra trip to the grocery store to stock up on good deals.

It seemed to take no time to pop in and out of a store, so I didn’t have any qualms about making a few extra stops between here and there. My RSS reader was full of websites and blogs that told me where to find cheap deodorant and how to buy at least two or three products for free each week.

While I was never an extreme shopper I did slowly fill our hall closet with one free bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and toothpaste after another. After a few weeks of this I was hooked and found myself learning the drugstore lingo and rolling over ECBs, (CVS’s extra care coupons), week after week.

These days it seems like a whole lot of hassle to clip coupons and shop at multiple stores. Yanking my son in and out of the car seat, (I drive a very low to the ground old-school Toyota Camry), isn’t easy.

It’s a real pain to drag him out of the car so I can buy one tube of toothpaste or one bottle of shampoo. I don’t mind taking him to the grocery store or even shopping for clothes, but dragging him out and about for one free item doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

To keep the coupons for free products rolling it seems I need to shop every week at CVS and Rite Aid. On more than one occasion in the past three months my coupons expired when I forgot to return to the store.

I’m considering giving up on the majority of my coupon clipping and bargain shopping. I may print a few coupons from from time to time, but I am very close to dropping my Sunday newspaper subscription. I decided to put the paper on hold for a few weeks to see if I might change my mind, but as of now I’m 90% sure I won’t renew when my subscription expires.

Most weeks I don’t find a whole lot of coupons for products we use. We buy a lot more fresh meat and produce these days. Other than the occasional box of cereal or crackers I rarely buy prepackaged foods. I still use coupons for personal products, but with my fully stocked closet I won’t need to buy these items for quite awhile.

These days I’m not sure coupons provide a lot of bang for my buck. In my last three trips to the grocery store I used less than 5 coupons clipped from the newspaper. When I consider how much time it takes to clip, organize and later weed out my coupon binder I’m just not sure it’s worth the hassle.

How about you? Do you use a lot of coupons these days? If so, what is your source: the paper, the Internet, elsewhere? If not, have you decreased your use or did you always avoid clipping coupons?