I need to make a confession to you; using grocery coupons is addicting. All it really takes is one big shopping trip without spending any money and you will be hooked. It started for me twenty years ago and I have never looked back since.

What happened to cause me to continue a hobby that would take several hours of my time? I save money, tons of it.

I found a sale for free shampoo and conditioner on that long ago day, and then traded for 44 coupons with others in my area. I got 22 bottles of shampoo and 22 bottles of conditioner for not a single penny. Totally free product, which would not spoil had just saved me a hundred bucks. I nearly fell over when I thought about how long it would take me to earn this much money. Needless to say, I did not need to buy shampoo for another 3 years.

I had never before considered how much money I was spending that I would not have needed to spend. My eyes were opened to how I could stretch my small paycheck even further.

I went off to college shortly after that and had very little money to spend while getting my first degree. The term starving student would have been laughable, but I instead I found the opportunity to hone my shopping skills still further. My coupon addiction grew through those years whether by necessity or desire I am not sure. My skills certainly did improve with lots of practice.

As I got into the working world, I still clung to my old ways as I paid off student loans more quickly than most of my friends. I cut back further still until I could afford the down payment on a house. Of course I started paying down my mortgage with extra payments thanks to my coupon addiction too.

Then came the husband and family and my coupon addiction was fueled still again. We needed more as a family and I had so many more options for using my coupons that I shopped gleefully looking for deals, bargains and freebies.

This year I have managed to pay for a vacation with my coupon savings and my addiction for cents-off offers continues. I laughed once that I may never get over my copious use of supermarket coupons, but well, I really do not have too much motivation to do so. It is very simply the thrill of the chase I love and will never tire of. I realized the other day that grocery coupon use addiction is really not so bad. After all, good money management has given me much over the years, and being coupon addicted is only part of that process.