Couponing an addiction
I actually stopped using coupons all together until late It happens to the best of us. When I picked couponing back up in , I picked it right back up at the pace I had been doing before. What I said was that I stopped extreme couponing. I used to go into Walmart and shopping alone would take me four hours with two of those hours spent at the register checking out. I am one of those people who has hit the line limit on the Walmart registers.
Once you hit that number of items, the register will lock in force you to cash the transaction out. In the case of Walmart registers their line limit is items in one transaction. Yes, this was valid. I would spend hours upon hours upon hours clipping and sorting and filing only to go to the store and spend hours upon hours shopping.
Then I would come home and have to spend two or more hours putting it all away. It just became too much. It became too tiring. So I stopped practicing the extreme couponing principles. I stopped buying 30, 40, or even more of the same item. I stopped pre-ordering. I stop spending hours upon hours focusing on nothing more than coupons and deals.
I stopped letting it run my life. I stopped letting it be a chore that I hated. What I started to do was practice realistic couponing. Yes I like having a stockpile. My income is very unsteady sometimes and I like knowing that no matter what my family will be fed for a few months, however, the extreme couponing principle is not based on stockpiling for any realistic amount of time.
They are simply stocking to stock and a lot of the time are simply getting the deal just to get the deal. Realistic couponing, however, has a goal in mind. My goal is simply to feed my family for as little as possible. I like to keep a 3 to 6 month supply on hand. That way if my income tanks. Take my most recent trip to Target, for example. In that trip, I saved I bought strawberries, milk, peanut butter, eggs, cheese, bagels, cooking oil cereal, and more.
The nine boxes of cereal that I bought will last my family approximately 3 months. The eggs will last us two weeks. The peanut butter three weeks, and the cooking oil, well, a couple of months. I spent an hour putting my list together and 45 minutes in the store. It would all be rancid before I even had a chance to use half of it. My more realistic 2 transactions took me less time, less frustration and still saved me a pretty good chunk of change. Now let me ask you something …how tired are you of the extreme couponing game?
So have any of you given up the Extreme Couponing game like I did? I love to coupon and I got sucked into it when I saw a marathon of extreme couponing on TLC a few years ago. I do have a stockpile and stock up on things we actually use. I never did understand the whole extreme coupon into thing.
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My sister-in-law decided to try extreme coupon into a year or so back. She has really no steady income, but there she was stockpiling all sorts of crazy things shaving cream, Cologne and other non-necessities and posting her great bargains on Facebook. We are still working on paying it off. We went from homeschooling to a very reasonably priced private Christian school for our 2 teen girls. No one needs candy bars, or 77 bottles of mustard. That's just insanity.
And greed. But in the month and a week that I've been actively couponing, I have saved enough money to make a car payment. No one will complain about that. So while I agree with most of what you said, I will say that it has been a life-changing show for me. It takes a lot of time and organization. I'm sure like all things, this too shall pass. But in the meantime, I'm all about saving a few bucks whereever I can!
This topic has been very popular on the blogosphere lately. I think coupons are nice and I'll use them if I happen to see them. I never thought about how greedy this could be though! I think it would be nice if these people donated some of their findings to charity or shelters, but I'm sure they don't. Webster's definition of Greed: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something as money than is needed. It becomes an obsession to where all they think of is money and how to save more of it, like its the number one thing in their life. It's almost as if it has gone so far as to become an idol, something they nurture and worship every week.
I've been "extreme couponing" since This show is exploiting and taking advantage of people who will do anything to get their 15mins of fame. The show does not pay them to be on it, they do it merely for the TV coverage and advertising for their blogs, classes, etc.
Many of them have fraudulently used coupons including that dang mustard on national TV and don't lose a second of sleep over it. That being said, I buy lots of basic ingredients as opposed to "processed junk". I do buy candy when free, have to pass out something for Halloween after all and my neighbors' kids love getting a full sized bar instead of a teeny one. We eat whole wheat bread and non GMO milk. Including clothes, computer memory, printers and ink, dog food and treats, movie tickets, redbox codes We do also grow our own produce, but I have several friends who barter their freebie HBA products to local farm stands.
I have a friend who is even getting art lessons for her daughter in return for HBA stuff. I stockpile based on what we use and brand loyalty. Everything else goes straight on the donation shelf, which we drop off weekly at the local food pantry. I don't have a shower full of paper products or bottles of mustard.
I have enough to get me to the next regular sale. This may be a couple months for things like cereal regular rotation every couple months or sooner or a year for things like BBQ sauce summer sales. Even with my own coupon blog I don't spend 40hrs a week clipping coupons. I also don't spend hours at checkout or shopping per store. Maybe mins on average for larger orders, usually mins for a quick trip.
Which includes finding the product and checking out.
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Knowing the store setup and what I want makes it quick to get in and get out. I have never cleared the shelf. I have watched several local couponers do it, and several teach classes that encourage it, but there is no need to be greedy and gluttonous. It is an adrenaline rush and not everyone is capable of realizing the bigger picture and how them clearing shelves hurts others. I agree with Jay. That's the same thing I said when I saw the types of foods that were being purchased by the "extreme couponers".
Processed foods that are laced with chemicals and artificial preservatives, colors, and flavorings, not to mention GMO ingredients. These people are greedy and selfish and that is the problem with most people here in America. There are people who are literally starving to death and you have these couponers who are only concerned with getting more and more items, be it food, or non-food items. To clear out whole shelves at a time is just plain ridiculous and unnecessary. I live below the poverty line and have a hard time making ends meet, so I understand the struggle to make sure that I am feeding my family real foods that are healthy and affordable.
I want to save when I go to the grocery store, but I also realize that other people have to buy food as well. I still buy natural and organic foods and I wouldn't become an extreme couponer even if I knew how to do it. There are more important things in life then wasting hours and days clipping coupons. The stuff we should all be cutting down on eating.
I want to buy food that is the best for my family, not buy food because I got it for free. Wonder if these women will have coupons for free insulin when the diabetes kicks in. There are a lot of generalizations and assumptions in this post, and in the comments. Yes, the people on the show disgust me a bit - buying mustard that won't be used, buying obviously unhealthy food, etc Also a lot of people posting that would have you believe they eat nothing but fresh fruit, veggies and meat and nothing else.
I think reality for most who are into using coupons lies somewhere in the middle. I have gotten into using coupons this year, and I buy lot's of healthy foods, and I do stock up on them when I have a coupon AND the item is on sale. I then use that savings to offset the cost of some of the fresh stuff we want. But there are lot's of "healthy" things that can be purchased with coupons, it's not all Totino's Party Pizza and cookies.
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I also use coupons for shampoo, soap, razors, etc I see no harm in spending a couple hours per week while watching tv with my wife clipping a few coupons that will save me a bunch of money every month. So to those who poo-poo this and make assumptions about those who use coupons, I think you're wrong. Paul, I see where you're coming from with the extreme couponing horrors, but I feel like you're being influenced by what the tv series wants you to see in it.
I did catch on after seeing the show, but the show is exagerated, as is most of tv. For example, one woman - the one you saw dumping the entire bin of aspirin - ended up being accused of coupon fraud. It's a flaw in the way coupons are coded but it is definitely illegal. She was not an ethical couponer.
What I have done, is buy enough groceries to last me and my wife 2 - 3 weeks.
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Now that we have a decent supply, it leaves me open to casually browse for deals. I'll pick up a sunday paper JUST 1, yeah 1. This way I can slowly build a small stockpile, without wasting away my life. We have one closet, with shelves, devoted to our stockpile. We will never let it get past that one small closet because well Not a family of 10 starving rats.
You're totally right that a lot of those people buy up everything knowing it will expire long before they can use it. Especially when they hide stuff under beds and in every other corner. Thats no longer saving, that's hoarding. I also won't "only buy food if theres a coupon for it" We will make a vague list of what we want "cookies" for example, and so if we do have a coupon for chips ahoy, we will get that instead of oreos - but we will not let coupons act as our shopping list.
We make a list of what we want and then see if we have available coupons for it. Other than that, I only casually get free items: for example, our range of savings is more like once a week we go to Walgreens. We got: 2 Dove for Men Deodorent. If there is a bunch of really good deals in a sunday paper, I will go pick up a second one. But we never use more than 3 or 4 coupons on an item Simply no reason to stockpile, even if those oreo cookies don't go back on sale for another 4 weeks, the chips ahoy will be on sell in 2.
The main thing to remember in couponing is you have to try new things, and gradually build your stock I agree with most of the posts listed here. I recently took a medical retirement from my job. This meant a loss of income for my family. In an effort to save money I have been using coupons. I am an "average" shopper. Who has room for that? I find my best savings are on health and beauty items. I use the money I save on those items to buy more fresh fruits and vegies. I buy only what my family will use in a one month time period with the exception of health and beauty items.
I will buy a few months worth of these products because they don't spoil. I will buy a few extra items for my college aged daughter I put them in a care package for her a few times a year. I feel that is just being selfish. I spend less than 5 hours per week and since I am not working I feel this is a reasonable amount. We have four children including three teenagers they play sports and are always eating.
Using coupons is the only way we could deal with the loss of my income. I would like to BEG the extreme couponers to stop clearing shelves and hoarding the good deals. I plan my families meal around the local sales and my coupons. If I go to the store and the sale items are gone thanks to all the shelf clearers I am forced to buy a different more expensive brand or go without that item.
They say that charity starts at home. With that said, think of your friends and nieghbors and leave something on the shelf for others who may need it. I don't watch TV so I've never seen the show. I do use coupons for pet food mostly. I believe we should all be stockpiling food and supplies. The stores only have about three days of food and supplies before they are empty.
If we have a natural disaster or disruption in oil availability then what will we eat? Maybe we should get to know our hoarding neighbors. To each, their own. I don't think that anyone should be judging anyone else. If its not for you, then don't do it. If you like couponing, then go for it. I agree with that statement. Why does this make everyone so angry with everyone else? Let it go, for gosh sakes! Who cares? If they want to do this, then let them do it! They have the freedom to do what they want!
I watched a few of these shows. Some of these people, I think, are hoarders, and have issues. I HATE it when they clear a shelf!! I hate going to find something, and having the shelf cleared. I always wonder if it's just coincidence, or if it was an extreme couponer.
I've tried coupons myself, and ended up being extremely frustrated!
Plus, the stores where I live just aren't convenient, so I just can't hit up 2 or 3 stores easily. Also, NO stores have double coupons around here. I've tried the coupon sites for tips and such, and just end up getting extremely frustrated. Between not being able to find stuff on the shelves, finding very low value coupons, and feeling like it takes up WAY too much time for my efforts, I give up. My time would be better spent doing other things, like maybe finding a part time job to bring in extra money.
There are people on this show who buy things they don't even need. One lady buys diapers and she doesn't even have a baby. She buys diapers just because she has a coupon for. This is greedy. It never makes sense to pinch pennies and lose dollars. Instead of the time committed to extreme couponing, it would be more valuable to pursue a better economic activity. It is better to look at your finances from a big picture and see how cost can be trimmed down. This super-couponing thing comes round ever recession.
Each time, the people who do it say they enjoy couponing. I think it's more of a cost-free or money-saving hobby than anything else. You have to be into knowing the local market and knowing how to make it happen. Couponers are not hoarders. I know hoarders. They don't really coupon. They just hoard. Either they hoard junk, or they hoard good stuff, but their problem is that they have a hard time giving things away.
It has nothing to do with acquisition, and a lot to do with avoiding waste or losing things. As far as comparing the labor cost of couponing to working - it is only valid if you could work instead of couponing. Casual, less skilled work like gardening or housekeeping pay less. Skilled work pays a more, but, by definition, that's not for the average person. I was brought up that you use moderation in all things. I remember back in the 's there was the same thing going on. Seems extreme couponing like other things goes in cycles.
Just like I was brought up reduce, reuse, recycle, duh, I'm living the 40's and 50's again! I think we just go through things with each new generation, excuse me please, while I grab my cane and hobble off now, oh, and if your extreme couponing, unless you are physically unfit, leave the handicapped zones for those that are handicapped. Many Thanks. Do love reading the posts. I also do use coupons, if they are what I want, and I have them.
Mostly am a cook from scratch person. I have issues with "waste" with extreme couponers. Taking 77 bottles of mustard is wasteful and taking out all the ibuprofen is wrong. The sin of gluttony can be applied to extreme couponers. This is a good article and I agree with the author. I personally use coupons, promo codes, whatever all the time. I'll pass on that. I just got thru watch extreme couponing That girl needs to chill out, she is so rude to her husband if that is who he is.
She got blend out of shape cause she couldn't find her coupons. And snapped her fingers at that poor man. If I was him, I wouldn't help her. She needs to get a hobby And chilling out with alittle popcorn. When couponing makes you mean. Its time to stop I do coupon but not extreme Toilet paper and paper towels don't get coupons very often.
I've got a 36 ct. It's not near free, but it's definitely cheaper - I use bulk any time I can't find an item for near free with coupons. Your article is so refreshing. As much as people try, you just can't beat economic forces. Like any fad in the short term this will be great, but the things that aren't considered in this equation are: supply and demand is absolute, manufacturers aren't stupid i work in CPG and I can guarantee you that this is not being overlooked by manufacturers and they're getting rid of crap they don't want , and as you mentioned - people are not accounting for the value of their time.
I see the same crap from each of them tubes upon tubes of John Freida Full Repair permeate almost every photo. Nothing wrong with using coupons and deals smartly, but again, as you pointed out, if it was easy and valuable, everyone would do it. But it's not, they won't, and those that do are feeding a machine. You have a show that's gaining ratings which equal dollars for advertisers, you have websites and classes?!?!?!
The problem I had is my wife started buying tons of stuff we didn't need. For the few months she did it, our grocery budget actually went UP! First she had to buy all the binders and organizers. Then she had to by 10 sunday papers every week. And the rest was for name brand stuff that we could have gotten for just as cheap if we had gotten the store brand. I would not call myself an "extreme couponer", but if you opened my laundry room cabinets, you probably would say that I am.
I have used multiple coupons on great sales on a regular basis for over 20 years - economic good times, economic bad times, and everything in between and waaaay before couponing became popular - even on the internet. Do I have a stockpile? Does it look like those you see on TV? Most of what I have stored are non-perishable household products that will never expire. With the advent of the drug chain rewards programs at CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, it became increasingly easy to gradually build a back stock of most of the non-perishable items that we use on a regular basis for absolutely free okay the cost of gas and some of my time.
I had the time, the manufacturers supplied the coupons, and the retailers offered the sales and promotions. We will be on a fixed income soon and I will be glad for the many items that I will not need to buy over the next couple of years. Getting a half dozen sets of coupons each week and looking for the best deals on products isn't for everyone. I got into it when I was a SAHM with some time on my hands and a desire to contribute financially to the household. I would have to disagree with this post. I am a full time student and work a full time job, so any free time is highly valuable to me.
This was everything I needed for the month, nothing more-nothing less. I do not stockpile, I do not hoard, If I get more than what I need it goes to my grandmother who lives off social security, and I donate leftover coupons to troops overseas ocpnet. I spend no more than 3 hours clipping, organizing, and planning a week but to me it is fun rather than a chore.
I have not seen the couponing show but I have heard alot about it and it seems to be creating a horrible stereotype for those of us that coupon responsibly. Others like myself do not clear shelves, dumpster dive, or spend hours in a store - my trip takes me 30 minutes or less. I will say, that after the hard financial times I had this year, it is nice to have actual food in my home rather than just Ramen and Spaghetti.
This is thanks to couponing. I personally think it's another form of hoarding.
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I do use coupons to try to save extreme amounts on my groceries and stock up when things are on sale to last me until they come back around on sale. I do try to buy more than my needs I NEVER clear a shelf by any means but I do give stuff to my son who just got married and is struggling and I also plan to stock up enough to donate to a soup kitchen. It's a great way to help people that are struggling in this economy and a tax write off too.
I would have to say I'm a savvy coupon person. I enjoy going to the store to gobble up savings on things I need, without paying full price. Well, that's great, but with that 1. My mom jumped onto the couponing crazy a few months ago. It's one thing to save money with coupons, it's another to buy forty cans of spaghetti sauce just because they're going to be four cents each.
I'm a broke college kid out on my own. It's frustrating to me and other people who use coupons to buy one item to go into the store and the item has been completely wiped from the shelf. Though, I had found that trips to visit my mom now end with her shoving bags of groceries into my hands because she's running out of room for her collection. Maybe we should all just make friends with the extreme couponers and get our groceries that way? Love the post and agree wholeheartedly.
I live in Canada where we have laws against that kind of thing. A coupon in most cases has a limit of one per customer and can't be combined with other offers. Why would a person wish to clear a shelf when other people are in need too I would feel really bad taking food from the mouth of a hungry mother and child who are in the store to spend their last dollar on supper only to discover that their store is out. I know how this is because it has happened to me before, I went into a store with my last dollar just to get something and they were out, not due to thieves who steal from people who need it but just because of demand, which is how it should be.
And one more thing I buy fresh foods vegatables fruit meat ect. My household drinks water milk and fresh fruit juice. Do extreme couponers live on noodles and frozen dinners. Im just asking because i never saw anything fresh. Anyone notice how magically everyone who defends "extreme couponing" says they stockpile but they give the extras away to charity? If that was truly the case than why is it that in this day and age we are seeing food bank donations in decline?
I mean stockpilers there isn't a need to clean the shelf to make a donation, most stores contact local food banks to give them some of their excess items so cut the bs. I know this is an old article, but I just have to comment for any new readers who may come across it as I did. I also apologize because this ended up being a long post!
The reason you see tons of mustard and noodles being bought is because the show asks them to get the highest total possible and get the biggest savings. The stores also waive their usual coupon policies to make it look even more incredible. So, the couponer has to use coupons they have and match them with whatever is the best deal at that week - it doesn't reflect their typical purchases. What worries me about an article like this is that it gives people the idea that ALL couponing is bad.
And that anyone seen at the store with a binder is just a greedy hoarder. I was one who thought coupons were a waste of time and that you could only get junk food or waste money on stuff you'd otherwise never buy. But after taking a severe reduction in my income and having a pre-schooler at home, I was running 2 small businesses from home I'm not a stay-at-home-mom, I'm a work-from-home-mom and looking for ways to supplement our income.
Now, I can stay home with my pre-school daughter and be home when my grade-school daughter and husband come home. I do spend extra time on couponing than most, because I also run a couponing blog and Facebook for my friends and family to learn about deals that week, since I have the time and they don't. But I have managed to grow a significant stockpile after only 8 months of dedicated couponing. I didn't need to buy a lot of meal items because I already had what I needed in the pantry and freezer.
I spent exactly 1 hour in the store and did 3 small transactions. I make my own recipes, so I don't buy pre-packaged, boxed or frozen, processed foods. Dinners always include a low-fat protein, a healthy vegetable and a starch potato, pasta or rice. So, if done right, couponing doesn't have to take a lot of time and you don't need to buy 's of items or buy coupons to save a lot of money. And for some of us, couponing replaces the need to get another part-time job. I suppose that's partly what makes for good tv! Personally I don't think it makes for good tv. I don't understand what the obsession is with stuff like this.
I feel that Extreme Couponing is a more organized version of Hoarders mixed with an impulse control disorder. If you don't have children, why on earth would you want to buy bulk diapers? Isn't the "just-in-case" clause one of the main problems with hoarding behavior second to the emotional attachment to the objects? There's being a savvy shopper and then there's being an impulse shopper. Once those impulses make you have to add cabinet space to keep all your crap, then you may have a problem.
I could go on forever about how TLC kinda just exploits people with disorders to get ratings, but that's for another time. To answer Anonymous above, there are many reasons why extreme couponers are beneficial both for the store and the manufacturer. The costs of production, delivery, and display of the products has already been paid. Now if the products don't sell, it will cost even more to clear the shelves. I think watching the show it's easy to get carried away. I've found out that they even use fake coupons on the show. I'm kind of a micro couponer Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.
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