A few years ago I was introduced to 'the coupon game' but for many reasons I chose to continue on my own instead of jumping on the bandwagon. I was very hesitant since many of the products were not things which we used. I also was worried that I would be hoarding, which then would deem the effort un-biblical. Over the next few years I dabbled here and there into friends of mine and their efforts to save money. Finally I went for it. Saving about 4 weeks of Sunday paper ads I began my journey.
I was excited, beginning to 'stock pile' my pantry and grow a fantastic stash in my toiletries. It was such a nice feeling to have things available when I needed them and to know that I didn't have to pay a ridiculous amount. Often times I felt like I was stealing these items (but not in a bad way..fairly).
I would get them at such a great deal. I was only spending $75 a week for our family of 6 at the time. This included all of the extras which you cannot get using coupons. I also began to understand that 'brand loyalty' was not as important as saving the monies to be used elsewhere. But mainly I was making sure to be fair.
I would by no more than 4 of the discounted item at a time and ONLY if it was something I knew for sure that I would be using. I never purchased frivolously.
This way of shopping is something that you can become involved in as little or as much as you would like.
I do ok.
I am sure I could do better but for now I am happy with my average of $100 a week for our family of 7. All groceries included!
You see, even though I am pleased with my savings, the 'game' as a whole has caused increasing frustration over time. The frustration occurs when I to get to the store and have to rain check items because the clerk says they are out. Not out because someone else couponed and bought 2 items but they have seen people come in and buy 10 at once!
I have even personally seen this. I was at the store standing in front of the item my coupon called for when this lady came up next to me and literally swept ALL that was left off of the shelf and into her cart! In the process she made conversation with me. Asking if all of the children were mine (all 5 were with me) and responding that they only had one!
My sentiments went as follows...then why in the world is this woman buying 16 of these??? I really only wanted 4! As I wandered through the store, with my brain now in left field I began to think, I am couponing out of fun but also out of necessity! I am trying to be a good steward and use our money properly. Proverbs 31 defines that. I try to make sure that IF I buy something I don't actually need or don't plan on using I give it to our local church, food drive or couponing store. I personally think that it becomes hoarding when items which you won't use, can't use before it expires or don't need are purchased with intent to save money. Not to give these items to the needy. Not that I knew whether she was doing that, but still. I guess all in all you are stealing, not from the store but from others.
Not too long after this occurred I came across this article and couldn't believe my eyes or ears!
(http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/113163/extreme-couponing-student-saves-300-month-cnnmoney) Upon reading this I decided I needed to vent...it really set me off. So to end with what originally set me off.....(not that I use it but)formula is EXPENSIVE!!! I sure hope she is giving to the needy, since that is part of the theory behind couponing. No 3 person household needs that much stuff!!!