Well…I’m on my soapbox today guys..errr, I mean girls! (though we do have some guy readers too!) LOL
It’s that time again! Time to hit a little refresher on the coupon obsession…I have been getting a lot of reports of bad coupon use again. Yikes!!!
I had been noticing a huge increase in rain checks when I have been shopping lately and have almost always had the pleasure of finding empty shelves. I wasn’t too worried though, as I assumed it was just an increase in couponers…that was until I got an email from my local Publix store manager. It seems that coupon usage at his store has increased 300%+ in the last 2 WEEKS…WOW! While that is great…for us and for them…it is also a problem! WHY? Because people are back to using invalid coupons, expired coups and running multiple deals to take advantage of the sysytem. While all of that is discouraging to us couponers that work so hard at staying legit…the more frustrating thing is hearing about the “coupon horders” that are making their presence known!
I can’t tell you how many blogs that I have come across where people are teaching classes on how to game the system…uggghhh! It is so frustrating, because in the long run stuff like that will only cause harm. Sure…right now, while the stores and manufacturer’s haven’t figured it out yet…it is a great way to basically get all your groceries for free…BUT when they do get it…coupon restrictions are sure to follow. I have seen it already…some coups that were easily accepted before, now require a manager to approve them and some coups are just no longer accepted at all. Look at our local Kroger…no longer accepting any competitor’s coups and limitint your internet coups!!! If people keep gaming the system, coups will be stopped all together and THEN where will the deals come from…
In the recent email I was told about how some ladies were seen the local Publix with 8-15 bottles of A1 sauce or 12 Johnson & Johnson products at the same time. Do you see what I mean about wiping the shelves clean??? Not only does this make others have to get rain checks, but think about it…it costs us extra time and gas, because now we have to go back to the store. Beyond that it makes it really difficult for the Store Manager to predict stock levels…because in the case of the A1 sauce, the original is the normal go to flavor…so they stock more of that…BUT this sale every one of the flavors sold clean out. Because people were buying 8+ bottles of some weird flavor. Really??? sigh…It has an expiriation date, you know!
SO…my point is this, couponing can easily turn into an obsession because finding great deals can be quite the high. Especially when you start to see how much you can save. And in the case of my family..couponing is my job, without it we could not afford hardly any groceries…plain and simple! So I understand the excitement and the fulfillment of couponing. However, if not kept in check though, the obsession can also easily turn into hording!
What is HORDING? Well, hording is when you go to get a deal and you clear off the shelf so no one else can partake in it. It’s when you purposefully go into a store with the intent of grabbing ALL the deals so that you are the only one to benefit. When you go in and buy 15, 18 or 20 of the same item…that is HORDING! And it is wrong!
There are a lot of blogs out there that teach the “get all that you can” mentality…and I disagree. That’s just my opinion…but if you have been through my classes you know that I teach biblical principles for getting your finances under control. And while I DO promote taking advantage of deals that you know you can donate or give to other families in need, I do NOT promote hording! My general rule of thumb is to by 4 of whatever the item is (because there are 4 in my family and I buy 4 papers), but sometimes there are cases where I will have 8 of the same coupon (because the paper contained side by side identical coupons from the same manufacturer) so you will occasionally see me buy more than 4…BUT only if it is a product that I KNOW my family will use in a fairly quick time frame (say caprisuns or gatorades). In other words, I will not buy 20 -1/2 gallon ice creams just because I can…WHY? because there is no way that my family could use 20 cartons before the expiration date…and there is not enough room in my freezer for that many ice creams without it getting freezer burned…and that would be a complete waste if I let the food ruin just so I could “get the deal”. Do you see my point? Part of being a Proverbs 31 Faithful & Frugal woman is giving to others and that means sharing the deals with them also. Now, I am not telling you not to buy whatever your family will use…I am just making the point that we have to use good judgment and wisdom in our purchases. God honors our “frugalness” as long as our hearts are in the right place about it 😉 Be aware and stay focused so that your couponing obsession doesn’t fall prey to hording. How do you do that? Ask God to help you maintain priorities…feeding your family and blessing others (remember, it’s not about seeing how much you can get for cheap just so you can say you did it)…He will help if you ask! I promise!!!
Okay, climbing down now…thanks for listening, errr…I mean reading 😉