Before I talk about the couponing sites I use to organize the sale items and my coupons to see the most in savings, I need to say a word about Courteous Couponing.
I am often asked if I watch the show Extreme Couponing, and when I answer with an emphatic, “NO!” the inquirer generally looks as though I’ve grown a second and third head.
I did watch the show a few times, but each time I grew so angry I could feel my blood pressure rising with the strength of a geyser, and I was afraid if I continued to watch, my face would explode.
Let me organize my thoughts like this.
- A way to save money.
- A way to organize sale items and coupons on hand (or that can be printed).
- A way to stock your shelves from one sales cycle to the next, so you don’t run out of items you need and have to pay full price.
Couponing is NOT:
- Clearing the shelves so no one else can get a good deal.
- Hoarding food and items you wouldn’t be able to use in a lifetime.
- Hurting the store financially by utilizing poor couponing techniques.
My problem with those featured on Extreme Couponing is not that they save money, but that they do so in a way that ruins it for the rest of us.
No one family can go through 800 bottles of salad dressing within a six week period, or even within a six year period. The expiration dates will run out and the user will never get to use the salad dressing. Had it remained on the shelf, another shopper, also interested in saving money, could have purchased that bottle and used it for their family at a reduced cost.
When that second shopper gets to the store and the dressing is gone, she has to either get a rain check or come back – or, if she’s like me, she’ll probably miss the deal altogether. For what? So that bottle can be set on a shelf in someone’s basement, never to be used? How is this good for all shoppers?
When couponing, be a courteous couponer. Take what you will use for the sales cycle and leave the rest for those that had bad mornings (kids wouldn’t get out of the house, the family overslept, the bus was late, mom works and can’t get to the store until the early evening, etc) and couldn’t get there before you. Let everyone share in the deals.
Also, as a couponer, consider this: the money you save using a competitor’s coupon is a loss for the store in which you are using that competitor’s coupon. If I use $5 off my entire order at Publix, but the coupon is actually from Target, Publix loses that $5. Unlike a manufacturer’s coupon, they will not get that money back. So consider this as you make up your list and look at the coupons you are using.
Many stores do allow competitor’s coupons if the competitor is close by, but if you print up six of these and hit the store every day for six days using the coupon, you’re draining money from the store in which you are shopping. Be aware that this store will not get that money back; do this too often and the store will stop accepting competitor’s coupons altogether, which is happening now around the country due to extreme couponing.
What do you think about courteous couponing?