Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The side effects of couponing

Couponing has some big side effects.

One most obvious is it sucks up a lot of your time. Not just in the clipping, but how long it actually takes you to shop and check out.

Then you get the stockpiles of food with no where to put them. Right now, I have about 30 boxes of cereal! That's enough to last us for about a month.

The negativity from others always surprises me, though..

Some people have ill feelings towards couponers. It's not just because we take forever to check out (and will always warn people not to get behind me and let others go in front). There are the more common upset feelings over people who clear shelves of certain sale items. It's no fun when there's not enough to go around!

Or there's the crowd that think when we share our savings totals that we're boasting. I know I'm not. I think of it more as sharing good news. Sort of like when you first fall in love and you want everyone in the entire world to know how good it is...and you really have no idea how obnoxious you're being. Instead of being praised, these negative nellies treat couponers like we're hawking some pyramid scheme.

Really, we're just trying to stretch a buck. No scams.


But today was a negative reaction that made me sad. I had a cart overflowing with groceries. I was adding milk next to where Little Miss was sitting because there was just no room and I wasn't done shopping yet! A couple walked up and commented that they couldn't even afford to fill one cart of groceries let alone need to get a second cart. I swear, my heart just broke right there. I turned and told them that I coupon and all of this wouldn't cost me much more than $40. They walked away shaking their heads, totally not believing me. I wish they could have been there when I checked out 30 minutes later with $200 in groceries and paid $50 (that's after taxes!)

While I do have plenty of food for my family, my budget is very small. I stretch every last dime. I squeeze the pennies til you can't even see Lincoln's face. It's how we've managed to do things on a teacher's salary. I happen to enjoy it. And that makes me realize how truly blessed my family is.

So, if you do get in to couponing, please follow the lead of other nice couponers:

Don't clear the shelves
Let others go first if you have a large transaction
And, most importantly, if you have more than you can possibly use, donate and bless the lives of others.

1 comment:

  1. I applaud you efforts to feed a large family frugally. I find it inspiring to see your strategies because we each have our own.

    I always think of that kind of negativitiy you received and that kind of positivity that you espouse in your post as a fundamental view of the world. If you look at the world through the view of scarcity, you can never have enough and attract emptiness. If you view is from a place of abundance, then you and everyone else can be full and kind. It really has little to do with how much or how little money you have. But all in how you energetically live in your circumstances.

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Thanks and have a great day!