Couponing? Is that even a real word?
Couponing is that compulsion some people have to snip every possible coupon from every available ad flyer, even climbing in dumpsters to retrieve them. I have a fascination with this whole couponing process, something I’ve never done with much success. My reasons for failure are these:
• Most of the coupons are for things I don’t use.
• Many of them are for high-calorie, high-fat items.
• If I find time to clip the coupons, I forget I have them, or I get to the store and learn the coupon is for two of the item rather than for one.
Those are a few of my challenges. I will admit to being fascinated with shows such as Extreme Couponing on TV. I’m particularly fascinated by the shelving most of these extreme couponers need to store their treasures. I’m also fascinated by shows such as Hoarders and realize these poor people have a huge problem in their lives that is threatening their homes and relationships.
Then I begin to wonder what the difference is between shelves full of food that is neatly organized but which the family doesn’t currently need, and the mess one finds in a hoarder’s home. Is it simply a matter of organization?
I’m not totally against couponing, but I think there have to be some rules such as:
• Even if you have a coupon, buy only what you need and will use in the next six months.
• If you have a coupon for something fat- or sugar-filled, ask yourself, “Should I buy this unhealthy product just because I can get it for little to nothing?”
• If you can give away a huge portion of what you get to a charitable organization that feeds the hungry, then, by all means, use your coupons.
• If you have to set aside a whole room of your house to store your items, ask yourself if you are accumulating too much and this question: “Am I actually hoarding?”
I would love to have your feedback on this blog. How successful have you been at coupon clipping, and how do you handle the storage problem?
Gwen Ellis is the author of Simply Fun for Families