Saturday, July 2, 2011

My thoughts on Extreme Couponing & Staying Coupon Responsible

Check it Out!  I was reading an article about the negative impacts of extreme couponing and every time that I am in a store with my coupon binder, I get at least one question about how do all those people on TV get all that stuff for Free?!  My answer is those are "extreme TV" shows and most of what you see on TV is highly inflated for ratings.  You also have to take store coupon policies and store locations into consideration.  The stores I frequent don't allow multiple stacking of coupons and don't double over $0.50.  I am a huge couponer but I buy many things without coupons, we are brand loyal to certain products and no matter how hard you search, there are some products that coupons do not ever become available for.  I am not a stockpiler so I don't typically buy multiple papers because I don't buy more than 2 of one item at a time and I don't clip those I know I would never use.  Now I will admit to having a little stash of toothpaste, body wash and sanitary items, oh and razors, because when those high dollar items can be gotten for pennies on the dollar or even Free then it is a savings as our family uses those items alot.  However you must note that even though an item is Free, you still have to pay the tax on it, because I have never found a coupon that covers tax.  When you use Register Rewards from Walgreen's and Extra Bucks from CVS, they only cover the pre-tax amount so you will have to pay tax.
I have never personally watched any of the Extreme Coupon shows that come on weekly I guess now, but I saw some articles on line as well as an Oprah show one day and for me it kinda is a stockpiler vs. hoarder thing.  I mean who really needs 30 bottles of  mustard or 45 bottles of laundry soap?   Who would use that many bottles before they expired?  Really???  And what I really want to know is where did they get 30 coupons and where do you put it all once you get it home?  
Did you know that since the airing of the Extreme Couponer shows that there has been a rise in newspaper thefts?  Coupon inserts are being stolen from newspaper dispensers and subscribers are getting their papers with missing inserts.  It is amazing that dumpsters are actually being locked to keep looters out.  It is starting to affect retail stores as well and they are changing their coupon policies.  Walmart, Target and RiteAid have all changed their policies recently.  I am glad of one change and that is store limits.  There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get 1 or 2 items, because the shelves have been cleared. 
I fully understand that some people do this for purposes of donating the items they accumulate and that is fabulous, I am all for it, when my "stash" overflows my one bin, then I give away or donate what doesn't fit but when it becomes "extreme", I just don't get it.
So how do we stay coupon responsible?
*Never photocopy coupons, this is the number one reason for the rise in stores not accepting internet coupons.
*Never steal coupons, if you really need a coupon that bad, start a coupon swap with your fellow couponers or there are many online sites where you can buy coupons. 
*Know your stores purchase limits, if you shop a particular store alot with coupons, get a copy of their coupon policy and keep it with you, makes checkout much easier. 
*Get coupons delivered right to your inbox by requesting them directly from the manufacturers and retailers.  There are a ton of email clubs and rewards programs available online.  Just enter your fave products or stores into your fave search engine and you will be amazed!   Here are some of my faves:
Bath & Body Works
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Fashion Bug
Hobby Lobby
Home Depot
JC Penney
Payless Shoes
Shoe Carnival
The School Box
Kraft Foods
-Online printable coupon sites:
Coupon Network
And don't forget if you have an Inbox Dollars, MyPoints or Swagbucks account you can print coupons through your account and get paid for using them!
Also you can give back by donating your unused and/or outdated (up to 6 months) to the Overseas Coupon Program or leave your unwanted coupon on the product on the shelf, what a great find for someone who didn't have one or doesn't normally use coupons! 
Happy Clipping!

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this post! I don't do the coupon thing, but it's very intriguing, and daunting at the same time. My sister is some kind of expert actually;) Nice to find you on Voiceboks!


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