Sunday, July 21, 2013

To Coupon or not to Coupon

I recently read an article about a man who identified himself as an “extreme couponer.” He spends several hours per week clipping coupons and finding sales. Oftentimes, he buys items that he will not use himself but gives away instead. According to the article, he makes enough money to buy the items directly, but couponing is a fun hobby for him. The comment section of that article was particularly interesting and many of the comments berated his frugal behavior. Many of the comments suggested that he would save more money by getting a part-time minimum wage job for the hours he spends saving money. I think many of the remarks were rooted in jealousy because someone on the planet is not working at a job they hate in order to buy more stuff they do not need. As long as someone is enjoying their short time here on Earth, instead of slaving away and being miserable, there will always be people who will try to tear them down. Now I’m going off on a tangent…

So, do I clip coupons? Yes. I started last year after noticing how many coupons were being thrown away at the breakfast restaurant I worked at. I noticed most of the coupons were for items I use and pay full price for, so I started collecting the coupons and used them to create a stockpile of things like razors, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent and other cleaning products. My goal was to save up enough items to not have to buy any of those products for at least three months in 2013. My goal was not only successful, but I didn’t have to purchase any of those daily items for nearly six months. I ran out of paper towels at the end of June. I still have enough soap and razors to last for an additional three months. My goal for 2014 is to purchase enough everyday items for the entire year. I found out the less time I spend shopping at big box stores the fewer things I want. It’s an amazing feeling to not have to shop for everyday items on a regular basis.

I tallied how much money I saved from newspaper inserts in 2012 and it totaled $152.41. I did purchase a few newspapers, but even that amount was less than $20 which leaves $132.41 in savings. Naysayers would say that if I wouldn't have purchased those products in the first place, then I would have already saved that money. I guess I could completely stop shaving my legs and not use soap or shampoo, but then I would probably lose my job. I suppose I could also start using the bathroom outside and use grape leaves instead of toilet paper. There are always ways to stop spending so much money, but I do enjoy many modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing J      

1 comment:

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