I’m not entirely sure this post will come as a shock to those of you who have been reading Simply Frugal for awhile, but it’s been on my mind for quite some time now! It’s just been a hard one to write!
Quite honestly, I don’t really get the “extreme” couponing thing. I mean, I get it, but I personally don’t see the benefit it could have for my family. And by no means am I saying that it isn’t a great thing for other families! Sure, I post about coupons and deals all day long, and I really enjoy getting great deals with coupons, but I am by no means anywhere near extreme. (Maybe most of you are the same way?) Here are the reasons I’m not an Extreme Couponer:
Goes against what I’m trying to accomplish in my life: Simplicity
For me, it’s another thing to add to the to-do list. It takes time. Hours to plan a massive shop. And then you actually have to go shopping after all that planning!
Since simplicity in my home means having less stuff, a years worth of supplies/groceries really defeats the purpose of extreme couponing for me. This leads me to my next reason:
There will always be a sale and there will always be coupons available
Items tend to go on sale for rock bottom prices every 6 weeks – three months. This fact alone keeps me from going crazy stocking up. I only buy what will get us through until the next sale. If we run out, we run out! Then there are the necessities that always seem to be on sale week after week. Can you think of a week recently where there hasn’t been toilet paper on sale? Or pasta?
I don’t have much room for stockpiling
We live in a two bedroom condo. We’re about to have a baby. Space is at a premium. Enough said?
I can’t be bothered
If I’m being honest, I really can’t be bothered to spend all the time and effort it takes to have a shopping trip where I save over 50% off my bill. (or something like that) Mostly because I don’t buy many of the products that have coupons and I’d much rather spend my time doing other things.
I like to save money by not shopping
Using coupons and getting stuff for free still comes with a price tag. You’ll always pay taxes on the full price of the item, before coupons are deducted. Sometimes I think people buy things just because they have a coupon and the item will be super cheap or free. They don’t think about all the tax dollars they’re throwing away on an item that they won’t use. Donating items could be used as an argument as long as they’re okay with the fact that those items were not entirely free (taxes, gas money and their time). I love hearing about those that do donate items since there still is a bit of sacrifice in doing so, when you take into consideration the time and money that it does involve.
Of course, I do have to go shopping once in a while. I like to go once a week on Mondays. Usually to only one store, the store with the best deals that week. Since I menu plan, shop the sales and compare for best value, I’m able to see significant savings each week as I only buy what I need to get us through until next Monday. I spend about $60 a week on groceries and household basics. Quite often less than that because of the small quantity of items I do have in the stockpile.
I value health
On paper it looks like I “saved” money, but I really may have just come home with a bunch of processed foods that will sit in my pantry for months. I’ve been seeing coupons for more healthful products lately, but the majority of coupons out there are still for processed or chemical laden products. I’ll admit that I do use coupons occasionally for some convenience items, (such as our favourite Ristorante pizzas!) but for the most part I buy fresh ingredients and the parts to create a meal from scratch because I value our health over saving a buck. I’ve decided not to use coupons on things we normally don’t use just to get things cheap or for free.
Here’s how I do use coupons:
- I do order most/all of the coupons I post about on Simply Frugal, but only so I can give some of them away to you. (I do giveaways over at the Simply Frugal Facebook page once in a while)
- I see most of my coupon savings on things like toilet paper and toothpaste.
- I only use a few coupons each shopping trip. Sometimes, I don’t use any because all I’m buying is produce and milk!
- I really like the free product coupons. Who doesn’t? Those are the ones I use most.
Did you find it shocking that I’m not an extreme couponer considering all the time I put into posting coupons and deals? How do you use coupons? Do you enjoy the thrill of extreme couponing?
Note: Since this post was actually hard for me to write but has been on my mind since the Extreme Couponing TLC show started, I felt it was necessary for me to write the following due to the nature of Simply Frugal: In no way were the words I wrote above meant to be taken as condemnation. Each family is different. Each person is different. My way is not the right way, but it is the right way for our family. We’re all just doing the best we can do with the resources we have! I have nothing against extreme couponing, it just isn’t for me!