Are You Buying What You Really Want?
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Are You Buying What You Really Want?

Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 8:12 am
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One of the problems with Extreme Couponing is the fact that it is easy to get a lot of things that you might not normally buy. In one way, this is a really good thing. With coupons, you can pick up products for free that you once might have wanted to have but didn’t think were an absolute necessity, you can try and like new products that you might not otherwise have been exposed to, and you can generously donate extra items to someone who could make good use of them.
In another way (and you knew this was coming), extreme couponing could lead you to buying things that you don’t really want or need. You may wind up spending more money in the long run, if not on the products themselves, then on the storage space needed for items that are just sitting on the shelves.
Tried and True Products
It is easy to contemplate stocking up on tried and true products that your family would consume anyway, canned soup or a favorite brand of tuna comes to mind. But be wary of stocking up on items that you have never tried. If you get something for 70 percent off but don’t like it, that means that you still paid 30 percent to throw or give it away.
The determination to get a great deal can be addicting even when it isn’t practical. For some real examples, look to the Extreme Couponing show where shoppers have stocked entire walls with mustard they don’t like or diapers when they don’t have any babies.
The Donation Problem
Many extreme deals come from combing high value coupons with great sales. The problem is that manufacturers are most generous with their discounts on new products, obscure products and pre-packaged convenience products.
While food pantries may be able to use some of these products, you may find that many of the best extreme couponing finds, such as single candy bars or microwave popcorn may not be on the most wanted list for food pantries.
Avoiding the Pitfall
If you want to avoiding buying things that you really don’t want or use, you may have to take a few steps.
First, make your grocery list and check it twice or maybe trice. Cross out anything you know your family doesn’t want or need. Reduce the number of multiple on new products. If you really like the product, try it and go back later in the week. If the shelves are cleared from other extreme couponers, get rain checks, or just wait for the next sale. It will come along, if not at the original store than at a different one. Remember those manufactures are trying to get people to try that product and are offering incentives across many stores.
If you really have trouble resisting an extreme couponing deal, enlist a friend of family member to keep you in check and act as a sounding board when you aren’t sure if you are buying what you really want.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.