Are You Buying What You Really Want?
Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 8:12 am
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.