Don't Sell Your Stockpile
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Don’t Sell Your Stockpile

Posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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pantry-groceries-listPeople who absolutely love couponing might end up with a stockpile of coupons. This is great, because it means they have plenty of options to save money on their next grocery shopping trip. Some people use their couponing skills to create an at-home stockpile of food for their family. Both of those practices are legal – until and unless someone tries to sell their stockpile.

The Coupon Information Center (CIC) is the consumer’s best friend when it comes to coupons and couponing. If you are unsure about how to use a coupon correctly, or what coupons are known to be fraudulent, the CIC can help you figure that out.

Stockpiling coupons is legal if you do it right. It is legal to subscribe to your local newspaper in order to receive the coupons that come with it. It is legal to go to Coupons.com and print out the coupons you want to use. It is legal to use coupon apps with digital coupons. All of this is fine.

Don’t steal other people’s newspapers and take their coupons. Coupon thieves can face felony charges. Purchasing extra coupons from your newspaper carrier is illegal. It is also illegal to photocopy coupons, and doing so means you could be charged with counterfeiting.

Sometimes, extreme couponers decide to stop. They might reduce their coupons to a smaller amount to make them more manageable. Or, they might be burned out and ready to quit collecting coupons. If this happens to you – DO NOT sell your stockpile of coupons. Selling coupons is illegal.

Extreme couponers tend to fill a portion of their home (or garage) with a stockpile of food. They use that stockpile to feed their family. Some couponers stockpile other goods, such as razors, deodorants, toothbrushes, and toilet paper. All of this is perfectly legal. Keep in mind, though, that selling your stockpile of products that you were able to get at a discount by using coupons is illegal.

The CIC says: “Coupons are intended to give individual consumers a good deal, not provide a method for people to set up unauthorized grocery stores or flea markets in their garages, basements, or backyards. Such sales usually violate the terms and conditions of the coupons themselves and may be in violation of local health codes.”

It is ok to give some of your stockpile to your son or daughter who is living away from home and attending college. You can safely, and legally, donate your stockpile to a food bank. Call them first and ask what they need. What you cannot do is turn your basement or garage into a resale shop.

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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.