Do I endorse Extreme Couponing?
If you opt to be an Extreme Couponer I won't condemn you for it... I completely endorse the determination of a family that goes to EXTREMES to help themselves. I consider myself an extreme couponer. To save the kind of money that I save (and it's ALOT) how could I not consider myself to be an extreme couponer. I'm not looking to pay retail... I'm not looking to save 50% on my grocery bill anymore ~ I'm looking to save 80%, 90% or more and quite frankly there would be times that we would go without if I didn't have that mentality. From a different perspective ~ I am completely comfortable with a $200 return on a $20 investment.
I think of laundry detergent... money spent on laundry detergent is money that goes "down the drain". Of course I want clean clothes for myself and my family. However, I don't want to spend upwards of $20 on a large bottle of Tide laundry detergent. That $20 is money that I could be using toward something more meaningful... such as paying down my debt... that $20 is money I could turn into $200 with a little imagination.
I feel like there's a very important tid bit of information that's left out of the TV series Extreme Couponing AND left out of the online conversations about it. I think the Extreme Couponers featured are practicing a method that I frequently use... that method is purchasing items that may not be wanted, needed or used... I often "buy" things that I may not want, need or use in my household. It's a part of what I do to utilize the coupons to their fullest potential. It doesn't mean that I'm doing something fraudulent nor does it mean that those items go to waste... it means that I'm going to the EXTREME. I'm taking it beyond 1 or 2 coupons it means that I'm utilizing every resource available to me...
For Example: (This is an example of an old sale)
Some of you may remember me posting a picture a a gazillion Butterfinger candy bars that I acquired for FREE... Let me tell you the story behind the candy bars...
They were on sale at Rite Aid 2/$1. I had almost 40 coupons for $1/2. The sale at Rite Aid was similar to the sale that they're advertising now ~ spend $20 on (specified) candy and get $10 +UP Rewards. I used ALL 40 of MY COUPONS... making the candy bars COMPLETELY FREE... there was NO OOP (out of pocket) expense. I received $20 in +UP Rewards... Essentially, Rite Aid paid me $20 to "purchase" Butterfinger's...
Did I need that many butterfinger's? No, I didn't. Did I need the laundry soap that I bought with the $20 +UP Rewards? Yes, I did... and if I had the opportunity to do it again, I would.
With that said, I'm compelled to relay that not a single candy bar went to waste... I shared with my friends, I shared with my family... and right now ~ with our economy in the state it is in and the uncertainty I feel that comes along with the fragile state of the economy ~ I consider myself pretty damn lucky to have the knowledge and ability to be able to utilize my coupons to benefit my family and the families around me. Not to mention, I'm thankful EVERY SINGLE DAY that I'm not standing in the line at social services looking for a place to live.
To maintain my desired percentage of saving's I need those OVERAGES (such as FREE Laundry Detergent) to make up for the meat, vegetable & fruit items that I can't find coupons for.
Do I have a stockpile?
You betcha. I have a stockpile of canned goods, paper towels, dishsoap, laundry detergent, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, pasta, pasta sauce, tuna fish, etc. and I'll continue to grow and build my stockpile. That is a personal decision.... a decision that I am comfortable with and a decision that my family is comfortable with.
Is my stockpile overtaking my house?
Not yet but it's getting pretty cluttered in my office and when I look around it makes me smile. I smile because I know that during times like this... SPRING BREAKUP (logging family terminology)... when it's raining outside and the ground is saturated so bad that my husband can't get into the woods to drag logs... I won't run out of dish soap... I may come close to depleting my stockpile... but before I run out completely... we'll have time to figure something out.
I have my reasons...
Just as those featured on Extreme Couponing have their reasons for stockpiling I have reasons. Life has become HARD... I'm often reminded of the days when I could walk through the grocery store without putting much thought or consideration into what I was throwing in my shopping cart... right on the heels of that memory is the memory of the time I ran out of dish soap and didn't have a nickel, a pop can or a bit of change to go buy a bottle. The BIG worries that take over my mind at night are bad enough... it's the small worries that compound the bigger stresses... We've all had them ~ we all have them... and somehow it just takes the smallest, tiniest or minute thing to make the whole ball of yarn unravel... the small worries that push you over the edge. That's why I stockpile... there may be things in my life that are uncontrollable but running out of dish soap isn't going to be one of them.
Extreme Couponing isn't for everyone. It is alot of work and it does take a lot of time and dedication. The word "obsession" has been thrown around quite a bit in the last 24 hours (referring to Extreme Couponing)... If it is an obsession... so be it. My obsession helped one of my very dear friends today.... she stopped by my house... she doesn't have a nickel to her name after paying her car & mortgage... she has no money for those very basic household items... she needed laundry soap, body wash, shampoo & deodorant. My "obsession" will help her make it through the next week until she's paid again... My obsession didn't fix her long term need but it gave her one less thing to worry about when she lays her head on the pillow tonight.
What are your views on Extreme Couponing?