Extreme Couponing Doing More Harm Than Good

As a soon-to-be published author of a personal finance book, I never thought I would catch myself saying that I think that bargain shopping has become a borderline obsession for many people. I say this as the Swiffer Duster promotion on Facebook locks up within seconds of being announced and entire shelves of Nivea Body Wash are wiped out at every retailer in town. As much as I love saving money, I can’t help but be disgusted by people that empty hundreds of items into their shopping carts merely because they can save a little money.

This “Extreme Couponing” is reminiscent of the show “Hoarders”. Proud shoppers take camera crews into their garages and storage sheds to show off their bounty. One woman had enough toilet paper stocked up to last her several decades. Even with a large family to care for, I have yet to see how anyone can feel good about storing 400 tubes of deodorant in their home.

Yes folks, there is such a thing as too much. Before you get a bit obsessive with the coupons, think about others and what they might need. When you take everything off the shelf, I have to wait days for another supply to come in. If the company can’t keep up with the demand, they may not even refill the shelves for weeks. The Nivea Body Wash is a perfect example of this. My coupons expired and there’s no product to be seen. I doubt that will change for awhile.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about stockpiling and saving money. I am not, however, going to spend entire days sorting coupons by alphabetical order. I am also only going to get the items that I use. Just because Fixodent is free this week, it doesn’t mean that I need a lifetime supply of it. If it isn’t something that is a necessity, I won’t pick up multiple packages of it. And, I never clear out shelves. I don’t care how good a bargain it may be. That’s simply not courteous.

I offer suggestions on how to stretch a dollar. I do not condone “Extreme Couponing”. Maybe it’s just me, but more and more people have jumped on the coupon clipping bandwagon. As much as I like to hear about people making the most out of their money, I do not want to watch a TV program where a woman walks away with thousands of dollars worth of free groceries but still manages to gripe out the clerk because she forgot to take fifteen cents off the order for a reusable shopping bag. That’s not being resourceful. That’s greed, plain and simple.

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About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.

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