Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Savvy Life This Week - Don't be a Deal Hog!

As I was shopping over the weekend I saw a lot of Savvy Shoppers with "binders" full, and even overflowing with coupons.  (I like to call my binder a coupon portfolio - because it's an investment portfolio of sorts, a portfolio of savings!) I was in the process of checking out when a fellow Savvy Shopper got behind me in line.  We discussed all the hot deals and freebies we were getting and she mentioned that she wanted to stock up on Maalox, but the store had been out every time she came in.  She said, "I don't want to buy it  because I need it.  I only want it because it's free and I can make an extra dollar if they give me the overage!"

Hold up!

Buying things you don't need is not only a waste of your time, it's a waste of other shoppers time who actually need that product, but can't find it because it's been cleared off the shelf by someone who won't even use it!  As an example, on a weekly basis diabetic testing equipment is free, plus frequently a money maker, with local drug store deals.  Does that mean you buy 10 packs of testing strips just so you can make a little money?  Truthfully, some of you will say yes.  I know there will be some opposition to my thoughts on this subject and that's fine.  But, when my dad, who is diabetic, runs in to the store to grab some strips and they're taken by someone with no use for them, it's frustrating!  I get that we might be able to make a dollar or two by buying products with little use for our families, but our own personal storage space is worth something too.  Clutter filling our storage shelves is a waste of precious organizational space (that's my OCD talking).  Besides, wasting product, in my humble opinion, shows a lack of respect for ourselves, stores and their customers.

In a similar situation, I was reading another blog post about whether it was ok to empty blinkie coupon machines or take entire stacks of tearpad coupons from stores.  Surprisingly, to me anyway, the majority of comments stated that they felt it was just fine to empty blinkie machines and grab any and all coupons they could, regardless of others.  "As long as I will use the coupons, I'm taking them all!"  one commenter responded.  You know what, this is why couponers get a bad rep.  We're often thought of by "non-couponers" as being willing to do anything for a buck, whether it's nice or not, because we're simply out for ourselves - to heck with the rest of the world, you're on your own.  "If I'm "smarter" or faster on the draw than you, then I guess you're just out of luck."

I guess I just don't like to coupon with an every man for himself kind of attitude.  And I'm no Mother Teresa either!  Believe me, I love free stuff and if I see it and need it and there's only 3 left on the shelf, I'm buying all three - especially if it's a clearance deal and won't be restocked - watch out!  But I'm buying them, because I need them and my family will use the product. Buying in reasonable numbers helps ourselves and helps others.

Just because something is free or a moneymaker doesn't mean we have to have it.  Remember, you're still paying tax on those freebies you won't use and you won't always get the overage from a coupon. Seriously, I think I must want to live in a Utopian world of couponers where coupon fairies leave unwanted coupons in the store for others to use, peelies stay on packages unless they're being purchased, blinkie machines are bursting at the seams and shelves are perpetually overflowing with products! Oh, if only......................


  1. Thanks for sharing. I feel the same way. I actually have left coupons behind when I knew I wouldn't be able to use it before it expired. I love to think that someone will find it and get excited at the awesome deal I left behind for them. :) What goes around comes around, someday they'll learn and it might not be pleasant.

  2. I am always tempted to take a lot of one blinky if it is a good deal but I usually limit myself to 3. I want others to get good coupons too! I also have been learning I don't always need the freebies. The Maalox has been awesome for us because we do use that kind of thing but other items I have found I have gotten for free and don't use I won't get it again just because it is free. I am realizing more and more I don't NEED every amazing deal even though I might want it. It is hard to discipline yourself though. It's definitely something that I am still working at. I love this post and hope some of the coupon hogs out there read it and realize they need to remember coupon etiquette.

  3. Thank you! My husband and I were at Smith's in Layton Friday and there was an obviously single gentleman getting a couple of cans of Campbell's soup. I found myself giving him a coupon for $1/4 so he could save. Then, my husband came up and said, give him another one and he will have 8 towards the 10 items he needs for the Daytona 500 event. I ended up givng him even another coupon for $.50/2 so the could have 10 items just in his soup. I explained the $3 now and the $3 later and he gave me an incredulous look. I pointed to the binder and said, "trust me". I saw him go directly to the register! We bought 15 or so cans ourselves, and I still have soup coupons. It feels good to share a great deal!

  4. Thank you! It can be so depressing when I go to the store to get something I really need and it's completely gone - a mere 7 hours after the sale has started. I always try to leave something on the shelf. I love to save and stock up, but I also love my fellow man.

  5. I feel the same way. I try going to get a certain product three or four times a week and they are always out. I get so frustrated! Thanks for posting this. I think some people really need to read this =)

  6. Amen!! and Amen to everyone's comment

  7. Thank you. I feel the exact same way.

  8. i agree also that you need to respect each other when it comes to hot deals. i absolutely think it is wrong to buy moneymaker deals on products that you don't need. there is nothing good about selfishness in the area of couponing. hopefully we all try to not be selfish in every other area of life, so why is it "okay" to some to be selfish just to save a couple bucks?
    i do have a sincere question though, because i just want to fully understand one thing you posted. what is the difference between the 2 following?
    1- someone taking the rest of the blinkie machine coupons for a product her family will use, saying "As long as I will use the coupons, I'm taking them all!"
    2- you taking the last clearance products off the shelf that your family will use.
    When I look at both these scenarios they seem the same to me. The only way I see a difference is if the blinkie machine has like more than 8 coupons in it (I randomly chose 8, but its not the exact number that matters, more so just the idea). I think if there are 3 coupons left in the blinkie machine then it is okay for one person to take them all. I don't think it is okay to take all 15 though. Is this along the lines of what you meant also?

  9. Yes d. It's ok to take a few items that your family needs, but buying in excess (ie.. taking 25 coupons out of blinkie machine) crosses the line for me. If there's only 3 coupons left in the machine, by all means take them if you need them. But we had a woman out here empty 180 coupons out a blinkie machine and then special order 180 products for herself, because the coupon made them free. I'm just saying we should do our best to help ourselves, but if possible, also help others. Being reasonable in our shopping does help others.

  10. Thank you so much for the post. I am new at coupon stuff trying to figure everything out. It has been really frustrating when I go to the store for something that my family needs that is a good deal and it is always gone. I have been contemplating if it is even worth it or just going back to buying all of the cheap generics and hoping I can get them on sale.

  11. I too echo the feelings of the others who have posted here. I bet those who behave so badly with coupons are not much different in their everyday life.
    It's hard for me to find that by Monday morning when I could go to the stores ( I don't shop on Sunday when the sale starts) all the products have been bought up. I have spoken to managers and clerks and they mention people showing up bright and early Sunday buying out, with coupons, the whole stock of a "free" item.
    Oh well, that's the breaks


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