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If you think this is about YOU, maybe you should go reconcile with your parent and work to get back your kids instead of continuing to be a jerk. If you think I am you, or similar to you, welcome! :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Not Extreme Couponing Part III

Despite the TV show Extreme Couponing, sometimes coupons are not the answer to saving money. Yes, one woman claims she's only extremed couponed for a year, and yes, she's built up a lovely stockpile and given loads of stuff to the local food pantry, and she gives God credit for the source of her thousands of coupons, stacked in milk crates in her attic. That does not mean it's going to work out for everybody that way.

These are some other things I've noticed when watching the show:
  • The extreme couponers spend a lot of time on their coupon conquests. All that saving doesn't magically happen by having the coupons. A couple couponers related that extreme couponing is a lot like a 40 hour job, and can often run into 70 hours a week. A grandparent who lacks energy, or needs to put that energy elsewhere, might not have 40-70 hours a week to extreme coupon. 
  • Many hands make light work, and somebody has to lug all that stuff into the shopping carts, then into the car to transport it home, then into the house to put it all away. Do you have help to do this?
  • If you and your grandchildren are sharing a 2-bedroom condo, where are you going to put 1,000 packs of ramen noodles? Better use those coupons selectively, and have a plan where to stick that stuff.

Now, I think couponing is a great mind exercise, and unlike Brain Age, I don't have to sneak one of the kid's Nintendo DS to coupon. It certainly has hobby status in my mind, and to my mind does more for a brain than regular bridge or canasta tournaments. Doctors and therapists keep telling us we need to exercise our brains as we get older. Coupons provide that exercise, and throw saving money into the bargain.

But coupons are not the only way to save money. Sometimes, coupons don't save money at all, especially on items one needs when one needs them NOW. Coupons expire, and most stores do not honor expired coupons. Coupons used toward items nobody uses in your family are a waste of both time and money. There are other sources of savings. 

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