Monday, May 30, 2011

Extreme Couponing?

Now my first wife and I might possibly be the only people who hadn't heard of so-called *extreme couponing* - that is until we caught a few minutes of it on the hotel's color TV last week:

There are plenty more videos on YouTube, of course.

I myself as a stock option trader don't understand the *stockpiles*.

If you buy something you don't need for free (we'd say *bought for even*)....flip it to someone else for crying out loud - even at a below-market price. These cheapskates should be selling all that extra salad dressing and Powerade to their neighbors for 25-50 cents a bottle.

A few years ago, while reading Will Durant's Story of Civilization, I first learned that there were other forms of greed besides ambition for wealth. The precise example involved monks or something who'd camped out atop trees for weeks, naked, with nothing to subsist on. Durant characterized this as *spiritual greed* - and you may recognize a strain of it today amongst the radical earth-humping set. See - The Year Without Toilet Paper.

Watching these extreme couponers cursing at the register when they don't get the final price all the way down to a penny I couldn't help but think I was witnessing *miserly greed* or something.

Now I don't think it's worth my time and energy to spend 20 hours a week trying to buy $600 worth of useless, unhealthy groceries that I may be able flip for a $200 profit.

BUT it may be worth my homeschooled kids' time...

It, if successful, could be a great entrepreneurial exercise for them. For example I saw one woman buy 100 Butterfingers for free. She had a 50 cent-off coupon, *double coupons*, and they were retailing for $1. I'd have my kids sell those for 25 cents a piece outside of of the government schools here and they'd be sold out in no more than an hour.

You have to think though....

Once these strategies have hit color cable TV they are probably on their way out. I mean how long before stores and food manufacturers start putting quantity restrictions and whatnot on these coupons?


Anne Galivan said...

I've never been an "extreme couponer" but I did for many, many years clip coupons and use them faithfully. I do believe that I saved money, but these days my time is too valuable.

These people spends TONS of time watching for coupons, sales, etc. not to mention the time it takes to keep your coupons organized so you always have them ready-at-hand. I have better things to do.

On the other hand the state of Florida has the BEST grocery stores anywhere. I'm sure you must have shopped at Publix when you were here in Florida, CNut.

Publix stores are not only the cleanest grocery stores ever, with a fantastic produce section (not to mention the meat dept. etc.) they also offer weekly discounts and BOGOs on everyday products that save me at least 25% on every grocery bill.

My family has been shopping at Publix as long as I can remember. I remember shopping at a little Publix on Coral Way in Miami when I was growing up. I have always shopped at Publix. While other grocery stores in Florida have closed and filed for bankruptcy Publix just continues to grow.

And the customer service is awesome too. It's not unusual for me to have a little conversation with my checker (who I have never met before) while she or he checks my groceries. They are friendly, happy...probably because Publix takes care of their employees. Yes, I sound like a commercial but I could do one for this store I love it so much.

In any case I agree with you about the greed question here. I also have experienced a certain spiritual superiority from some Christians because they are poor and spend all their time trying to find deals on groceries, shopping several stores a week etc. There is nothing spiritually superior about being poor just as there is nothing spiritually superior about being rich.

If you look at the Bible in the Old Testament material wealth was associated with being blessed by God. When Jesus walked the earth among the Jews, who were an oppressed people, he told them that material wealth did not make them more spiritual. One thing I have learned from about 36 years of studying the Bible is that we need the WHOLE counsel of God.

Kevin said...

FYI this is for an earlier post thought it might interest you

CaptiousNut said...

Those burgers are too big for me. I've always disliked it when one bite would yield me all bread or all meat. Of course the flavorings are tempting...

CaptiousNut said...


I do like Publix but would hesitate before branding it the *best* grocery store.

I like their in-store tastings....and key lime pies. The pies would cost $30+ in NYC instead of $7.99.