Ok, today is my birthday. I'm taking a day for just me. No cleaning, no sorting, no sewing, no worry. I decided to use the comments made by Anonymous as part of my post today. It's sort of an unofficial guest post. Unofficial since I couldn't email to ask if it was ok. I can't figure out why other people can leave long comments but I'm told by blogger that I have too many words on my own blog comments?
You wrote: What I saw was stockpiles far greater than one family could use in one lifetime... or two lifetimes and was going to be left in a will rather than give any of it to charity.
That goes back to the writers of the story only picked the most extreme people/stories to appear on their show. They may or may not be donating to others, but the writers for the show are not going to include it even if they are helping others as they are going for the shock factor. But I am sure there are a few people who are hoarders and do....... well go to the extreme, but it is a very small percentage of people.
You wrote: How long do you think coupons will be offered if the 2-3% of coupons turned in right now suddenly became 60 - 80% turned in?
It will never happen!!! Most people can't be bothered to use even one coupon. Some are in the mindset that people will look down on me as being poor if I do. Some will not even use them if they are cut and given to them. Some will not take the time, they think that it does not save them money. And some are just too lazy (not saying any of you are), but they want stuff handed to them on a silver platter. There are a hundred different reasons.
If it was going to jump to that high of a percentage we would be see more than a CONSISTANT 2-3% usage over the last several decades. Since the 1960's really as that is when the coupons were more or less started. Before that they put the item/gift into the product (towels in soap/ glasses in laundry detergents, etc) Several of the manufacturers and companies are trying to move into the internet coupons, and not print the paper coupons. Times change, but still historically ONLY 2-3% are ever redeemed.
You wrote: Yes, I did pick stuff out of other people's trash to earn a few dollars. Back in those days I was probably the ONLY one around doing that in this area.
I agree you were probally one of the few in your area. But then again some people don't share with others what they do, buy with coupons, shopping goodwill or whatever. They have to maintain appearences, its human nature. They don't want to be looked down on. But there again over the whole USA there were thousands who did this, but it was still only 2-3% of the total refunds put out each year.
If you follow coupons and refunds which are printed, they are on a cycle. These large companies are well aware of the dollar amounts released in their advertising, and they keep doing it year after year at about the same time frame each year. But everything changes and grows, more people don't buy the product, the product gets discontinued, etc, etc. If the companies weren't aware of this, it maybe different, but they employ a large staff to keep up with it.
Someone said that the stores would start raising prices if more and more coupons were turned in.
If you have ever read the coupons you will note the stores ARE NOT paying for the coupons, they are getting reimbursed by the companies/manufactures and are getting usually a 7 or 8 percent handling fee on top of the coupon value. Yes some of the stores did double and triple coupons, the double and triple was on the stores part, there again they employ a research staff which follows those figures for their store and they still offered the "extra". They were not losing money or they would have stopped.
The stores which follow this practice still do it, in the areas of the country in which they are making the money. They are the large chain stores and not the little mom and pop operations. All stores around here have been doubling for over 20 years and have not changed their policies. Sometimes certain NEW management will come in and try to change how they run their stores, but the General management has not changed, usually a simple phone call to headquarters in a nice polite manner will get your answer and the local store will have to honor whatever the headquarters has in place for their policy.
Some of the extreme couponers may be spending hours and hours, but if they are working with the coupons on a regular basics and have a good system in place they could spend as little as 2-3 hours a week. If in that time they are savings 60% of their grocery budget, they are averaging $15-20 and hour. More than most can make working for someone else.
Someone commented about the extreme couponer cleaning off the shelf and not leaving any for others.
IT IS NOT JUST THE COUPONERS doing this. There are certain numbers that the stores order in of each item, and if it is on sale they may sell out of that item within a short amount of time, but if you stood at checkout and watched most of those same items would not have a coupon used at checkout. or there is not a coupon even out for that item at that time. If there is only a couple dozen items on the shelf and say a hundred people go through the store during the day, if everyone bought just one item there still would not be enough. The stores only carry a 2-3 day supply of food on premises at any given time, if say a snow storm shut down the roads for 3 days, they (if they could even open) the store would be without food in that amount of time.
Yes there are a few extreme couponers who do clear the shelves, but alot of them will even have the store special order in a case of the items for them. But the companies are also aware of what coupons are out at any given time. They employ people to track this. Some store managers will order in extra when they know something will sell out, some won't. It is at the descretion of the store managers.
I agree that alot of the coupons are for junk. I also know there are not alot of coupons out for the meats, fruits and veggies. But they do exist, they are just harder to come by. Or are only released at certain times of the year. That is why stockpiling is important. But if people just used coupons on personal care, laundry, cleaning, etc they would save money, but most people cannot be bothered.
Whoever wrote: One thing the Bible says that I try to live by, "is not to bring attention to oneself". If anyone gives to charity, it is to be done with a willing heart and in secret so to speak. God knows what we do and why we do it. One does not need to "brag" about how much and which charity you give to. Give because it is in your heart to give, not to show to others. As I said, I try.
Its a very thin line between knowing what is teaching/helping, and what may be showing off. I know alot of the couponers do live by this and do not call attention to themselves. They summed it up in alot fewer words than I have been rambling about.
By the way YOU did not make me mad. I think people should see that there is another side of the story and usually it never gets discussed. These shows want to only show the extreme.
By Anonymous on Anonymous comment answer
Hey Anonymous, I wanna shop in your area. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, how far away is your area? Ok I'm kidding.
I'm always on the lookout for ways to live more frugally. I'm open to all ideas. If good coupons were put out in this area again, I might go back to using more of them. If stores in this area started doubling more than two coupons for each particular item again (on products I use), I would be one of the first ones to start buying multiples. Not to the extreme shown on tv though. I would buy enough multiples to last me awhile and give some to charity. Some would go to my neighbors that are of the "too lazy" catagory but are never too lazy to ask to "borrow" my stuff.
Even though I've stopped using coupons, I still keep up with what's going on with them. I keep hoping things will change and I can go back to being a major couponer again. I even signed up my Kroger card so coupons can be downloaded to it instead of having to clip coupons. So far, I've not found a single coupon I wanted to download to my card.
Hmm...... Maybe I'm too much of a DIY person these days to use many coupons. I make my own products before buying what is commercially made. I don't have a need for laundry soap coupons if I make it myself. I don't have a need for deodorant coupons if I make it myself. I don't have a need for kleenix tissue or paper towel coupons if I use cloth. I don't have a need for bath soap coupons if I make it myself. I don't have a need for vitamins if I eat healthy enough. You see my point?
True, not everyone has the time for a lot of DIY and for those people coupons will save money. Coupons are just not right for me now that I'm doing more and more DIY. Ok, time for me to get off the internet and go have a do nothing birthday.