Sort It ~ Professional Organizing for the Toronto Area



Coupon Clutter

I enjoy saving money, as do most of us. I am more than happy to grab coupons on my way into the store (they often have a board by the front door), or cut them out of the mail or newspaper. I’ll print them online if it’s really worth it. However, I believe that coupons create clutter.

I am not referring to having piles of coupons scattered throughout the house (a lot of couponers have their coupons neatly organized in a binder, or accordion holder). Nor am I talking about having stacks and stacks of invalid, expired coupons (make sure you go through them at the beginning of the month, and check the expiry date). What I am referring to is the need to purchase items because they are on sale, or at a “discount”.

When I watch the “Extreme Couponing” programs on TV, I am astounded at the quantity of items they have stored in their homes. They have mini grocery stores in their basements. The participants have had to purchase shelving (presumably on sale, or with a coupon) in order to store all of their “finds”. Coupons will sometimes offer a “buy one, get one free” type of deal, or “buy one, get one half price”. Either way, they are promoting the idea of purchasing multiple items in order to get the best deal. On one of the blogs that I follow, one couponer purchased 36 packages of Advil Cold and Sinus, because they ended up being $.99 each (regularly $8.99). Sure, it’s a great deal, but honestly, unless you suffer from some serious immune system issues, there is no way you can use all that up before they expire. Sure, you can use them as stocking stuffers, but I still maintain that 36 seems a bit excessive.

Let’s establish some ground rules:

1. Only buy it if you would typically purchase it – even if the item is at a drastic discount. It’s only a discount if you’ll use it.

2. Only purchase a reasonable amount of the discounted product. If you can’t use it before it expires, don’t buy it.

3. Consider your space. Your space has value, so use it wisely. If you don’t have the space for the discounted item (say 400 rolls of toilet paper), then it will be more taxing on your stress level than your pocket book.

Do you use coupons?

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Comments

  1. * marijke54 says:

    So, she paid 35.64 for 36 Advil Sinus. Most of them will expire before she is able to use them. The only way extreme couponing will work, in this case, is if she shares her find with other people.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 6 months ago
  2. LOL – I can releate with spending money to save money – great guidelines. Thank you.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 6 months ago
  3. * Make Cents says:

    I love the show Extreme Couponing, but there are a lot of people on that show who do a lot of good when they purchase a lot of items and donate it to whatever charity/foodbank. I’m an extreme couponer, but I buy a lot of stuff that doesn’t expire. So yes, I have a lot of laundry detergent, toilet paper etc., but food, no. The only item I purchase a lot of at once is rice milk since my son goes through 1 box a day and it has a long expiry date, usually a year or longer. As for the Advil Cold and Sinus, I myself during the holidays purchased approx 20 boxes. My price -$0.04. Why did I buy so much? This year for Christmas everyone got a gift basket and I placed one in each basket. Each basket cost me approx $12.00 when they retailed for over $100. I did 16 baskets in total. So we have 4 left over and I have yet to touch it. I barely get sick. In the very near future I will have to do another 25 baskets, this time as a giveaway at a yearly F&F BBQ that we hold every year with approx 350-400 people and this is the only other time when I will purchase things outside of the norm. I also give away baskets on my page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Make-Cents/189110507833083. I think it really depends on the purpose of why one is buying a lot. Somepeople are hoarders, because it becomes a question of when is enough ever enough. I have picked up 30 boxes of the Cascade Hand Towels, normally $4.96 a box, on clearance at WalMart for $2.50 and there is a printable coupon available for $2.00 off, so it costs me $0.50 for each box plus tax. Again, I have a big bashment coming up and I think this would be great for people to use, especially the kids since they are antibacterial. Also, non perishable. So even if they all don’t get used during this years event I can use them for next years. People who purchase a lot just for the purpose of buying, may have an underlying issue. Maybe they do it for the thrill of it. I think because people know they are getting some of these items for FREE or for next to nothing they buy more than what they normally need or want. I am in no way saying all people who coupon are like this, but I think some are. I would say that people need to be the judge of their own doing.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 6 months ago
    • Thank you very much for sharing. I completely understand where you’re coming from, but on the other hand, the more stuff you have, the more you have to keep track of. It sounds to me that you only purchase (usually) items you will actually use. That’s the difference. I recognize that a lot of people do donate them, which I think is fantastic. Too many times food banks/charities get our leftovers, and rarely get new items. Thank you VERY much for sharing 🙂 I look forward to checking out your Facebook page. I’ll like yours if you like mine 🙂 By the way, I think you’re in Canada, right? I have rarely gotten such a good coupon deal (once for Finish dishwashing detergent). What’s the secret in the Great White North where coupons don’t flow as freely?

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 5 months ago
      • * Make Cents says:

        ‘LIKED’ Yes, I’m in Toronto. Where are you located? You are right, coupons don’t flow as freely here, but you can still get lots of coupons. I have 2 binders full of coupons. Are population is a less than that of the US even though we have a larger land mass. Another reason is that Canada is so conservative and have so many rules, so a lot of companies act in a conservative manner. This is just my opinion.

        Posted 5 years, 5 months ago
  4. I’m in Toronto as well 🙂 Go figure!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 5 months ago
  5. * lysafulb says:

    That “Extreme Couponing” show makes me nuts! I am with you – why have so much stuff they may never even use? These people’s “stockpiles” rival a small grocery store! To me, many of the “couponers” just do it for the THRILL of it and not necessarily because these are the items their family truly needs. There is the one guy who donates all of his items to a shelter after he shops – that’s nice, but does a shelter really need 200 2-litre bottles of Pepsi just because he got them for 5 cents each? (Does _anyone_ need that much soda???)

    I understand the value of couponing. I did it for years when I was in college and when my husband and I were first married and not making a lot of money. I would buy whatever brands I had coupons for, and most of the stores doubled or tripled coupons up to a dollar, which really helped out a young couple on a budget. Fast forward 20 years – I don’t clip coupons anymore. I hardly need to – most grocery stores now have customer rewards cards that you simply swipe at the register to get the discounts on your items. I used to buy the Sunday paper just for the coupons, but found that there were hardly any coupons in it that I wanted, now that I am more particular about which brands I buy. Now I just grab the store’s flyer when I go for my weekly shopping trip, see what the week’s deals are, and write down any I want on my shopping list. I’m saving money on the items my family actually needs and I don’t have to clip coupons or keep up with them or remember to bring them to the store. : )

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 5 months ago
    • Thank you for that very true point! And truth be told, if the stuff on sale is bad for you, you CERTAINLY don’t need a huge quantity of it 🙂 Thanks for your input Lysa! I love your outlook 😉

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 5 months ago


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