Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Coupon Madness


You know, I do not begrudge anyone of trying to buy food on the cheap.  I don't begrudge anyone of using coupons to save a few bucks.  But this behavior can be taken to far.  And while it is a right people have, sometimes it is just going to far.  When you walk into a store, buy two thousand dollars worth of goods, then have to find $1.58 because the store doesn't do negative balances, and you have no money on you, that's going way too far.

Alright, I admit it, I am jealous, $2000 bucks worth of food and other goods, and you pay nothing.  You would be as well, if you had ever not had the money for food, and had done some unsavory things for food, but that is a lot of coupons.  By estimates of some people who call this activity couponing, they spend between 20 and 70 hours a week collecting coupons.  That ranges between part time and full time employment, just to keep your grocery bill down.

Look, if people want to spend that much time gathering coupons, so be it.  The problem is when they get to the store.  Imagine standing behind that person in the check out line.  $1000 dollars worth of stuff takes a while to check out by itself, but then you have the coupons getting tagged at the end.  Sometimes they do not scan correctly, so the cashier has to enter the coupons code in by hand.  Sure, it saves you money, but it delays everyone else.

It also does harm the store.  Sure they are reimbursed for the use of coupons, but hey that takes a bit of time.  So they start placing limits on how many coupons you can redeem at a time, to cut down on payment delays and well the money they loose when the cashier is playing with you.  So the answer, break up the items into segments.  Yeah I do this often, the price of being poor, a specific amount on my debt card, a specific amount on a credit card or secondary debt card.  Hey my parents might not want to buy me that cup of coffee at the gas station.

But really, while it can serve some good, I mean think off all the good one could do if they were couponing to feed a bunch of poverty stricken families, or for a food bank.  But often these people are doing it for themselves.  They have thousands of rolls of toilet paper, cosmetics, food, most of which will go bad.  They just get it to have it, because they can get it cheap.  That is my problem, not the cost to the store, having to stand in line behind you or otherwise being delayed from what I am doing, it is the waste of it.  To me it is no different than hording, a known psychological condition. 

I am listening to one now, its a tragedy when a coupon expires, its like a loss in the family, they you spend 9 hours shopping and checking out of the store (with around 10 buggies worth of stuff).  The indication is, the coupon is a living breathing person, a member of the family, that says a lot about it being a mental health issue.  Some of these people are crazy.  I mean I can understand the poor, or even college kids doing it, I mean its hard as hell to live on next to nothing, but when you are solidly in the middle to upper middle class, and you have the money to buy 200+ news papers a week to get coupons, you have issues.  At least the college kid is honest about it, he will dress in a toga in February, then sing and dance for them.  But really, even that is going a bit far, just to throw a toga party for under 50 bucks.