Friday, November 19, 2010

Extreme Couponing--What's Your View?

From Fox Business News. It's fine for anyone but me-the coupons seem to be all for junk I don't buy. By not buying it at all, I save the most! :)

"I understand folks wanting to save money on groceries. However, while at the grocery store this past Saturday night, I witnessed some hard core couponing. The guy ahead of me in line bought something like 24 cans of Chunky Soup for $1.95 total. That works out to roughly $0.08 per can.

So how did he do it? Apparently the store was running a special of some sort, and he combined that with a bunch of $0.50 coupons that the store doubled to $1. The coupons themselves appeared to have been printed out, so when I got home I did a bit of investigation."

Chunky Soup? I make my own--see? More useless-to-me coupons.

"Sure enough, you could get the very same coupons from Campbell’s Kitchen. It’s clear, however, that these coupons weren’t intended to be used twenty (or more) at a time. In fact, Campbell’s uses special coupon printing software that attempts to limit your ability to print extra copies."

I'm discovering this with Eight O'Clock coffee coupons from their website--you can print two, but that's it. Nothing says you can't forward the URL onto other friends or co-workers, have THEM print them out, then give them back to you. That's what I'm doing now.

"When I left the store, I passed by this guy loading his haul into his trunk. As I walked past him, I noticed two interesting things. First, his license plate was from a few counties away. Second, he appeared to have several more bags of soup cans from the same grocery chain already in his car.

While I can’t say for certain, it appeared that this guy’s idea of a big Saturday night was hitting numerous grocery stores within a several county radius with a pocket full of printable soup coupons."

He was probably hitting all the stores that had a double-coupon policy.

"Now, my point here isn’t to pass judgement on this guy in particular, but rather to bring up the general topic of what one might call “extreme couponing,” and to get your thoughts on it.

For starters, there’s the time and money invested. Sure, he got 100 or more cans of soup for less than $10, but he also appeared to have burned a Saturday night and a bunch of gas doing so. Beyond that, there’s the issue of ethics…

It’s pretty clear that this guys was breaking the rules, but the clerk let him get away with it. Her reaction (“they’ll freak out”) was particularly interesting, as it suggests that she has had numerous run-ins with people who have essentially bullied her into letting them break the rules."


"If someone can go out and get a cart of groceries for $3.00, that’s great… As long as they can do it without being dishonest. But to me, life’s too short to compromise my principles over something like cheap groceries."

The situation depends on several things: the severity of the financial situation, the prospect of spreading out the costs of acquiring the soup over a year or so (how long will his stash last?), and the fact that he was able to find and exploit loopholes in the system.

I'm all for exploiting loopholes--that's what I live for. Finding and jumping through loopholes is what I'm best at. I've got no complaints whatsoever about what this guy's doing, other than Chunky Soup? You've got to be kidding! The sodium content alone will kill you inside a month!

If this situation bothers or encourages you, go here and register your comment. Remember: this is no worse than people who combine coupons with in-store ads and rebates, then manage to get the item as a BOGO deal ALL AT THE SAME TIME!


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