Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Fine Line Between Saving Money & Hoarding

Reading another bloggers post regarding the upcoming Extreme Couponers show on TLC got me thinking. This is an extension of my reply to their post.

Most couponers are fond of stock-piling. We've got quite the stockpile going in the last few months since we started couponing and shopping sales. There are some things that just aren't worth buying in bulk because you won't use them and/ or you can't give them away before they need to be used. But, many couponers don't even think about donating their overstock. Unfortunately, some couponers don't think beyond what they are "saving" to realize what it's really costing them.

Some things to consider before you buy that item in bulk:
  • How much of it do you really use?
    If you use 3 bottles of shampoo in a year, then having a stockpile of 20 bottles might be a little excessive. I have to admit this is the one area of overstock in our house that I'm thinking I need to donate at least half of. There are two of us in the house and we both have short hair... and we now have at least a dozen bottles of shampoo on hand. But... but.... it was FREE! Doesn't matter. Leave it for someone who needs it, or someone who will actually donate it quickly.

  • Do you really use it at all?
    It really doesn't matter how cheap toilet paper is, or how free it is, there is only ONE brand we have managed to agree on in this household, so unless I'm getting THAT brand for free or super cheap... it's really not worth stockpiling.

  • Do you have a place to put it?
    Where you won't forget about it until it's too late to use it, then just end up throwing it out anyway? If you end up throwing it out, it's a waste of money.

  • Does this deal make good sense? For YOU, not for someone else!
    As I've posted in other posts, too often we get so caught up in "getting a deal" that we don't really consider if it's a good deal. Really ask yourself if it's a good deal before you buy it.

    The best way I've found to ensure that I don't go overboard on buying things that we wouldn't normally use/ want is to make a list before I go to the store, get my coupons together (that match said list) and then go shopping and stick to my list. If you do this you can still donate items but you can plan ahead for what you will donate, rather than just buying things under the premise of "maybe we'll use them / it's a good deal, I can't pass this up" only to realize too late that you won't use it.

    If you plan to donate things that are perishable, check around at local shelters before you go shopping to find out who will take them, then plan to drop those items off at the shelter on your way home. This will ensure they get where they need to go and don't go to waste in your fridge.
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