Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why I Coupon

Free food and toiletries and the top of my son's head. Don't worry, he isn't getting donated...yet.
I know a lot of people chuckle at me when they see me with my giant binder at the grocery store and sure, my stockpiles look a little odd in the pantry and the garage. I know it doesn't make much sense to buy things when you don't need them even if they are super cheap. Also, no matter how many times I tell people that it really doesn't take a lot of time to coupon, I still get comments from people who "wish they had that much free time." Sometimes I feel a little embarrassed to buy 3 bottles of detergent at a time and to hand over a huge stack of coupons at the register. Then, look at the bags of free food in my pantry and I remember there are people out there who need me to keep couponing.

The economy has hit a lot of people hard, especially the working poor. I live in a fairly wealthy area but there are still 11 families at N's school who depend on the monthly food drive. The local food banks are begging for donations because a lot of people who once donated are now looking for help. I am already looking at the shopping circulars every week for my shopping list so I always make sure to circle those items that are free or under 50 cents. No, I might not use the items in question but there is someone out there who could and who probably needs it desperately. Why turn down something free? If I can help, there is no excuse for me not to do that.

Sure coupons allow me to save a ton of money and put that savings toward trips or things we want to do to improve the house and that is wonderful. But the biggest source of pride for me is the bulging bags of donated food I take to church or for the food drive at my son's school. I know that I am going to help keep children fed for another month all because I use little slips of paper. It makes the stares and the snickers and the questions of "Are you like those people on the TLC Extreme Couponers show?" totally worth it.

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