The wife and I use to coupon, but we've had our hands full with our first child being born into the world a few weeks ago. We definitely plan on getting back into the groove of couponing sooner rather than later.
Regarding the "extreme couponing" craze... I think there are parts of it that are awful, and parts of it that are great.
Someone abusing the coupon system to gain a bunch of "free" stuff that they will never use/throw away is awful.
Before everyone attacks me, let me clarfiy.
It's awful because people need to understand that nothing is free. Let's say you are able to get 100 pounds in cat food and the store gives you $2 for it. Let's then say you don't even own a cat and once you get home you just throw the cat food away.
You didn't just make $2... you also cost the store $2, plus the fee it cost to stock the shelf, plus all the costs of the workers to unload that product and stock it. You did a lot more harm than good to everyone else who goes to the grocery store.
Because, the store won't just write that loss off... they will pass along that loss onto the consumers, so the next time your brother or sister go to the store to buy cat food for their cat, it's going to cost them $2.25 rather than $2.
THAT part of extreme couponing (getting stuff that one will never use just because one can), I find awful. It does so much more harm to a community than good and I think that people who do it should be ashamed of themselves.
Now, if someone is able to get 100 pounds of cat food, get paid to do it, and then they go ahead and distribute it to family members who will use all of it? I'm 100% behind that and I think that's great. If you are going to use the product, or distrubute it to people who will use it... by all means, extreme coupon away.
Sure, the store incurs a loss, but the product is used so it's a net gain for society. The store will probably wisen up and learn from their mistake, and they might pass along the costs to the consumer... but the product was used and therefore a benefit/gain occured.
So, anyone who can get stuff for REALLY cheap that then goes ahead and uses that stuff. Thumbs up for you.
Anyone who can get stuff for REALLY cheap/free that then goes ahead and throws away 90% of the product? Thumbs down for you.