June 07, 2011

The ethics of couponing

Recently, I have seen a substantial increase in number of articles on the topic of the lack of coupon ethics. I want to talk to you about the differences between extreme couponers and ethical couponers. There is a definite distinction between them, and they are easily recognizable. What with the recent hype behind TLC's Extreme Couponing, some couponers have lost sight of doing the right thing for the sake of "scoring free stuff". I'll be the first to admit that I love getting freebies, but there is a right way and a wrong way, let's explore the differences of the characteristics of Extreme vs. Ethical.

Extreme Couponers
  • Use coupons for the sake of getting freebies not because they genuinely need the item
  • Use coupons that do not match the item they're trying to get
  • Hoard rather than stockpile
  • Often neglect relationships by focusing their time on coupons
  • Stress out because they may have missed out on a coupon or a deal
  • Hyperventilate when they forget their coupons at home
  • Clear everything off the shelves rather than leaving some for other shoppers
  • Hysterical because a retailer may limit their quantity for purchase
  • Believe it's OK to take the coupons from papers they did not buy
Ethical Couponers
  • Use coupons to build their stockpile for their household 
  • Use the proper coupons for the correct item
  • Share their bounty with others that are in need
  • Spend equal amounts of time with family as with coupons
  • Are considerate of the needs of other shoppers
  • Do not stress if they have to ask for a rain check
  • Experience joy when they help strangers by sharing their coupons 
  • Ask friends & family to donate their coupons that they don't use

There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling yourself an Extreme Couponer, as long as with that title you show you have integrity. I truly experience a RUSH when I get a great deal, but I won't jeopardize my principles just so I can say "I got this for free". The problem with TLC's Extreme Couponing is that they sensationalize the show for the purpose of shock value. I firmly believe that the majority of people that clip coupons are fair, responsible & considerate. Reality TV has unfortunately taught a whole new class of couponers how to beat the system, which in the end, hurts us all.

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