Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to Deal with Those Who Don't Understand

Chances are you have heard one of the things below, but here is why I think they are wrong.

Your savings are nice, but that's just too much work.
I've heard this one many times. Yes, it takes work, but you also get a say in how much time you want to put in it. I like to look at it as an hourly rate. If I save $80 in a week and spent 2 hours putting together my coupons, deals, etc. That means I made $40 an hour. Not bad, in my opinion. Like I said there are many levels to how much you can save, if you take the very simple step of only buying things when they are on sale you would be capable of savings near 50% (especially if you only buy BOGO's). If you combine a few coupons, say just ones in your paper, your savings increase. Then if you take it further by adding more coupons and using coupon match-up sites, you can easily see 60% or more savings a week.
The irony is sometimes make this complaint to me, and then in another sentence lament how they wish they had extra money to purchase ___ or go to ____. And I think, if you just spent an hour a week, you could easily save that money.

I wish I had that kind of free time, but I'm too busy.
This one is pretty much the same as the last one, but I often find this one coming from the mouths of working mothers/working women/men. I'm not sure if they mean it the way it sounds, but it kind of comes off as "I actually work and make money, so unlike you I don't have that kind of free time." I know plenty of working folk who find time for coupons, and their reason for doing coupons is generally along the lines of "I work hard for this money, so why do I want to spend most of it on food?" I tend to agree.

What are you feeding an army with all that food?
I think this comes from the fact that most people go to the store each week with the sole purpose of buying food to consume within the next week or two, and perhaps every so often they buy a cart full of groceries when they are stocking up for an event. So basically to see some one buy a cart full of groceries every week, makes them wonder what you are doing with all that food because in their head they think you are going to consume it in one weeks time. I usually just explain that it will last us awhile and I donate some of it.

You have more food than a food pantry!
I don't personally think I do, but with the great demand on food pantries lately it could be possible. This statement usually comes from someone seeing the amount of food you have stockpiled. Usually it's not worth arguing, but the best answer usually is a combination of "you should see how much I have donated" and "because I have this much food, I won't need to take from the already strained food pantry."

Stockpilers are just hoarders.
Pretty much the same as the previous. However, this one stems from the belief that hoarding is just someone who accumulates a lot of stuff for no reason. Hoarding is a real condition that generally stems from some sort of traumatic event, and is generally not recognized by the hoarder. Hoarders are generally acting on compulsion not on calculated purchases. Stockpilers purchase food with full awareness of what they are doing, and generally with the knowledge of how much they need for a set period of time. Sure stockpiling can become a form of hoarding, but most of the time they are completely different.

Couponers are just cheapskates.
Is being a cheapskate really so bad? People who are frugal are often labeled cheapskates, but the irony is frugal people also know when to spend more money for something that will last longer. I'd rather spend my money on extra things then on the things I need like food. Being a cheapskate means I can stay home with my child and live comfortably on one small salary, so I will happily continue to be a cheapskate.

Coupons are going to put a company out of business.
Well this is just dumb. If that were true manufacturer's wouldn't make coupons and stores wouldn't take them. The fact of the matter is it is a win-win-win situation. The manufacturer makes money because you bought their product (and may benefit from you sharing your love of the product to someone else), the store benefits because you bought the product and the manufacturer pay them 8¢ per coupon (+ the amount of the coupon) redeemed, and you benefit because you received your product for less money. The only people who ever say things like this are those who really just don't understand or is a cashier who just hates coupons, but either way it is completely wrong.

I'm sure you've heard one of these things or will hear one of these things, but don't worry too much about it. I personally can't understand why anyone would want to pay $5 for a box of cereal or $2 for a box of pasta, but they do, and that's their money to spend, and well maybe they are just jealous...

Join me next week for more frugal tips.
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