Saturday, August 13, 2011

CCC Blog #4: Educate Yourself

August 13, 2011

I have been a little busy and adjusting to the new work schedule. That is the primary reason there has not been a blog post in a while from me. Remember, if you run across any great deals, tips, tricks or just want to say hello to the group then feel free to post on the CCC wall.

I was thinking about what to share in this blog and the thought crossed my mind about being educated shoppers. I am not meaning to be educated merely about sales ads, coupons and policies. I am leaning in this blog more towards each of us understanding what our families need, what will keep them healthy and happy, what we should steer clear of when we shop and putting that in the mix as we coupon.

I recieve tons of coupons every week. I clip them, file them and even pass along coupons to others if they are for things that don't interest me. That is where I felt like honing in a little. Perhaps this is more personal opinion than anything, but we all run across some killer-deal coupons from time to time that allow us to create a stockpile. Things that aren't perishable that we use all the time and foods that have long shelf life that we will actually eat are awesome finds. Paper products, toiletries, cosmetics, dry goods, frozen goods, and so much more await our purchase and make for great long term investments. I am thinking that hen it comes to those products that we love but they "love us back" by being unhealthy if over consumed need to be considered carefully when couponing. 

Let's say, for example, I find coupons for my favorite sweets and decide that just because I have coupons and can get them at a ridiculously low price that I buy all I can. I feel so proud of the deal I found! Weeks or months later, with deals just like that one being found, my freezer, pantry, closets and shelves are being overrun by my finds. I also notice that my belt is tighter, I feel more sluggish, my clothes aren't quite fitting right, energy levels are down, dental and doctor visits may be on the rise and perhaps its because I am not stopping to think about the long term effects of what I am choosing to buy.  Over-buying certain foods can lead to unwanted weight gain and health problems is what I'm trying to say. Sure, coupons allowing you to buy 50 bags of Oreo cookies sounds great. But if they are a weakness for you and you constantly have black crumbs on your teeth, it may not be long before you have no teeth and can't get out of the chair to do anything. 50 bags of Oreos might work for large families with growing kids if they are kept under lock and key and brought out as a snack from time to time. But if I had them, one half of the container would be empty in one sitting :-) If I did that every day for 100 days by myself the cookies would be gone in three and a half months and I would be the size of a barn!

If you are like me and money always seems tight then You'll know where I am coming from when I say I have to make a concieous decision about where, when and how I'm going to use my coupons and maintain my cash flow. With time, I believe the savings will increase our cash flow and allow for saving more and more and adding to important stockpiles. I just caution each of us not to take your budget and ruin it by buying, say, 100 boxes of Hamburger Helper (at 50 cents a piece and that would be a great deal!) if you only have $100 for a total food budget at the time. Yes, you would have a great stockpile, but you now only have 50% left of your budget. You are going to be eating a lot of hamburger helper (without being able to add the hamburger meat). You still have other essentials to consider. 

I guess where I am going with this is that we all need to learn when enough is enough of a great deal. Now, there will be times that you have lots of extra funds and it won't negatively impact your budget to buy unbelievable amounts of stuff for future use. Just don't coupon yourself into a corner budget-wise.



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