What is the difference between stockpiling and hoarding?
This is something that’s been on my mind since I started getting into couponing. Remember the A&E show “Hoarders”? As I look as some of the new shows like “Extreme Couponing” on TLC I can’t help but compare the two shows. Some of them are so similar it’s a bit worrisome! Now this is going to be just MY OPINION but it is something I have seen and I have seen what it’s like to dig yourself out of it. I could even see myself going overboard with stockpiling.
Now we all know that high that comes with getting an amazing deal with coupons! Cutting your $50.00 shopping trip down to just a few dollars or even a few cents is awesome…. but did you buy the items because you needed, or will need them in the near future? Or did you buy them because you liked the feeling you got when you bought them? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you buy something… or even before you make out your shopping list:
1. Will we use the item before it’s expiration date?
2. Is this nutritionally beneficial to my family? — This is one of my favorite questions because many coupons are for boxed or pre-packaged foods that are not always very good for your health.
3. Will I use this item within the next couple years (if no exp. date).
4. Do I have ROOM to put these items without making my house into a stockpile garage?
5. Am I buying this because I NEED it or am I buying it because it’s a good deal. –And just so we are clear…. being a good deal is NOT enough reason to buy something!
Watch this video taken from the TLC show “Extreme Couponing”. In my opinion this goes beyond even extreme couponing. I consider this hoarding. This is absolutely over the top insane. If he were donating all these things, or running a store out of his house then maybe. But it is just sitting in his garage. CRAZY!
I have learned in a very short time to ask myself those few questions for a shopping trip. Let me give you an example. I have limited storage space so I have a cupboard designated to cereal. I can fit about 10-12 boxes in it… last week it was full, so even though there were other cereal deals… I passed them up. I also have about 12 tubes of toothpaste in my cupboard (I only pay tax for toothpaste never anymore than that) and even though this week I could have gotten free toothpaste at the local drugstore, I passed on it. I am also good on pasta, shampoo, and butter for a least 4-6 months… so I won’t be using any deals for these products even if they are free. I WON’T clutter my house and my life. There will be a good deal again when I need it. The only exception to this is if I get something to donate to charity.
Now couponing DOES provide you with a great opportunity to give to charity for just pennies! There are tons of couponers out there that give hundreds of pounds of food to charity every month! My favorite coupon lady, Melanie, from The Coupon Goddess is always showing us her trips to her local food bank. This is a great this to do and only adds a few minutes onto your couponing every month.
Remember, saving your family money does not need to come at the expense of your comfort at home. You can save just as much without buying EVERY good deal you come across… and in fact will probably save more.
If you feel that you have been hoarding and need help to stop the cycle please visit FLYLADY and ask a professional counselor for help. You CAN dig yourself out!