Couponing 101 / Free Stuff

Getting Caught Up in FREE!

I’ve seen a lot of products that are Free this week at various stores after coupons and store rewards, but I’m passing on most of them. Why? Because I don’t need them or I already have enough in my stockpile.

It is so easy to get caught up in a deal just because it is “Free”. If you have been deal hunting for awhile, I’m sure you have noticed that different products tend to be on a 3-4 month cycle of sales. And, if coupons and store sales hit just right you can get some items free.

I see a lot of people who purchase items just because they are free. You might feel like you are saving money by doing that, but if you don’t use the product or don’t even need it- then what is the point of getting it free?

Each time I see an awesome deal come out, I ask myself these questions:

  • “Is that a product our family uses?”
  • “Do we need it?” Or, “Do I already have enough in my stockpile to last us until the next sale?”

By asking those questions, it helps keep you in check from buying un-necessary things. Plus, it helps out other couponers who are actually out of the product and need it! So the next time you get that “I have to have it cuz it’s free” bug in your system, ask yourself those questions I listed above and hopefully it will help your FREE addiction. 🙂

**Donating free items is always a good idea. So, if you are doing that, GREAT! Keep it up! Just leave some of the goodies for families who need it too.

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18 Comments

  1. I love this post. Another thing people don’t take into consideration is that unless they are shopping at a store that honors overages, they are still paying for tax on that item. So, it better be something you are using or know someone who could use it!

    Reply
  2. I like the posting on Free. I can confess i have this bug at times. I do donate a lot of the freebies, use in gifts, and give out to family and friends. I even donate a lot of travel items and razors 4th of july at Old Navy. But im starting to slow down at jumping at every deal. Ive been couponing since Jan of this year and Ive learned so much. So Ill take these calm moments as time to educate others who have seeked my expertise. Thanks Freebies2deals for all that you do.

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  3. I too find myself suffering from “free addiction”. I have started to put limits on my stock pile. When I have a certian quantity of a certain item (that I know my family will use within a reasonable time) then I don’t let myself buy any more of that item until my stock pile has been depleted some. It is hard to do most of the time and I really have to talk to myself but in the long run it is a good thing. It allows me to save space and not let my hoarding tendencies take over. 😉

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  4. Thank you.

    Dear couponer who PUSHED me out of the way today to buy 50 boxes of cereal at Walmart. SERIOUSLY?? The rest of us couldnt even buy 1 coupon worth cause of you. Sheesh! I hope you have a big family you need to feed.

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  5. When I donate those things ARE going to families who need it.

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  6. I love this post!!! I’m very new to couponing (just started at the beginning of July) and have come to realize if I want in on some of the good deals I have to get out early because the shelves are empty. It’s just my husband and myself so we don’t need a big stockpile, just a few items at great prices to last us a little while. Many thanks to Freebies2deals for all the info – it’s invaluable to newbies like me

    Reply
  7. I also take into consideration if it will expire. What’s the use of getting it free if it’s no good when you actually use it. I also give some away & even use some as “fillers” for gift bags. : )

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  8. along with the above, I consider the shelf life of a product…example…we may eat that cereal, but we don’t need to buy it to the extent that some of the cereal goes bad…shampoo? Why I snagged all 2-3 however many there were two weeks ago…why? I will use it all before the expiration date…if it is meat, I grab enough to last me what I calculate is about 3 months…separate it into portions that are easily usable for my family…and freeze it ( sometimes cook 3-5 pounds of it at a time as well, and then put in small ziplock baggies at about 1 lb each…then I have precooked for my busy work days)….

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  9. I love this post! I totally agree with you. There is nothing like getting all hyped up to get a good deal on something your family could really use only to show up to empty shelves.

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  10. I could not agree with you more! Thank you so much for this post. It is so frustrating to find empty shelves for all the good deals every week. I never buy more than 6 of anything and I always try to leave some stock on the shelves for those who may really need it. Thank you for those couponers who are considerate of others!

    Reply
  11. I totally have this bug and am trying to shed him ASAP. My stockpile continues to grow week after week with just “free” items. I’ve noticed the cycles but just can’t help myself for some reason. I’m starting to notice that I earn ECB or RR in one week and can’t seem to use them in the following weeks because it’s stuff that I just don’t need. I have better luck in CVS, but in Walgreens I end up having to walk around and around trying to find something to use my RR on. I’m definitely not going to waste those RR or ECB. So this is my confession!! I do not clear the shelves though! I have four newspapers and I get four items or just one if the limit is one. Thanks for this post! Keeps buggy folks like me in check!!

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  12. Thanks so much for this post. As a FT working mom and student I don’t have time to go the first day of an ad to get deals so I go when I have time during the week. I only get 1 copy of the newspaper so usually only have 1 coupon. There has been so many times that I go to the store and they are completely out because it was a good deal, then I visit the next week for other stuff and find that same item to still be out. It’s so annoying when people are buying more than they can use in a reasonable amount of time. One day I was at the grocery store and there was a great deal on V8 fusion so I went to buy my 1 bottle and the whole entire section had been cleared out with none in the store. While I was standing there looking at it 2 other people walked up looking for the same thing and one of them being an older man that had no coupons in sight so it really is ripping off the manufacturers and in turn our economy considering there was a man there to buy without a coupon and pay full price. I wish others would be considerate.

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  13. Thank you for this post. It is seriously so frustrating when a good sale happens for something you’re in need of, but none of the store have it because others have wiped it out because it’s free. I make a point to not wipe out the whole shelf so that others can partake of the good deal also.

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  14. Yeah, I have 2 kids (2 yrs old & 1 month old) & it’s hard to get out when the stores open & the store is almost always wiped out by the time I get there (smith’s…GRR). I get mad at the crazy coupon ladies who take everything. Share the wealth please, I buy my coupons & would like to use them 🙂

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  15. Thank you for this post. I echo the comments above from those who can control themselves. Greed will get us all in the end if we don’t watch it .

    Reply
  16. Also it’s great to donate things, but think of the people who use coupons and don’t get things from charities. My family more than qualifies for all the freebies the county and local charities offer. (food stanps, share food, etc.) We choose not to get those things but instead use coupons to feed our family of 7. So when you get a ton of the cheap or free deals and donate them YES sometimes you ARE taking those from a family in need.
    So, donating a little is great but if you’re using it as an excuse to feed your addiction to getting stuff for free it is just as bad as if you were hoarding it for yourself. You don’t need to donate 50 of an item. Just keep a box in the garage and put 1 or 2 things a week in it. When it’s full, donate it.

    Reply
  17. I have become very aggravated with all the shelf clearing in my area. I buy 3 to 4 newspapers a week, but never buy more than 4 of an item at a time when I enter a store. I went to both CVS and Kroger today, neither store had what I went for. Way too many empty shelves. While I love a good deal just as much as the next person, and I do Love to get things free ( when I need them), it was aggravating. I wasted my time and money going ( I live 20 miles from town) and came home with nothing I set out for. If only people were more considerate.

    Reply
    • Have you asked a customer service rep if they had more items in the back? They sometimes bring stuff out for me when I ask.

      When I find a good deal, I buy a lot of items, and I make no apologies for it. I hate going to the store with my two babies; if I can reduce the time I spend in a store in the future by having at home a whole lot of something I bought on sale or got for free earlier in the year, I am a much happier person. I can often go 2 or 3 weeks without going to the store and my trips are much shorter now.

      Reply

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