Now, everyone who reads what I write knows that I tend to be a little on the sarcastic side and a little less on the warm and fuzzy side. I wrote about extreme couponing and how people are basically greedy for hoarding coupons so they can turn around and hoard items they will never use. I was not making negative comments about strategic couponing (where you collect coupons from different resources so you can buy items you will use), or feel-good couponing (where you buy stuff to donate). No, I wrote about the lady who bought out an entire store's mustard supply because she got a great deal on it (and she hated mustard!). I could have taken one of those smiley, happy people angles and how we can save society through couponing. But I didn't. I made fun of people who have forced stores to create very long and hard to read coupon policies. I also made fun of myself.
And as a result I got my very first piece of hate mail. My column was called disgusting and I was called selfish because I don't use my coupons. My complete lack of organization makes couponing very difficult for me and the fact that I pay full price at Kroger means that millions of people (and animals!) are starving.
Here is the article in full:
I was in the grocery store the other day and noticed that the store had placed a full sheet of single spaced rules regarding coupons. I didn’t read it because my attention span won out (as well as my strong desire to get out of the store as quickly as possible – I despise the grocery store). I assumed these new regulations were due to people who hoard coupons like some people hoard cats.
I watched the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” one time and decided that the people featured on that show should really be featured on “Hoarders” instead. Who needs six million jars of mustard….when you don’t even use it?! I personally know of one woman who stockpiled a pantry full of Hamburger Helper when neither she nor her husband liked it. Why you ask? Because she had a coupon! Well, evidently she had multiple coupons. Women were featured on the show that displaced their children’s belongings in order to store multiples of whatever useless crap they had bought at the store.
These women would shudder to know that I throw away my Sunday coupons every week. These coupon zealots would probably have a stroke if they knew that I didn’t feel the need to shove grocery items into every square inch of my home. I tried clipping coupons. I really gave it an honest effort. But due to my complete lack of organizational skills it turned into a disaster. I remember as a kid my mom had a little basket that she would keep her coupons in and every week she would go through them based on what we needed. I attempted that method. First I would pull the sections from the newspaper and leave them on the coffee table for a week. The next step was to go through them and cut everything out in order to leave it in a cut up pile on the coffee table. I would then head out to the store completely forgetting about my coupon stash because the cat had scattered them up under the sofa. I decided to refine my methods and kept an organizer in my purse for all my coupons. I crammed coupons in there every week. But then my hatred of being in the grocery store would overcome me and I would rush through and not touch my little organizer. When the organizer literally burst at the seams (although I had mastered putting coupons in, I had not mastered removing expired ones) I gave up.
Couponing is not a sport. You can’t letter in it in high school or get a scholarship into college because you have mastered saving money on stuff you don’t use. Extreme couponing is the epitome of greed…buying obscene amounts of stuff just because you have a coupon is greedy. The woman who bought all of the mustard off of the store’s shelves because she had coupons was selfish, not smart. I love a bargain, but not at the expense of sanity.So there. Maybe not Pulitzer Prize winning writing, but it is hate mail inducing. I did respond to the hate mail writer telling her I appreciated her feedback and I was sorry that she missed the point of the column.
I haven't heard back....