Coupon guilt

I have been so excited by all the deals I've been getting lately. I'm still new to getting free or almost free food and I am really excited to see what this can do for my family budget, our ability to manage our finances in a Godly manner, and our ability to give. However, I have experienced a truly unexpected emotion that I could only think to name "coupon guilt." It never crossed my mind that this would be an issue. Seriously, who ever thought of feeling guilty for using coupons?
It started with a deal that I saw on a few blogs about printing a coupon for $5 off of some vitamins that were on sale for $5, and you got $5 worth of store incentives back...so essentially you MAKE $5 on the deal. Sounded great, and I immediately printed the coupons. However, you had to enter codes on the company's website to get the coupon to print. You could print it 4 times, so I stood to make $20. Initially I was ok except that I do not use this particular vitamin. I knew I could donate them, however, so that made me feel good. Then it sunk in that you are supposed to get the codes off of products that you purchase, and the coupon was meant as a reward for loyal customers. They really weren't put out for just anyone. This part I could not get off of my mind. In the end, I did not do the deal. I figured if it has stuck with me, and I could not stop thinking about it, that was the best solution for me. That is just how I personally dealt with my own issues. Please do not read this to mean that I think that anyone who did do this deal did anything wrong in ANY WAY! Not at all... this is just all new to me, and I am working out the "kinks" so to speak, for myself. I have gotten over most of the guilt in the reminder that MOST coupons are manufacturer coupons, and the stores are getting reimbursed for the value of them. So, this means that even though I got two free boxes of pasta at Kroger this week (on sale for $1 with a $1 off coupon), Kroger still gets their $1. So, no reason for guilt on that issue!
I am sure there are MANY more issues that are going to arise through the course of my money saving adventures... so I want to hear from you. From the more experienced couponers, what is the general consesus from the couponing community on some of the more common issues? From the newbies like me, what are some questions or issues you have come across? Maybe we can find the solutions together:)

6 comments:

  1. I think you did the right thing - I'm kind of new to couponing too and I'm setting my own rules/limits/whatever :) as I go. Somebody is paying for all the "free" stuff we're getting. If the coupon was a reward for purchasing the product - it seems wrong to use it unless you purchased the product!

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  2. Hi, I think you did the right thing too. I saw that deal, and was excited to jump on it - but did not feel it was right for me to profit from something I've never used before. Unethical, I think...
    I love coupons, and I've found some wonderful deals that have really helped me cut down my budget, but I am very discouraged by the people who seem to go out of their way to clear shelves of good deals. Moderation is definitely key!

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  3. I saw on other blogs people using 10+ of the $5.00 coupons for that deal. I know it's not "illegal" but I don't think it's ethical (as in, it's not using the coupons as I believe they were intended by the manufacturer). It seems that it was a rewards system set up for customers to enter codes from bottles purchased. Not for people to post the codes on the web and then print 10 coupons to get them for free. I actually commented on one of the blogs asking how people are getting so many of those coupons if you need so many codes to get them. The blog host said there are lists of the codes posted online, therefore it's ok to use them. I didn't agree with that, but I didn't want to argue with someone on their blog. I was tempted to use them myself because it was such a good deal, but I knew I wouldn't be able to shake the guilt.

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  4. That is a good thought...I am all for making money at the stores, but I have to do it with a clear conscience. Using codes from products that I didn't buy, isn't right. (In my opinion.) I would rather feel at peace about my actions then save a few dollars. Pray about it. God won't let you down! :-)

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  5. I also think you did the right thing. I had recently purchased 4 bottles of that brand, so felt okay putting in the codes and enjoying a good deal. Sometimes I just have to pass up a deal if it doesn't feel right to me.

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  6. Happy Belated FF!

    I'm your newest follower! If you get a chance, please follow me too at http://www.mommylivingthelifeofriley.com

    Have a great day!

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