Book sale!

Book sale!
Jonni's last inventory on sale!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Long Term Effects of Extreme Couponing

This latest craze over the extreme use of coupons could backfire on Americans. Coupons can be a useful tool if used correctly. But coupons tend to be for namebrand items (which are more costly than off-brand items), and they are for convenience foods which tend to be up to 5 times more expensive than making it yourself. Rarely do we see a coupon for a staple item such as bread, milk or eggs.

Aside from the wise use of coupons, the abuse of coupons is what we need to be concerned over. The manufacturers give us coupons so we will either try their products or return to them as loyal customers again and again. They were not issued so that we would abuse them and hoard product. And if we continue to hail the abusers, feature them on TV, and encourage this behavior in others, the manufacturers may halt couponing.

There is a certain cost to making an grocery item. And when a discount is offered on that item, the manufacturer is taking a loss. They are also losing in other ways; the cost of designing and printing the coupons, the advertising fees to include the coupons in the newspapers or websites, and the fees it pays the retailer for handling the coupon. They have factored on some of that loss, but when that loss is excessive, due to abuse of the priviledge of a coupon, then the manufacturer will have to rethink the plan. They might stop couponing all together.

I hope the few don't cause the rest of us to lose out.