Saving Money?

14Nov09

My mother raised me to grocery shop carefully. She was such a stickler for coupon use that she tells me that when I was very small, I thought coupons were REQUIRED to make a purchase.  I was raised to comparison shop, to clip coupons, to be ultra-price-sensitive.  Even so, this woman terrifies me:

The tips are good- in moderation.  Clipping coupons.  Comparing prices in circulars.  Using as many coupons as possible, as efficiently as possible. Understanding store policies on “bonus” money.  But please, look at what there are coupons for– brand name processed food products and non-food items.  If you look at her pantry, it’s pop tarts, juicy juice and hamburger helper. There are no manufacturers coupons for fresh vegetables.

Just because this woman has created an algorithm for spending as little money as possible on as much food as possible does not mean that this algorithm is a good thing.  It doesn’t even mean she’s saving money– to get any utility out of the hamburger helper box, you need to buy hamburger.  If you have 15 boxes of pop tarts and everyone’s sick of them by box 4, you have wasted time and space at the very least.  What about the cost of buying vitamins because your kids aren’t getting balanced meals?  General health care costs?  Saving that much money is time intensive– is there a better use of her time?

I do not know what’s virtuous about getting food that’s not very good for you and not very tasty just because it’s basically free, instead of spending at least some of that energy on attaining better food.

 

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One Response to “Saving Money?”

  1. I decided to watch the whole video before reading anything you had to say about it and it’s funny that I had all of the same thoughts! Imagine if this woman spent the time she does searching for deals and clipping coupons (and probably expending a lot of gas to drive to many stores each week) into a garden that they could obviously fit in their large backyard! In my head, I am going on and on about America’s food industry but I’m sure it’s all stuff you’ve heard or thought of, so, I am writing simply to totally agree with you on all accounts. The end.


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