The Difference Between “Saving” and “Not Spending”

While watching the train wreck that is “Extreme Couponing” the other day, I was struck by how so many of these people seemed to have become confused about the difference between saving money and not spending money. One woman was claiming that she’d saved $40,000 on her family’s grocery bill in one year. But would she have really spent $40,000 on groceries in the normal course of events? Probably not. Even if a family spends $1,000 per month on groceries that’s still only $12,000 per year. At $2,000 (and that’s some serious grocery buying), it’s still only $24,000 per year. Very few, if any, households will spend $40,000 per year on groceries.

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9 Responses to The Difference Between “Saving” and “Not Spending”

  1. uRabbit says:

    Good article. It really is a shame that extreme coupling even exists. My wife and I thought we would give it a try, but the coupons are for 1) processed crap and 2) stuff we never buy. So, instead, we decided to just be savvy shoppers by making a budget and sticking to a list.

  2. Great article. This is what I teach in my coupon classes. I wish everyone would adopt this attitude. I think you have hit the nail on the head and explained it perfectly!

  3. Devin says:

    Well said. Do you think that you could teach this to Clark Howard?

  4. megan says:

    *applauds*
    good post.

  5. Carol says:

    As far as exterem coupening goes I also want to know how much money it costs for the shelfing for the storage – the space that cannot be used in the home but still needs to be cooled or heated = the cost of newspapers for the inserts – or dumpster diving. Who needs 42 bottles of mustard esp when dh said he doesn’t even like?

  6. GaelicWench58 says:

    uRabbit’s key points are spot on, so where would the savings be, if any. And for me, the longer the expiration date on a boxed or frozen item, the more chemicals in it.

    Stores are also taking measures so that a set number of coupons are accepted, allowing others a chance at buying products at the sale price with or without A coupon. They need to make their money somehow.

    Very informative article. Keep it up.

  7. Martha says:

    In short, I got this post as “stop being a stupid consumer – choose wisely”. Coupons is just a way of teaching an old dog a new trick.

  8. Barb says:

    Great point, and something that I’ve discussed a lot with one of my sils who is also into being frugal. Too often we’re conditioned into thinking and talking about saving money when reality is like you said – we didn’t spend that money in the first place.

  9. Leonard says:

    What many people don’t know and what a lot of people don’t talk about in the ‘couponing’ world, is that many, many, many of the ‘extreme’ couponers, including some on the show, sell their product at garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores they own, etc. Heck, I will admit that I have done it. There are many times I can get lots of product for free (or even less than free, a money maker with other deals) and then sell it at my garage sale. The one I had this summer grossed $1157 and my cost for the items was $67.90. Not too bad.

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