(Clearing my throat for my teacher voice.) I feel like it is important for you guys to know my opinion about a few things. I have had numerous e-mails about the ethics of several things. I have also heard rumors that I approve of things that I do NOT approve of. Since there are so many people visiting my site and looking to me for direction, I wanted to spell out very clearly what my opinion is. This way, if you hear something different, you can point that person to this post. My integrity and my name are VERY important to me, so I want to be clear.
Taking coupon inserts out of papers is stealing. I have been frustrated the past couple of times that I have tried to get papers, because all of the coupon inserts in the box were removed from the newspapers. I even contacted the newspaper to let them know about this, and they said that papers with inserts were put in those boxes. Please, please, please don’t steal coupon inserts or encourage anyone to do this. There is no reason to steal inserts. There are plenty of coupons and deals to go around.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Luke 16:13).
I have gotten numerous e-mails, talked to people in my class and observed the following myself. Someone comes into the store and buys all of the items on the shelf. This is called GREED. There is usually no reason to clear off the shelf and leave nothing for anyone else. Yes, it is SO exciting to save money. Yes, it is SO exciting to be able to give to others. But if you go into a store and buy 100 cans of food and get them all for free, and clear out that store, how is that helpful to others around you?
Here is one of the reasons I think this point is especially important. There are many people today that NEED these deals. I know many of my readers have contacted me that have lost their jobs, their house is about to go into foreclosure, and they NEED to be able to buy the FREE food and toiletries to provide for their families. This is getting more difficult, when a few people rush to the store first thing and buy ALL of the items.
Here is what I do. I buy the items that my family needs. I then go and buy one of all of the free items and money makers at the store IF there are several on the shelf. If I am completely out of an item that we truely NEED, then and only then will I buy the last item on the shelf.
When I have bought large quantities of items in the past, I have been to several stores and bought several from each shelf rather than purchasing all of the items on one shelf. Yes, this took me longer, but it also was considerate to others.
I have heard rumors that I would be proud of these people for their buys, and I do think that it is great to find wonderful deals. HOWEVER, I think that it is even more important to be considerate of others.
IF you really need all of the food on the shelf to feed your family, then by all means, get it. I know some of my readers are only able to purchase the freebies each week. I certaintly won’t stand in your way, and think that it is wonderful that you would work so hard to provide for your family. However if you are just excited about a deal and want to brag about your find, I really think that you should leave some for others as well. (By the way, I obviously approve of letting others know about all of the great finds since I run this site. It is the motivation that matters.)
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11).
I do NOT approve of trying to trick the computer and print out more coupons than we are allowed to have.
I do NOT approve of making copies of printable coupons. It clearly states on the coupon not to make copies, and therefore making copies is wrong.
I do NOT endorse bar decoding. It is unethical and fraud. The coupon clearly states what it is to be used for. The company is generous enough to provide the coupon. Don’t take advantage of the company and give couponers a bad name. We should be an example of how to be good stewards of the money God has given us, not bad examples.
Proverbs 13:11 “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” Coupons do this, they allow us to save money little by little. However, if we are dishonest in our gain, the Bible also says that it will dwindle away.
These deals are so exciting, I know. Trust me, I do my little happy dance and carry my coupon notebook with me everywhere that I go. I will even bend over in the parking lot and pick up a stray little coupon to use. But, I will NOT knowingly obtain my coupons unethically. My integrity is more important to me than a GREAT deal.
I know that I have made mistakes in the past and I am sure that I will make some mistakes in the future because I am human, however, it will never be my intent to use a coupon in any way other than the way that it is intended.
Please note, that I do want to keep this site friendly, so if you leave a comment on this post please think about it before you leave it. Thanks!