Can you have too much??

When you first start couponing and figure it out, there is such a moment of excitement and you have to get all the deals! But have you ever looked around at your "stockpile" and thought, I need to cut back I can never use all this stuff?

I have seen people completely go nuts and start actually going to the extreme end of hoarding items, that they can never possibly use. The fun rush that you get in the begining is cool, but beware of becoming greedy, if I might be so bold to suggest that.

As many of you know I plan my "stockpile" around the 8 (almost 9) members of my family for a year. So by my calculations I will need 32 toothbrushes, 12 tubes of toothpaste, 20 packs of floss, 13 deodorants (only 3 of us use it as of now) 36 Soft Soap hand pumps, etc. etc. etc. Anything beyond this I don't really need. I am sure you would agree that it would be overkill. At this point I use everything extra that I pick up as donation items. BUT since I DO NOT need it I don't kill myself to get to the store to get it, also I would pass it up if there weren't very many on the shelf to let other people have the chance to pick it up.

I have seen a friend with 1 little child go nuts to have 50 toothbrushes stored away. It would take years to go through those. It is possibly none of my business that they have that many, but I hate to see her got to all the trouble to store it all when it isn't necessary.

Last year when I was planning our family reunion I was purchasing items for 25 people, so I was gathering many "extra" things, but for a purpose. I wasn't obsessed with missing a deal and getting every single one possible.

But I do worry about having to much... So I try to keep a few things in mind:

1. I always take inventory. Do I have too much?
2. Do I have places to store it out of the way (I have a small house) where I don't have to look at it.
3. Do I have too much or spend too much time trying to get more that it is causing contention in my family/marriage?
4. Am I spending money on items that I have no reason to be buying at this point?

I don't know, what do you think??



~Mo~ said...

I've given a lot things that I've gotten from couponing to family. I've never thought about taking inventory and seeing what we need for a year though, I wouldn't know how to calculate that, have any ideas? I did like your post you did on storage, cause right now a lot of my stuff is in the garage, but after reading your post, I'll have to move it in the house, soon, as it'll start to get hot out there. My sister has her pantry in her garage, and hasn't had problems, is there a reason you don't keep canned food in the garage?

Tiffany said...

Well, I just pay attention to how much we use and how often I need a new one. Like on average we each get a new toothbrush every three months. So that is 4 a year x 8 = 32 that we would need a year. Average.

It really depends on your climate but for the most part the fluctuations in temperature are to great for canned food to be kept not in a climate controlled area.Here in texas it is just to hot and bacteria is able to grow and ruin the food.

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

You can never have too much toilet paper.

Ha! As if anybody can store a year supply of toilet paper.

And chocolate. Did I mention chocolate?

Anne said...

I live alone (with my dog) so I REALLY don't need a lot of stuff. I pass up a lot of deals, but if I'm already going to the store and there's a free item, I grab it. I probably take one trip a month to my favorite animal shelter to drop off soap, cleaning supplies, and other things that they need. I go to the food pantry about once every three months with a load of stuff, and to the shelter about twice a year. My favorite part of getting stuff free is giving it away! I'm lucky enough to be able to afford what I need, but there are so many people (and animals!) who don't have that luxury, so I like to "pay it forward" as much as I can.

The Prudent Patron said...

I remember reading when I first started couponing that many couponers don't bother with toothpaste, razors, toothbrushes etc... unless they are free. I could hardly imagine it. Now I regularly, skip over a sale because isn't free. I just don't need more toothbrushes, but if they are free and it fits in my schedule then I will get it, but I just donate it. Oh and don't get me started on a money maker! All reason goes out the window when they want to pay me to shop.

Anonymous said...

My two most "awesome couponing daughters" use freebies and their overstock as gift or care boxes for their mom or other sisters. It's great. I always look forward to their treats for me!

Electra said...

I love to do the shopping and get the deal,it's sort of become a hobby as well as a way to stretch resources! I have a monthly budget, and as long as I stay within that budget and we have enough groceries, I feel good. Storage can be a problem, especially in our so-small apartment. I currently have five banker's boxes in my closet, divided into categories for the common non-food items I buy. When one gets full, I have to use some or give it away before I can get more. After the awesome Garnier Fructis deal this week at Walgreens, I'll be dropping a few bags at church for the food pantry this weeekend! Like others, I think that's one of the best parts of couponing. I don't have much money, but when my dime buys a two dollar toothbrush for someone who could really use it, I feel like I've really done something.

P.S. Don't forget food pantries and women's shelters with this week's free Kotex deal at Walgreens! They are almost always in desperate need of sanitary products.

Pam (meanestmother) said...

There is a line between building a stockpile and hoarding. That line is different for every household based upon their size. I've been so blessed by couponing the last almost 2 years and all the tips I've gotten from the different blogs and websites. Hip2save is my favorite! We've also been able to provide so many gift bags and bags of goodies to pass on to so many family and friends in need of help and uplifting. This brings us more joy and blessings than we could ever imagine. Since my stockpile has been built my rule is that any new things that come in I must find a need for things to go out. I'm also able to pass up deals when I'm not able to get to town. We learn in the process that there will always be another.

The Coupon Cowgirl said...

I am still trying to build up a good supply of things but at this point I do not pass up anything if it is free or almost free. I have a box started for items we wont use but can donate. Have to admit though...couponing is addicting. I just keep in mind that there are so many needing help right now.

andrea said...

I don't pass up things that we use that are free/almost free, but even if it's free and we do not use it, I will not get it. How would you draw the line between hoarding/stockpiling? Some people would look at my cereal stockpile and say I am a hoarder, but I have six children and if they all eat cereal every day, it probably would last 2-3 months max. It is hard to judge sometimes, how much is too much.