Monday, March 24, 2008

What You Won't Find Here

I'm constantly amazed at the deals other bloggers post on their web sites. Particularly from stores like CVS and Walgreen's, I see all these photos of piles of free products brought home every week. It's incredible!

But I won't be doing that, not here, not at this blog. Partially because we don't have those stores. Partially because, even when things are free, I can't bring myself to buy things I don't need. My goal, frugally, isn't to get as much stuff as possible for as little money as possible. I don't clip coupons, because I rarely find coupons for things that we need (rice, beans, GF flours, bananas, etc.), and because I don't really agree with the process. The paper they are printed on, and the gas I'd use to drive around to the different stores, and the time and energy away from my family... it's just not worth it to me.

For me, personally, it's about deeply examining what "need" is, because I think we have lost that concept in this culture. Do I "need" disposable diapers, when I have perfectly good cloth ones? Do I "need" fancy shampoo, or should I be contented that I have the ability to buy shampoo at all? Do I "need" the pre-packaged, pre-measured, fancily-boxed gluten-free-labelled rice mixes, even if it's cheap or free, when I can buy bulk rice and bulk spices and spare our planet the packaging and the ink and the garbage?

I feel that I have a moral responsibility to live within the income with which we've been blessed. I don't want to offend anyone, but I feel that when we take more than we need (and I too, do it every single day), that we are over-consuming. And over-consumption? Is really just greed, isn't it? When we spend beyond our means (And we, at the GFF house, do it all the time!), are we really saying we deserve more than we've earned? And that just doesn't really seem right to me.

Or I could be wrong. It's been known to happen! ;)

9 comments:

huddtoo said...

I think I'm going to print this out and hang it on my fridge! :)

Very well said. I am in the same boat (well, I'm trying!). I do have a CVS, but I can't seem to get piles of stuff for free there for some reason. I don't go there a lot tho. I don't have the time or energy to "cherry pick" when I'm shopping. I try to hit the least amount of store possible. A) Saves on gas, time, running around, and the environment. B) I'm a lazy bum and am starting to like one stop shopping, even for a few extra cents. :)

However, I am having a tough time with the using up the stuff in my pantry/freezer that I said I wanted to. I think I set myself a goal, but gosh, I feel like lately I'm constantly shopping and my pantry/freezer is starting to get full and we aren't using anything up. I really want to try to run on less this year. So, far, I'm not doing great.

And I cringe at the amount of packaging is on some things. I love Stove Top, but why do they have to put a bag of the mix inside a box?? PICK ONE! Save a tree, ya know. Don't even get me started on toy packaging. Besides the fact that it takes like a week to get a new toy out of the box, there is SO much waste. WHY? Do they feel someone will steal the stuff? An expensive stereo system is easier to get into than a barbie doll. What gives?

I totally agree. Great post! Sorry my comment is so long! I'm great at being long winded! ;)

Tenille said...

Oh my gosh, SO TOTALLY on the toy packaging! What's with that? It's like Fort Knox, meanwhile the kids are completely losing their crap waiting for you to get it open!

I struggle because we always eat up the entire pantry/freezer before I'll buy new food. Great for the budget, but if we ever get a natural disaster, we are so out of luck!

zdoodlebub said...

I've always thought the crazy toy packaging was mainly a shoplifting deterrent. So it goes right back to what you already said...greed, the sense of entitlement to more than what you can really afford. It's a slippery slope to lack of intention and waste.

Great post!

Jennifer said...

I don't think you're wrong. I think you're all kinds of right. I struggle with "wanting what I have" (I know what I have is *more* than enough) all of the time.

Tread Softly said...

I know some people donate these "freebies" (because nothing is free, obviously)to good causes, food banks and soldiers overseas and such. But I couldn't bring myself to donate a product that a) I wouldn't consume (non-organic) or B) produced so thoughtlessly in mass numbers that they are being given away.

LeeAnn said...

I sort of agree with you but I am also into emergency preparedness, so having a stockpile appeals to me as a food security thing. However, since we eat gluten free too the sorts of things we stockpile are going to be different than the typical coupon clipper. Lots of beans, lentils, rice and gf flours.

But I am not in that part of the country where you can get those crazy double coupon deals and tons of things for free anyhow. And I have donated many of the things I did get for free (esp toiletries). I agree though--the less packaging the better!

Li loves David said...

Great post! I agree totally. Enough really is enough. (Don't let the advertisers hear, though. They won't like it!)

haggardmom said...

I clip coupons (I swipe them out of my in-laws paper), but I also belong to a grocery list service that tells me (most) of what's on sale at my local grocery store each week, so I co-ordinate my coupons with that. I don't go to multiple grocery stores (too lazy, don't like driving all over)... if my store doesn't have something I have a coupon for, I just disregard it. Via the message boards I see the massive amounts of $ that people save on their groceries using this particular service, but then I see what they are eating and it makes me kind of sad... I don't save as much money as them, because I actually care about what we eat! So I have no use for a lot of the coupons in the ads, but even so, using the service does save me some money on the things that I do need.

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