Sunday, July 07, 2013

Extreme Accumulation

I know that pretty much everyone has watched the TV show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. I watch it myself on Netflix when I get bored and need encouragement to make my grocery list or clip coupons. I should start by saying that I do use coupons and I do get most of my household products like dish soap, laundry detergent, tooth paste, floss, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.. virtually free. Those are the things that really hurt in our household budget so I do my best to get them at next to nothing. Once in a while I use a coupon on food but very seldom as we eat from scratch most of the time and those items are not often on coupons. Coupons are usually for convenience good, packaged items, and candy/snacks. I also use coupons for own personal shopping to be able to get some things here and there that are fun and might not be in the budget. Examples of these things are bath & body works products, free items at Kohl's, cosmetics, craft items at Michael's, etc... We do not really have a budget anymore for frivolous things so when I can get things for free or next to free to help me do my hobbies and are a luxury, I jump on it! 

I said all of that to lead into my post for today about accumulation. When I watch extreme couponing, I can't help but think that these behaviors of having 500 rolls of toilet paper or enough shampoo for 7 years are very unhealthy behaviors. Now, I know I am probably offending someone out there who has shelves of supplies in their home that look like they are awaiting the zombie apocalypse. I think that these behaviors are incredibly unhealthy spiritually and mentally. Here are my thoughts:

Spiritually: In Scripture, we saw the people wandering around in the desert with nothing to eat yet God provided their food for each day by having Manna rain down from the sky. Now, I realize that it is unlikely that we will walk outside and a giant loaf of Wonder bread is going to fall down in front of us but I think if you are a person of faith, you can probably say that you have never been left nor forsaken when you really needed something. Anthony and I have been at the point where we had NOTHING left to eat and it seems like God always sends someone or a bit of money so we don't starve. HE is good that way! Also, in scripture it's stated that we should not store up our treasures on Earth, not worry about tomorrow, etc. etc...
These seem like good ideas to me to not have your entire garage filled with nonperishable grocery and household items. I understand that people are preparing and that seems okay to me but when it goes into years that you don't know that you will have, it seems excessive. As believers, maybe we should be using our gift of budgeting and couponing to help those that are starving NOW! There are food banks in every community closing down due to a lack of donations. Donate your overstock to these people whose families are hungry. You could be their manna from heaven.

Mentally: It seems like it takes a ton of anxiety to believe that you need 7 years worth of shampoo to make it through your day. I have heard numerous people on that show say something about their stockpile being the next most important thing to their family and needing to insure it. REALLY? It seems like priorities are way out of line and anxiety is at an all time high. Maybe you should ask yourself...WHAT IF? What if I didn't have a bottle of shampoo when I needed it? I mean, realistically there is probably someone out there who would either give you a bottle of theirs or loan you the 79 cents that VO5 costs. Do you really need 158 bottles of it? It just seems seriously unbalanced.

What do you think about our culture's new need to hoard or stockpile these items in this much quantity. There are people literally building new rooms for their stockpile. Is it unhealthy? Is it sickness? Is it sin? Is it selfish? Just some questions I had.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

What infuriates me about these people is that I see them getting 5-10 items of certain brands and then you go to get one and they are all gone. I am also a couponer, but I only get what I need at the time.