Friday, June 11, 2010

Savings grace

What shall it profit a woman to save $1.50 and lose her soul?  

I've been following several couponing blogs recently and came upon an interesting discussion about whether or not it was ethical to "stack" two different types of coupons in order to save more money.  The combination in question is specifically a buy-one-get-one (B1G1) coupon and a 2nd manufacturer's coupon for money off the same item.

Stephanie, the blogger at, gave the two sides of the issue and took the stand that, no, it wasn't right to combine the two and that she would no longer provide instructions combining those particular coupons in her blog.  Then she quoted Titus 2:7 "Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity."  

There's been quite a bit of debate among commenters, but I admire her decision to let her faith influence her practice.   It doesn't matter that we tell ourselves we're saving money for our family, or to be able to give more to the church or charity.  If the Spirit moves our hearts to say, "this is wrong", then no amount of justifying can make an action acceptable.

The temptation is out there to grab all you can,  if the register rings it up (and you get away with it), it's OK.  After all, the manufacturers and stores overcharge us all anyway, right?

I pray that, as I stretch my budget further this summer, I'm not tempted to cheat a little just to save a few pennies. If Jesus is Lord of my life, then I need to act as a child of His Kingdom, even when it comes to little slips of paper in the store.

Shalom y'all.


Jan said...

Karen, my daughter and I have been getting into coupons and giveaway sites--it's great fun. I'll admit that I don't see the problem with 'stacking' (had never heard the term). Maybe I'm missing something--if neither the coupon manufacturer nor the store say "don't use in combination with another coupon or sale", there's no ethical issue, is there? Help me out here...

Karen Wilber said...

The specific issue that the women on Couponing 101 are discussing involves using (stacking) 2 manufacturer's coupons together--not stacking a store and manufacturer's coupon or using coupons on top of a sale. I do a lot of stacking, but had never put 2 manu coupons together. [Didn't even know that was possible.] That's where the blogger drew the line--she just felt that putting 2 manu coupons together (just because the register would ring it up) was not right.

I found this issue interesting because it goes to the intent of coupons and the intent of the shopper's heart. Are you trying to reduce the cost of an item--or see what you can get away with. We've been studying Proverbs in Sunday School so this issue fit right in.

Long enough comment here--but I'll be writing on some of my couponing adventures soon.