Extreme Couponing for the Kingdom

On Sunday April 24th, 2011, in Business, Food, Ministry, News, Shopping, Technology, TV, Web, by Michael Watson

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I was watching Extreme Couponing the other day on TV. This show explores the addictive nature of coupon clipping and the gratification they get when they go on large shopping sprees or hoard enough items to live on for a year or two.  These people go to the extreme by spending most of their days searching for coupons, going to grocery stores to pre-shop, calculate different coupon deals and making detailed lists of the items that they are going to buy. It is something that is unhealthy as these people strive for the free deal and hoard all of these unneeded supplies for the sake of satisfaction.

The coupon cutters in the show do it so well that they will fill up handfulls of shopping  carts totaling a thousand to several thousand dollars and after they use their coupons, they will only end up paying tens or maybe hundreds of dollars. Some of them will only shop for free coupons which results in the shopper only paying the sales tax that would have been incurred when buying a regular priced item. If they can not find the coupons themselves, shoppers pay a coupon cutting service which cuts out coupons on behalf of couponers and sends the coupons to the shopper for a small fee. This allows shoppers to buy tens or hundreds of items at the same time because these coupon services have the ability to find thousands of coupons.

How does coupon cutting advance His Kingdom? Well this one coupon cutter did something that was almost inspirational. – I say almost because as a business major the idea that people could cut so many coupons and pay close to nothing is astonishing to me. – This coupon cutter saw a sale on cereal and calculated the price on boxes of cereal after a couple complimentary deals. This gentleman got coupons from a coupon cutting service. He alerted the store in advance that they needed to order a thousand boxes of cereal as he was going to buy them all. He bought a thousand boxes of cereal for under one hundred dollars. The great part was after we saw him purchase all of this cereal, he announced that the cereal was going to a local food bank. With coupons he was able to do so much more for the homeless and for God’s kingdom than people who donate money alone.

I think it is awesome that he was able to buy so much food for such a low price. This presents a great opportunity for philanthropists everywhere. However, I wonder if there are other ethical considerations that must be reconciled. For example, is it taking advantage of a company to use coupons in a way that would allow you to get food for close to free? The reason why companies give coupons is for prospective customers to sample, try, or reward their products or services. Coupons were not intended for people to constantly receive free products or services. On the other hand, why would a company allow customers to cut coupons and get a thousand of items for free if they couldn’t support it or indirectly allow it?

Is Extreme Couponing okay? Is it okay for helping the unfortunate?

BANNING, CA - DECEMBER 8:  An emissions-produc...
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The stories surrounding oil and gas as energy are on the rise. Right now all of America is captivated by the events of the gulf coast as a well spews hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil in the ocean each day. Just this week there was an Alaskan pipeline that was shut down to fix a leak. The most recent event happened close to home. On May 28th around 10:30, a tanker truck exploded traveling east on the 91 freeway as a result of a traffic collision. The driver of the big rig was try to avoid another collision when the weight transfer incurred from a sudden lane change sent the truck out of control. Running across the freeway the tuck sideswiped a Honda forcing it over the center divider which collided with two other cars. The tanker then fell on its side igniting its payload. Fortunately there were no fatalities in the accident.

Traffic was congested all over the south-land as people tried various alternate routes since the 91 freeway was closed in both directions. Even side streets were considerably crowded as motorists on overcrowded freeways had nowhere to go other than spilling onto local streets. What made traffic worse was the memorial day weekend motorists. The 91 freeway was closed from shortly after the crash until around 3 when westbound traffic was allowed to pass and a few eastbound lanes were opened around 7 as the additional lanes had to be repaired from the fierce blaze. Firefighters let all of the 8,800 gallons of fuel in the tank burn which took five hours as flames shot 100 feet in the air.

These recent incidents beg the question of whether or not current methods of energy are safe and whether alternate forms of energy are any safer. With thousands of animals and plants being killed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill it may be time to consider whether, as a society, we are being good stewards with the natural resources we have been given and how our use of them is harming the environment around us. Is it acceptable to engage in an activity like offshore drilling which has resulted in the deaths of many animals considering the different spills over the year. More importantly the spills seem to get bigger as the years pass. Why with our increase of technology, are we not able to better contain spills therefore not doing as much harm to the environment? Or first of all, why are spills even occurring with our increases in technology? It is easy not to be immediately concerned about the livelihood of creatures in the ocean but more importantly are we putting people lives in danger by the energies we are transporting whether flammable or bio-hazardous? These are just a few things that responsible and environmentally conscious Americans should consider.