Since I've learned to coupon, I've been more than willing to teach anyone that is interested in learning how to coupon. Some days, I like to think I've made a convert here and there, but one person I've taken under my wing with couponing has me rather confused. Let me explain....

Through mutual acquaintances, I met this girl who, like most people that I meet, couldn't believe the kind of deals I was able to get. Naturally, I offered her some online information, the places I look for the deals, where to find the good coupons, a basic outline of how the system works - I even broke it down store by store across our area. I thought that would give her a healthy start.

A few days later she calls, says she doesn't really understand, would I mind showing her. I set up a time to go out shopping with her - just to show a few stores, and some decent deals. By the end of that long, exhausting evening, we've hit every grocery store in the area and when we wrap up the evening, she says, "So, how about the same time next week?" We both have a good laugh.

I have done this more than a few times before, so I wasn't that surprised by the request. It usually takes 2-3 trips before my "student" feels confident to tackle it on their own. What surprises me now, nothing has changed. I don't know if I just wasn't able to teach her, or if she didn't really want to learn...

Now I try to keep her in the loop - like I do with all my fellow couponers, but instead of being able to take the information I give her and do the deals, I'm told she's too busy, no money, has a work commitment, pre-scheduled appointment, plans with family and friends, etc. and as often as not, could I just go and do the deals for her. Once or twice, I wouldn't mind grabbing a few things for a friend, but lately that isn't what it feels like. What she says is I'm too busy or I don't have the money, what I hear: my time is more important to me and I don't need the deals that bad. Which is just fine, but then why ask me to do them for you? My money and my time are important, which is why I do the deals in the first place! Like I don't have enough of my own stuff to me, I am more than capable to keeping myself busy without someone else's errands. My apologies if a certain amount of my frustration is peeking through.

Has this ever happened to anyone else out there? While I try to understand that couponing isn't for everyone, I find it so hard to fathom why someone who is looking to save money isn't able to learn this system and help themselves or their family. I know it took me some time to learn it, but I didn't have anyone in person that was teaching me - I just had a message board on, some people giving suggestions that I thought I could use, and I managed to figure it out. I'm not saying that everyone learns or should learn the same way, I am at a loss for how I should handle this situation.

Any suggestions? I could definitely use some help right about now!
14 Responses
  1. Amanda Says:

    This exact situation has not happened to me before, but I have been taken advantage of. And that's what is happening to you: this "friend" is taking advantage of your kindness. Not cool. I think it's time to start saying "No, I don't have the time." and "I wish I could help you, but I've taught you everything I know and I'm really busy right now." I think you would do her a favor by cutting her loose...remember, even the mama bird shoves her babies out of the nest when it's time for them to fly on thier own. Good luck!

  2. Frances Says:

    This girl has learned the easiest way to coupon....have you do it. I have not had this issue, as I tell people how I coupon,and will even send them info on deals, but I never do the deals for them. If they don't want to do it for themselves, then I just don't have time for them.

    And why should you be using YOUR money for her deals? I can see doing this for a parent, or your kid, or your best friend that needs a little help, but not someone that wasn't that close.

    I don't know your relationship with this person, but she is taking advantage of your good nature. I think that if you want to still share info, then just email, or whatever, the deal information, with a note saying you don't have time/money to do the deals for her this time. Send that with all deal info you send her. Eventually she will get the message. If she does not want to save money by couponing, then you can't make her, but there is no reason you should do all that work for her.

    Unless, of course, she wants to pay you a fee for your time.

  3. I agree with these two posts. IF she wants to pay you for your time and effort, then go for it and make yourself a bit of cash. More deals for you then. If not, then she needs to move on by herself into the world of couponing. She will follow through if she really is interested.

  4. Amiyrah Says:

    I'm putting together a post about this as we speak! I had my readers tell me if there is anyone in their lives that they would want to help learn to be frugal and adapt to our lifestyle and what has held them back from doing it. I'm gone through this many times so I thought I'd address the few instances i've gone through and the ones that the readers are concerned about and give some advice. Now that you posted this, I guess I'll have to get the post up tomorrow or friday the latest lol.

  5. Amanda - I think I take your suggestion - today! I love helping people, but when this kind of situation happens, it really gets me down.

  6. Frances - I like that - give people the info, but let them set it up on their own. I don't want them to rely on me to do the deals, I just want to share really good info. I don't mind grabbing a few extra items each week for my mom, but for someone else - well, I'm not nearly as sympathetic.

  7. Central - I like the idea of making money off this crazy situation - if she really wants and I have plenty in my market - I'll offere to sell it to her, at MY price. Why is my time only worth something to me? She should either do the deals herself or hire me to do it for her.

  8. Amiyrah - I can't wait to see your post - I'm anxiously waiting for it!!

  9. Frances Says:

    Chicagolandia, I have a friend that is a super-couponer and she shops for her adult kids. She charges them what she pays, plus a $10 handling fee for each week's "deal delivery".

    She has 5 "boys", so it is a nice little extra cash. She does use her money up front, but if they don't pay on delivery, there is no delivery. LOL! She picks up theirs when buying her, so she is just making a little extra for her time.

  10. Precious Says:

    I have seen this so many times over the years that I can't count them all. I sense your "friend" and I use that term loosely is just lazy. She would like to be like you but doesn't want to do the work herself. It's no different than someone who is financially irresponsible and then can't understand why they have no money. Cut her loose. Spend your time on making your own net worth blossom.

  11. Frances - I love the idea of charging her for what she "buys" out of my pantry, but she is perpetually broke. Except for getting games for her kids, or new toys for her hubby, or lunches with co-workers, or well, you get the drift.
    Tonight I took back the power - I didn't run over there with the coupons for her deals - especially since I ordered them off of Ebay. I sent her a message with some of the deals I saw and reminder her that the deals ended today. Then - I went off to do some shopping!

  12. Precious - I think you hit the nail on the head - I can't stand it when people (including her) tell me, "I just can't be that organized" or my favorite "Well, if I had as much free time as you, I could do it too."
    I hear plenty of her financial woes - more than I care to, and am surprised that she makes the same mistakes over and over, all the while expecting a different result. It boggles my mind.

  13. Frances Says:

    Chicogolandia, good for you for taking back the power. You sent her a message. If she wanted the deals, she would go get them.

    It's hard to not help people when you can, but it is harder to have them take advantage of your kindness.

  14. I haven't heard back, so I'm feeling like the message was received.

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