If certain people saw this post, I would be accused of being a hoarder. I certainly do hoard, but only items that my family can use-- like food and soap and shampoo. I don't hoard clothing, or books or newspapers, I routinely go through rooms and discard, donate or sell items that are no longer being used or broken, or if it can be recycled and reused, it goes out to the garage or basement.
I was once accused of hoarding cats. I was 'sick' for having so many cats. We had 7 at the time. I admit, kittens are a weakness of mine, my kryptonite, and I found it hard to say no while looking at a kitten. I've gotten stronger now, and have been able to "just say no" when someone offers a free kitten. Unlike cat hoarders you read about in the news, our cats are all fixed and in good health and have plenty of food and water. We have 4 left from the original 7, plus 1 from my aunt and uncle that we took in when they had to spend lots of time in the hospital following an accident.
Anyway, I was reading an article recently about how people save money when it comes to food. It listed many ways to save, such as more home cooked meals and less eating out; more cooking from scratch and less heat-and-eat meals; using coupons; waiting for sales; and making menu plans that turn leftovers into a whole 'nother meal. It listed nothing new for me to learn, I already use a lot of those ideas and have been for years.
For example, I get coupons from my MIL who gets coupons from an aunt and her daughter. By the time they get to me, I will have several duplicates of the same coupon. The local food store is having a 2-day special on tomato soup-- 3 for $1. Limit 6. Limits don't stop me, I'll just go back in after I buy 6 and get 6 more. I also happened to have coupons, multiple coupons. With the sale price and the coupon, I've picked up 6 cans for 26 cents each. That's a good deal.
Is that hoarding to you? Buying 24 cans of tomato soup for 26 cents a can? We use a lot of tomato soup, in several kinds of dishes such as stews, shepard's pie, and sloppy joes and then also as, well, soup.
I will also do price comparison. Which store charges less for similar items. I'll try the store brand, which is often cheaper than name brands. Sometimes, though, the name brand really does taste better. Those big warehouse places? They don't always have the best bang for your buck. A couple weeks ago, I saw a sale on canned corn. My corn in the garden did poorly this year, so we have to buy instead and we also have a preference for this particular brand. One store had them on sale; 2 for $1 (they have been cheaper in past years, but with inflation... this is the best I have seen). I happened to be at the warehouse store where they had a pack of 8 cans for $6 (or something like that). Do the math. I sent Hubby to buy me 24 cans of corn on his way to work one day.
Sometimes, in the coupons, there will be a 'free' coupon. I might not use that particular item, but if it's free, I'll get it. Then I'll take that item and donate it to the food banks or to an organization that helps people. We don't have a dog (yet), but I frequently see coupons for free bags of treats, a can of food or a bag of dry food. I'll use them, then take the dog food to the animal shelter. They are always in need of food and other items, and it didn't cost me anything, except a little detour to the shelter.
I don't consider what I do as hoarding. I consider it being a smart shopper, saving money that we don't have a lot of, and making sure my family has what it needs to be healthy. We practice FIFO- First In, First Out- and rotate the pantry items accordingly. We freeze what we cannot eat fast enough, like when the local produce store had green peppers on sale for cheap and I bought 10 on the spot (another garden item that didn't do well this past summer). And I will also keep my eye out for 'day old' items, such as bread or meat. Prices get slashed half off sometimes, and I can modify my meal plan to accommodate purchases like these.
Any other "hoarders" like me out there?