By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget

Have you seen the updated coupon redemption rules from Proctor and Gamble?

Check out a snippet of this policy as posted on the Rite Aid digital coupon program:

Consumer: Limit ONE coupon per purchase of products and quantities stated. Any other use constitutes fraud. Coupons are not authorized if purchasing products for resale. You may pay sales tax.

This statement about resale products is way overdue. I’ve seen too many examples of garage sale tables including brand new retail grocery products; and heard about this from other couponers..

To be fair, I’m totally OK with couponing to make food pantry donations, and here’s why: Most donation drive notices that are sent to The Monroe News for publication in our community news section expect you to contribute from your surplus. Couponing / sale watching is the most practical way for a family that is already on a budget to expand their grocery inventory so that can be done.

Coupon Mom also teaches charity donations as a “give back” as families learn and apply her money-saving tactics.

Resale of groceries, however, crosses the boundary of what I and many other couponers to be fair, and here’s why.

It encourages tactics for acquiring a larger than usual quantity of coupons that I don’t encourage. If you truly are couponing for your own family, you need only one Sunday newspaper or equivalent (such as hand-me-down coupons from a relative’s newspaper) for each household member.

Resale of groceries also can result in shelf clearing of the best deals before others get a chance. I once walked into a store the day a terrific sale began, only to hear from another shopper that the best matchups were snapped up by couponers who had lined up outside before the store opened.

Luckily, several major retailers have updated their coupon policies during the past two to three years with the intent of limiting how many times an individual customer can get the best deal out of any one promotion.

The stricter rules are hopefully reducing the profit margin for resellers so there is less incentive to do it.

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