Last week, I blogged about two New York Girl Scouts who have set a goal to sell thousands of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies each.
Sadly, I missed the pertinent personal finance topic in there. What if times are tight and you decide you shouldn’t be buying so many Girl Scout Cookies right now?
I enforce one simple rule that helps out a lot.
How to avoid buying Girl Scout Cookies
If you’re like me, you are most likely to actually be pitched by the Girl Scout’s parent. The ask could come at work, at a party, by email — but nearly always from the parent and with the scout nowhere to be seen.
Here’s the script I follow:
“I love a good Girl Scout Cookie as much as the next guy, but the rule I follow for these is that I can only buy something if the child asks directly. I hope you understand.”
By phone or in person — either would be fine. I’ve been surprised to find that I’ll probably get just one in five kids to follow up with me after giving my contact information to their parents and telling them my rule.
That’s money saved and inches saved from my waistline.
But what if they DO call?!
You might be thinking to yourself that the hole in this strategy is that every now and then, some kid will break the mold and actually call me up trying to sell cookies.
In which case…I buy Girl Scout Cookies!
And I also connect them with friends who I’m sure would love a box or two for themselves.
They’re crazy delicious, after all, so they basically sell themselves.
But more importantly, making the sale teaches what Girl Scouts of the USA calls “the 5 skills.” If you’ve taken the time to read your box of cookies instead of just diving into them, face-first, you’d know these are:
- Goal setting,
- Decision making,
- Money management,
- People skills, and
- Business ethics.
So the scout herself gets useful business and life skills, local scouts get much-needed funds (65-75% of cookie revenue stays inside the council, per this FAQ), and I get cookies.
What’s the difference between Samoas and Caramel deLites? And why did they change the name?
This will make for an entirely too long epilogue and is totally unrelated, but the questions come up a lot.
There are two commercial bakers licensed to make Girl Scout Cookies, and the bakeries have their own names for the cookies.
Because the decision to use one baker or the other is made at the council level, it’s possible to have differently named cookies in the same region or even state.
Here are all the cookies that the two bakers have in common with their different names:
- Thin Mints are always called the same thing
- Samoas = Caramel deLites
- Tagalongs = Peanut Butter Patties
- Do-si-dos = Peanut Butter Sandwich
- Trefoils = Shortbread
If you noticed within the last ten years that these names changed in your neck of the woods, it has to do with a 2006 Girl Scouts of the USA effort to ” realign 312 councils into 109 high-performance, community-based councils.”
And when you’re combining about three councils into one across the country, the new super-council has to pick a baker that might be different from the one the former, smaller councils used.
Anyhow, a little extra knowledge on top of what I hope is a useful tip.
Have a great week everyone!