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To Coupon or Not to Coupon, That Is The Question

October 8th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I used to be a rabid couponer. I carried my little file of coupons, clipped to the calculator like a warrior looking to defeat the enemy. The enemy being my grocery bill, I guess. But I kind of got away from that, for a lot of reasons. I still use some coupons, maybe 5 or 6 on average, in a weeks shopping. But things have changed. My Mother and I get 3 Sunday papers between us, and swap the coupon flyers, then I take them to work for the girls there. But there are some weeks that I only clip one or two coupons. It seems like all of the coupons are for things that I just don't buy! So, just for fun, I did a little informal inventory of what exactly was in those 3 circulars this last weekend. Almost 1/3 of the coupons were "personal care items" shampoo, body wash, lotion, razors, shave creme(gel/mousse)and hair color (lots of hair color!) etc. I hardly ever clip those, because they are all for the more expensive brands, and I don't buy them anyway. Even with the coupon, the bargain/store brand tends to be cheaper. Remember, I'm shopping the dollar stores here in rural America, I'm about 20 miles from the nearest big box, or drug chain. Next came what I call household stuff,about 1/4 of the total, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap, floor cleaner, furniture polish, and smelly stuff (or anti-smell stuff)! Good grief, we must be the smelliest nation on the planet! Scented oils, scented candles, air freshner, carpet freshner, pet freshner, furniture , shoes, etc. etc. All that anti-smell stuff was more than 1/2 of the household category. I clipped exactly 2, Tide laundry soap, and Ajax dish liquid. What a waste of a tree. The rest was food. Lots of lunchmeat, boxed dinners, seafood (must be fishing season somewhere), try something new, (everything is new!), but I have noticed that lots of those coupons require you to buy 2 or 3 products to get the discount, especially cold cereal. They have been doing that for a while. I don't have room in my cupboard for 3 or 4 boxes more! Besides, I buy most of my cold cereal at the dollar store, and mostly their store brand. I must say that I am deeply in awe of those shoppers who combine the coupons with sale items (you know, you see them on TV) and come out of the store with $232 worth of stuff, and they only paid $63.42! To me, thats like knowing how to beat the stock market, we all know it can be done, but it's just so darn much work you won't catch me doing it!

5 Responses to “To Coupon or Not to Coupon, That Is The Question”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    the only coupons we have in my country are for huge things like car window tinting, rain tanks, insulation, painting, and then of course hairdressing and waxing. we dont get many grocery coupons Frown but all the same, if we did, they would probably be for all the prepackaged things we don't buy. just cant win! but like you i cant imagine devoting a lot of time to it, i can never seem to find the time to wash my car or clean out the fridge, let alone clip through a dozen newspapers.

  2. north georgia gal Says:

    I have just recently started...it takes a couple of hours a week. But last week I saved 50% on my grocery bill by combining sale items with coupons.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I went through a period where I did use coupons to combine them with sales at Walgreen's. I ended up with lots of toothpaste, and cleaners I normally didn't use. In fact, I still have some of those cleaners. I also don't buy the food that is advertised in those coupon circulars.

    I still use an occassional coupon...but it is minimal.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    No kidding. We just don't even buy most that stuff in the first place.

    I personally find myself using coupons for personal care products and laundry detergent. But those are such rare purchases.

    Of course, my friends would joke that I Won't eat a meal out without a coupon. True!

    I guess, with everything, we are moderate coupon users. I read a lot of coupon posts about things I wouldn't buy or don't want or need. So that keeps me from being coupon crazy.

  5. lizajane Says:

    I go thru phases. I've bought multiple copies of the paper to get the coupons, combined them with sales & gotten great deals. But lately I find myself just looking thru the coupons in the paper at the store to see if it's even worth buying the paper. I do print a lot of coupons from online though. In the end, either way I probably only use 5-10% of the ones I clip or print, but often get anywhere from 2-5 items free each week and still manage to save roughly 30-40% of our bill.

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