Coupons – Worth The Trouble?

January 7, 2008 at 4:45 pm | Posted in cost-cutting, Coupons, Grocery Shopping | 2 Comments

Okay, I know I’m going to take a lot of flack for this post from the frugal community. I admit that what I have to say here is probably anti-thetical to all that a true frugal-hack would say. But here it is:

Coupons do not save me money.

There, it’s out. Here’s the deal: I’ll use an example from our newspaper yesterday. In one of the coupon inserts there were ads for money off tomatoes, butter, cooking spray, peanut butter, guacamole, yogurt, cottage cheese and almonds. Of course, most of these coupons were for $0.35 or so per item. And these are name-brand items. The problem: In most cases, I can still get a generic for less than the name-brand with the coupon. Sadly.

Of the aforementioned list of items, I have the need (and the space) for 1 thing. I do need cooking spray. And I prefer PAM. And the coupon was for $1.00 off. Could be useful. The problem: When I go the the grocery store with PAM on my list – will I remember to take the coupon with me? And more importantly, will I remember to use it? Coupons are a great money-saver … for very organized people. Which I am not.

Finally – the cost analysis. If I buy a newspaper for $1.25 so that I can get (and maybe use) a coupon worth $0.35 – who is the idiot consumer?? That would be me.

Yes, there are people (and you read about them all the time on various blogs, online news stories, etc) who have the time, organizational skills, and patience to successfully clip coupons, use them on triple-coupon day at the grocery store, and walk away with $200 worth of groceries for $35.

I am not one of those people. They don’t work for me – but I’d love to try them again … if you have any tips for me on successful coupon-using, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll try each method suggested and write a follow-up piece in a month to let you all know how it turned out.

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2 Comments »

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  1. The only advice I can give, when it comes to being organized with coupons is: write your grocery list on an envelope, then put the coupons in said envelope to take to the store with you. It helps. I am rather new to the coupon brigade and am trying to cut costs of, well, everything so that’s the only thing I do that helps me to remember. Hope it works for you as well!

  2. Hi! I just found your blog & am adding it to my daily reads. I love food & I love frugal. I’m just not very good at the latter. I make half-hearted attempts at saving but I often get sucked into brands, packaging, etc. My mom is a PRO at this though; she regularly pays a fraction of the actual cost of grcoeries. HER daily reads are all the stores she shops, which keep her onto those double/triple days. She prints off coupons as well as cuts, always has a compact coupon organizer in her purse (sorts them every week when doing bills) & ‘knows’ which cashier to go to in order to get the most out of her coupons. The last one she swears by – typically kids who don’t care or aren’t paying attention. It’s sort of an underhanded strategy but she saves 100s of dollars. However she is also that crazy lady at the register that hands over a fistful of coupons & checks prices as they scan. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you try! Good luck!


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