Are coupons really worth it?

Let’s just get to the nitty gritty. This is my opinion and my opinion only. I’ve used coupons for a long time and at one point had to solely rely on them just to purchase groceries but whether they are worth it or not completely depends on who you ask. For me personally, if it is a product that I use and I can save money on it then yes, it is totally worth it. Just yesterday I had a coupon for $2 off of baby wipes refills. I bought them on sale for 9.99 (regular price was 12.99) and then I used the coupon. I got $4 off. Had I not used the coupon then in my opinion, it would have been like giving $2 away.

On the other hand, I am not going to waste my time clipping, stacking, and going from store to store to buy Glade plug in refills when I don’t use them. I don’t care if they are free. Now if it is something of value like personal hygiene supplies then on occasion I will make the trip to get  it for free because I can donate something to a shelter or hurricane relief distribution site that is of practical use.

I also do not buy what we aren’t likely to use and there are times that I absolutely have to refill our pantry and refrigerator whether I have a coupon or not.  In other words, sometimes I do shop with very few or no coupons at all.

We don’t eat many boxed foods so a good portion of the coupons are never even clipped. There are, however, coupons that are priceless to me. Coupons for items like eggs, sugar, yogurt, bread, baby items, pasta, rice, flour, shampoo, soap, razors, etc are what I store in my binder. I hoard coupons for these items. I have a sweet little lady from my hometown who mails me coupons once or twice a week. She collects them from other ladies and just sends me envelopes full at a time. I go through them, take what I need, and put the rest in a coupon drop off point for others to use. I don’t spend a lot of time clipping, sorting, and organizing because I only use certain coupons. And even if Mrs. S did not send me coupons then it would be worth it for me to just clip the coupons I use.We are talking ten minutes a week tops to clip coupons that will save you money. I can go through three coupons books in one round of commercials and clip the coupons I want during the next one. Then I’m done. It really is that quick and easy.

Does that make sense? What is your take on it? Do you use coupons? Why or why not?

Please follow and like us:

Comments

  1. That’s pretty much what I do. I’ve felt guilty for not putting more effort into clipping coupons, but sometimes my time is what I need most. I have a Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and 2 other grocery stores near me. I buy bulk items once a month, watch the ads for loss-leaders and buy the rest at Wal-Mart. I know prices pretty well, so I can usually tell if the ‘bulk’ price is really a deal or if I can get it cheaper on sale somewhere else. I don’t make special trips to get weekly sales, BUT if it’s something like a case-lot sale, I’ll be sure to hit it. Those case-lot sales are great for stocking your pantry with the basics. Otherwise, I keep a list in my day-planner, one for each store I shop at, and when I’m in the area, I stop and shop. I don’t buy much of the pre-made or boxed items, I make my own mixes and even cleaning supplies when I can, so I don’t use many coupons. But if it’s for something I’m going to buy anyway… I certainly will. Hey, a few cents is a few cents! 😀

  2. That is SO me!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  3. I agree with you, Amy, the best coupon clipping is for those things you really use. I don’t bother clipping the other ones… unless it’s something I know my sister will use. We just have a Wal-mart and a Price Chopper in town. My Price Chopper shopping is usually the super on sale stuff and with coupons, or free with the Chopper Kids Club. I go in, get what is on the list, and get out, because I know the rest of the stuff I can get cheaper at Wal-mart with regular prices, or I’ll take the ads and get Wal-mart comp price things. That is the best, when I can do that, but most times Wal-mart’s prices are already cheaper. I do miss when we lived near Lawrence, KS (1st year of marriage & no kids yet); they had double coupon days at one grocery store and and Aldi…I shopped at three and four grocery stores on a regular basis. Gas was cheaper then, too. I do occasionally shop at Hy-vee and Aldi a couple towns away from me, and Whole Foods, almost an hour away from me, but most of my shopping is at good ole Wal-mart with a handful of 50 cent and $1 off coupons. Oh! I love printing coupons on the All You magazine site and Stonyfield yogurt site. I can pick what I use & just print those. I know I am spending money on ink and paper, but when I get 50 cents or $1 off (or $1.50 or $2), I think I’m still coming out to the good.

  4. I absolutely use coupons! With coupons alone (not counting savings on sale prices), I save $15-25 per grocery shopping trip using http://www.TheGroceryGame.com. I usually shop at Kroger because they double and triple coupons every day. Combine that with rock-bottom sale prices (lowest sale price for an item in a sales cycle), and you get prices that even Mal-Wart can’t beat. 🙂

    I think the biggest hindrance for people using coupons is that they are a bit lazy. BUT coupons are now going more digital with each store offering coupons online that you can upload to your store shopping/saver card. Granted, these digital ones are not doubled/tripled. My 15 minutes a week to cut and organize coupons is definitely worth the money I save and the cost of the early Sunday edition that I buy on Saturday. Combined with TheGroceryGame, I usually save 40-60% on my groceries each week… this includes food, toiletries, cleaning items, paper goods and even meat/produce.

    • Oh that makes me so jealous! We do not have a single store that doubles coupons let alone triples them. And… our stores don’t do the whole digital saver majigs. What is wrong with grocery stores in LA? And why won’t Kroger or any of those stores open one here? hmmm?

      Ah well… maybe one day.

  5. Sleepingbeauty says:

    I love getting things for free. I will go out of the way to get the glade thingy’s and then I give them away to friends I know who would buy them. I usually concentrate on the candles but it is purely to show people that I am thinking about them. I get their favorite scent. I think of it almost like a ministry to show my bible study friends that they are loved.

    I also watch for the pasta and pasta sauce coupons very closely. Free pasta and sauce are the best!! I have to be GF but the kids and hubby appreciate the pasta. Free rice is also appreciated!!

    I do collect points for one of the local drug stores. And then I go every few months and buy $100 or $200 worth of toiletries for a men’s shelter. I make sure to get them Axe or whatever smelly thing that will make them feel better about themselves. My brother is in a similar situation to these men about 6 hours away so it feels like I am helping him. The coupons make it possible for me to stretch those $100 or $200 dollars way farther.

    • That is a good idea about giving them to friends. If it were good candles I would definitely do that but mostly the only things I find for free are just sweepers, plug ins, and glucose monitors. I just don’t see a point in those. I would love to get a candle for free. 🙂

      I always use the toiletries coupons too. We aren’t loyal to any brand so we are able to use most of them ourselves and what we don’t use we can donate to our church for disaster relief.

  6. I do NOT run around town to get the very best price – but that being said, I have two grocery stores within two to three miles of my home – and one of them (the one I don’t shop at as much because their prices are generally a bit higher) sends out coupons for a couple different items a week for, generally, staples, at VERY low costs. For instance, I can get a box of generic cereal this week for $1, and last week I got a pound of bacon for 50 cents. Those I will drive the extra mile or two for.

    Otherwise, I clip coupons – anything I MIGHT use, but I don’t necessarily look at my coupons to see what I’ll be buying. For the most part, I choose what I’m buying and see if I have a coupon for it. And if the generic is cheaper, with or without a coupon, with few exceptions I’ll buy the generic. Occasionally I’ll see something on a coupon about to expire and I’ll purposely work it into my meal, but only sometimes. I may or may not be getting the best “bang” for my coupon buck, but for now, it’s working for me.

    • Oh now girl, don’t get me wrong. I shop at a few stores but yes, they are all within a few miles of each other. I have a friend though who went to several different drug stores in one day just to get 3 free sweepers. That isn’t feasible to me.

      I do love to coupon but truthfully, it isn’t where I save the most money. That post will come tomorrow! 🙂

  7. Whew. I’m glad someone else feels that way. I just started clipping and using coupons seriously but was rather intimidated with the whole thing. I want to use them for the things I need – and I want to save money – but I don’t want to get so into it that I’m buying stuff I don’t need just to say I got it. Ya know? I want to have a stockpile of items to have and build up my pantry but again, just for what I use.

    And btw – I love the new look. AWESOME!

  8. Amy,
    You turned me into a coupon clipper. Earlier in the year, you did a post where you showed your pantry, gave your week meal plan, and then shared your shopping trip. When I saw your pantry/freezer, my jaw dropped. We were spending an awfu amount of $ on groceries shopping weekly and ending up with a weekly EMPTY pantry.

    So I followed some links, read up, and now I also use the blogs that do the hard work for you, but I cut our grocery bill in half, and we usually have a stash of stuff to grab from. I also only clip things we use anyway. It’s not just coupons, though. I watch for the buy one get one ads on the things we use all the time and stock up while they are half price, even if I don’t have a coupon.

    It took awhile to implement, because my husband was the self-appointed grocery shopper, but when he saw the results, he gave it up easily:)

  9. Finally, some coupon clipping sense. Only, I do wish I could find more for those items I do need.

  10. Amy, I would never take the time to do this if not for a blog that matches coupons to the weekly ad for my favorite grocery store. I mark the date on the front of the Sunday coupon inserts and don’t clip out coupons unless they are items I know I will be buying (pasta, etc.). Before I head to the store, I check the blog, make my list, print/clip any coupons I need. It takes just a few minutes longer than just making a grocery list and I have saved a lot. We buy local milk, organic sugar, farm eggs, organic produce, etc. I can do all that because I rarely (if ever) pay full price for things like razors, deodorant, coffee, tea, treats and such. Fortunately, I have a kitchen closet where I can store extras.
    I only started doing this after interviewing a coupon expert. She urged me to treat coupons like cash. Made sense. 😉 But I don’t event have a binder, so I am not a hardcore couponer. 🙂

  11. Amy, most of our shopping is done at the base commissary. They have the best meats in town and the prices are good. I could probably find some items such as canned goods cheaper at other places BUT I refuse to spend gas and going from store to store to store trying to find a better deal. If there is a coupon for something I would normally buy anyway, then I’ll clip it but I don’t have organizers full of coupons either. I like to visit the commissary website and find out what specials might be going on, or when a case lot sale is happening, so I can stock up on things when there is a good deal. I visit the farmers market often, too. I guess I look at it like this: I will use coupons when they work for me, but I won’t work for the coupons or their companies — ie I’m not spending $2 extra on something I wouldn’t normally buy, just to save $.75 😉

    Have a great week!
    Sallie

Trackbacks

  1. […] PluginSo yesterday we talked about the use of coupons and whether or not they are worth clipping. I think they are but using coupons is not where I save the most money. Today we’ll talk about how to save […]

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)




web counter

%d bloggers like this: