Are the coupons you are clipping really saving you money?
Truthfully, I don't think I spend less with coupons. I DO spend the same amount, and get more. Right now I'm using my extras to get prizes for our church's Harvest Dinner. We have a regular festival, with a fish pond, dart boards, etc. Free candy coupons yield candy bars that can be wrapped with a computer-generated strip with this year's theme. Some of the adults appreciate trial-sized health and beauty aids. The only way I'll ever buy fish is with coupons and on sale, so you could say they improve our quality of life. For several years, I used to stock up on anything I could get for free with coupons, but wound up paying tax on items we didn't use. No more. If I don't have a specific destination for the product, I leave it. If it isn't healthy or won't benefit someone I know, that's it. As a result, I stick to my budget and am able to tuck away a few dollars each month for emergencies, like when the car needs something.
Coupons are great, but this comic is so true. If a coupon is for more than 2 items I won't bother with it. When you buy 4 of something it works out to be 10 cents an item sometimes.
It started about 30 years ago. The kids were little, and I occasionally had a few moments to clip a few Sunday coupons, and I used them when I remembered. While I was recuperating from the birth of kid #4, hub was nice enough to do the shopping for me. I happened to remember to hand him the little coupon envelops.....and the die was cast.
Hub does all of the clipping now, and has it down to a science. He gleefully keeps records of his savings, which is usually about 12% of the total bill, but has been as much as 25% on occasion. We shop together now, and the most important part of the shopping ritual for him is just before we check out. He'll sit down and go through the cart, item by item, then laboriously, one by one, through the bulging coupon keeper to eke out every savable penny. It's a game that he's ever striving to master. I don't think he'll be really happy until the store pays us to haul their food away.
I think it depends on the store you shop at, what you buy, the amount of the coupon, etc. I usually shop at Aldis (no coupons allowed) or Sav-A-Lot and I often buy store brands which are cheaper than buying the name brand and using a coupon. We don't have any stores in my area that double or triple coupons, so they must be used at face value only. Yet I still use them at Wal-marts for personal items and find things to use them on at stores. If it's something that I routinely buy and there is no cheaper generic, then the coupon will save me money, even if it's not a lot. I try to buy things I use on sale, use coupons, and mail in rebates if there are any, to save the maximum amount of money. It helps that we're not picky--we'll use any brand of toothpaste, shampoo, and stuff like that. I've already got shampoo for .29 per bottle, large tubes of toothpaste for .10, free razorblades, free cat food, free deodorant, and lots of other things. I've had times when the cashier remarks at the great bargains that I find and the amount of money that I've saved. Yet, that's not always the case. I do not buy things that I wouldn't ordinarily buy just because I have a coupon, unless it is something that I've really wanted to try. I am extremely disciplined when shopping. For me, coupons are not the main way to save on groceries, but they definitely help.
Our motto is: If we don't have a coupon, we don't get it!
That just goes for special items like chips/cookies--things we really don't "have" to have!
But, I do use coupons! And watch what stores have the deals that go with my coupons.
I do wish they would come out with more coupons for healthier products so our choices would be better!
Funny how the Healthier products always cost more!
But, I think its worth my time since our stores double/triple the coupons -saving a little does add up!
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