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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Frugality 101: No Coupons Needed

I hate coupons, partly because I have enough trouble keeping track of the little bits of paper in my life, partly because I don't buy convenience foods and don't want to be tempted in that direction by freebies, and partly because the whole scene strikes me as obsessive and addictive. But that's just me. Yesterday, when I gave some students the first lesson in frugal grocery shopping (buy two peanut butters when it's on sale), they were amazed that I didn't use coupons. They had all seen the shows featuring extreme couponers on television--something I haven't done yet.

So I nosed around the internet and discovered that Teri--of The Grocery Game, a for-pay site that teaches you how to combine coupons with store sales--says that MOST of your savings will come from store sales. In fact, she says, you save about 50% with store sales. She says with coupons, you can save UP TO an additional 17%. Note the UP TO, by the way. Read it here.

I've been saying for years that I wouldn't save that much with coupons. I would have to buy a paper, for one thing, which would add even more clutter to my life. Now, thanks to an expert in the field, I KNOW that I don't need to use coupons.

Do you use coupons?

7 comments:

Duchesse said...

There is just not all that much couponing in Canada, and have noticed that what is offered in those bags they put on your door is mostly for highly processed foods like Hamburger Helper. Since I shop 90% of the time at markets, there are not even in-store sales but you can get great buys just the same by cruising the farmer's "specials". So much is wasted, especially among young kids who were used to just shoving what they did not want into the bin.

The Frugal Shrink said...

I coupon for most of my toiletries, much less for food. Love couponing, but I keep it as simple as possible.

nicoleandmaggie said...

Good to know. I always forget coupons.

déjà pseu said...

Le monsieur used to clip coupons from the Sunday paper. They'd languish in a kitchen drawer for months until I'd finally throw them out. Who has time to keep and file and organize and remember to bring the right ones to the market?? I do like you do, and buy multiples when something's marked down substantially.

(Now we no longer get the paper. No paper, no coupons!)

SewingLibrarian said...

No, for the reasons you list. I much prefer to use a loyalty card that I keep on my keychain. Of course, I have a whole bunch of those cards, and my keychain is getting a little unwieldy, but most of the stores will accept one's phone number in lieu of the actual card.
PS my word verification is statr - my favorite grocery store, other than my local market, is Stater Brothers!

Shelley said...

Nope. Don't use coupons for just the reasons you state. I tried it for a while ages ago and I couldn't see it saved me any money. Obviously I didn't do it 'right' but I see it as an advertising gimick and most of the food is stuff I try to avoid. Here in Britain I rarely ever see coupons, so I guess it's an American thing.

dicey1 said...

I couldn't agree more. In Alaska coupons won't save you much money. Plus most are for junk food or things I don't normally buy. Sales are the way to go.