Thursday, August 20, 2009

Couponing... the Great Debate

Couponing is a personal thing. I have had many discussions with women on both sides of the coupon camp. Those that do coupon usually find great satisfaction in the thrill of saving money with the use of coupons. Those that don't coupon usually feel that the time and effort it takes to do it isn't worth the money they save. Some even think they money they have to put into it doesn't make up for the savings. My discussion here is about the last two.

Time: For me it's worth it. There are so many services out there -ours included- that make couponing easier for the average person that I don't see why anyone wouldn't take the time to do it. I personally take the time to cut out my coupons and file them. This just makes it easier for me when I visit the grocery stores. I don't believe the argument of "not having the time" is a valid one. It's really about priorities. I think it's a valid point to say "saving money with coupons is not a priority" if it's not, it's not. And if your looking for the "time" I usually cut my coupons while watching a movie, a tv show, or even hanging out with friends talking. I'm a multi tasker and it works for me.

Effort: Like I mentioned there are many services that you can subscribe to, or even some blogs and websites that will free you from ever having to cut a coupon until you leave for the store where you will use it. Our Using Meals for Deals and Coupons 101 explains how to do this for our site. And if you have older children that can help you, they can cut the coupons and file them for you.

Cost: Ok, here is where it can get tricky. But I would like to share an unscientific situation.
You can find coupons lots of different places, but I believe the easiest and most efficient is the newspaper. You can also find many great coupons online but for now we won't count those in the cost.

Our paper in the Fort Worth area is $2.50 for the Sunday paper, if you subscribe to the weekend paper it will cost you $1.85 a week.

Possible scenerio for this week:
On sale at Kroger:

Yoplait Yogurt 4 pk 1.99 with .35 coupon tripled to $1.05 final price .94
Hamburger helper .89 each with .75/3 coupon final price for 3 .64 each
Pillsbury Grands Biscuits .99 .35 coupon tripled to $1.05 final price FREE
Totino's Pizza rolls 2.49 with .35 coupon tripled to $1.05 final price $1.44
Total savings this week : $3.84

For a $2.50 paper you saved $1.34
For a $1.85 paper you earned 1.99

Now If you subscribe to our coupon matching service for area stores it will cost you $3.00 a month or $0.75 a week and if you subscribe to others the fee of course will differ.

For a $2.50 paper you would have saved $0.59
For a $ 1.85 paper you would have saved $1.10

And that is just if you used 4 coupons!!!!

There are probably many other arguments for and against couponing but for me, I have found it to be cost saving and rewarding. Living in a one income household has forced me into better spending habits and I try to use the resources that God has given us wisely. Feel free to e-mail me or comment with questions or suggestions.

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