Busting the myths: Why coupons are a valuable part of your financial arsenal

I was a deal seeker long before I ever became a mom. Why? Well, it began as a fun hobby. Scoring designer clothing at 90% off retail was just plain satisfying, and finding freebies in the mailbox always brightened my day.

But that all changed in 2002 when I found myself jobless and 7-1/2 months pregnant with my first child. My husband was a first year pipefitters' apprentice earning about $9 an hour, and my high-paying job was our bread and butter. We managed for a few months on my severance and unemployment, but when we found out I was pregnant again only three months after our first boy was born, we knew that finding a job was not in the cards and that drastic measures were called for.

This was when I discovered the Grocery Game. I wish I could say it immediately transformed our finances, but I made every rookie mistake in the book. I didn't truly understand how to use coupons, and I wound up purchasing only the cheapest items from the stores I shopped at. I was every coupon myth/misconception/excuse embodied in one. Perhaps you're under many of the same false impressions:

Myth: Using coupons screams to the world that I'm broke.

Reality: At first I was a little embarrassed to hand over that huge stack of coupons at the checkout, but I quickly leaned there's no reason to be ashamed of using coupons! On the contrary, coupon users are savvy shoppers looking to stretch their budgets. In fact, here's an interesting fact: Consumers in the under-$25,000-per-year income bracket are the least likely to use coupons. The average coupon user is between the ages of 25-34 and earns between $25,000 and $100,000 per year.

Myth: I can't find coupons for the items I purchase.

Reality: Unless you never need to purchase deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, coffee, frozen veggies, yogurt, and on and on, I assure you that you can find a coupon for your purchase. And if you think finding these coupons is difficult, you're wrong. I challenge you to flip through any Sunday newspaper coupon insert or do a quick printable coupon search and tell me that you don't find at least a few coupons for products that you use regularly.

Myth: You can't be brand loyal and save money.

Reality: I am very brand loyal in some cases. It's true that throwing brand loyalty out the window may garner you bigger savings in the long run, but you can remain brand loyal and still save significantly. The key is to learn how to stockpile your favorite brands. When you can pair a coupon with a rock bottom price, buy enough to last you until the next big deals rolls around. This is when buying multiple Sunday papers really pays off, but if you need additional coupons, you might also consider purchasing them from a coupon clipping service.

J.D.'s note: I'm a recent convert to stockpiling, though I only do it for select items that I really really love. I haven't managed to combine coupons with stockpiling yet, though.

Myth: Coupons cause you to buy things you might not purchase otherwise.

Reality: This was the biggest mistake I made starting out, but I quickly learned to be very deliberate in my purchases. That's not to say that I never make purchases that I might not have otherwise, but that doesn't directly translate into spending more money overall. Coupons are a fantastic way to try new products or brands at ultra low prices. They're also a useful tool for helping others in need. Often you can purchase toiletries for free or even better than free by pairing a coupon with a loyalty program. Perhaps you don't need these items yourself, but you could consider donating them to a church or shelter to bless those in need.

Myth: Buying generic is always cheaper.

Reality: If you have an immediate need for a product, store brands can certainly be cheaper. However, one of the key principles of saving with coupons is based on not only buying products when you need them, but on purchasing them when you can get them at the lowest price by pairing a coupon and sale. Name brands are almost always cheaper than their generic counterparts at some point, so by using the “buy ahead” principle, you can stock up on your favorite brands for much less than generic products.

Myth: I can save more shopping at warehouse clubs.

Reality: Shopping warehouse clubs definitely plays a role in my grocery budget, but I utilize our warehouse trips to stock up on meats, baking products, and occasionally produce. Buying these items in bulk saves our family money; however, many of the other prepackaged items can be found for much less per unit by using the buy ahead principle I mentioned previously. Plus warehouse clubs are inherently set up to entice consumers into picking up items on the spur of the moment, so unless you shop very carefully according to a list, chances are you may walk out having spent significantly more than you intended.

Myth: Clipping and organizing coupons is time consuming and not worth the effort.

Reality: It's true that the amount saved with coupons may directly correlate with the amount of preparation done before a shopping trip; however, the time-to-savings ratio just might surprise you. Chances are there's a blog that covers the coupon matchups for your favorite store out there, so all you have to do is prep your coupons and list. Clipping, filing, and preparing a shopping list may take you about an hour a week, but that hour of your time could net you a 50, 60, even 70% or more savings on your grocery bill. That's like giving yourself an instant raise each week! And when you consider that it's a task you could easily do while watching your favorite TV show, well, I'd say it's time well spent.

Though it took a little effort, over the years I learned how to maximize my coupon usage. We've been through even tougher times since 2002, but through it all, coupons have remained a key tool in reducing our monthly budget. Do we need to use coupons these days? Perhaps not — there's enough wiggle room in our finances that it's not a must.

So why do we still use them? Simply because it frees up extra cash for things that we want. We now have no consumer debt outside of our mortgage, and we've increased the amount in our onlne savings account and have built a healthy emergency fund. We can take family vacations. We can pay cash for a new car. While I can't attribute all of this solely to coupons — financial discipline and careful budgeting are obviously important factors as well — they definitely have a place in our money-saving arsenal.

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Edward
Edward
10 years ago

I used to clip coupons back in NJ, but haven’t been out here, because it just hasn’t been worth the time. My wife works at a groccery store, and we get a 10% discount of store brand. That makes store brand cheaper than name brand 99% of the time. Since moving out here, I haven’t had a coupon for a name brand product that didn’t expire before that item went on sale. I’m a bit leery of the concept of stock piling. It takes up precious storage space. We are about to move into a 600 sq ft space, and… Read more »

Mike Choi
Mike Choi
10 years ago

A week ago, without much work at all, I found some mfg and store coupons for several items I purchase regularly. With these coupons, I saved a little less than 10% off my total bill for that grocery trip. I felt pretty good about the savings since I didn’t spend too much time looking for coupons. I can’t imagine, how much I would save if I actively look for coupons on a weekly basis. I’m starting to look at weekly circulars and online for coupons and I don’t feel cheap/frugal about using them

JonasAberg
JonasAberg
10 years ago

“…Myth: I can’t find coupons for the items I purchase…”

For me, it’s absolutely 100% true. We don’t have coupons here in Finland. However, if we did, I’d be the biggest coupon clipper in the country.

Edit to add:
We do have *some* coupons but you never find them in the newspapers and they’re always for some obscure items that you rarely buy

SF_UK
SF_UK
10 years ago

@JonasAberg yeah, it’s the same in the UK. There are some coupons (esp online), but they are very limited. You definitely can’t do some of the things that are possible in the states. For example, almost all coupons state that they “cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer”, which usually includes store sales.
I remember back in the day when coupons were a lot more common here, and our local supermarket would accept them as part-payment for anything, so long as the store actually sold the item in question (you didn’t have to buy the item yourself!)

Everyday Tips
Everyday Tips
10 years ago

Great post! I love my coupons, and won’t leave home without them. The Grocery Game is a great way to start. I used to subscribe, but I don’t anymore now that I have my own system and can make my own lists. This post was great because you really hit the nail on the head in so many areas. Some of the coupon haters love to say that you can only buy junk food with coupons. You comment about not ever needing toothpaste, deodorant,yogurt, etc is so true! I never pay more than 50 cents for a tube of toothpaste… Read more »

Adrienne
Adrienne
10 years ago

If people use coupons and they work for them that’s great but I’ve never had that much success myself (did Grocery Game, etc.). I think most people could save more by making slight adjustments to what they eat (1 meatless meal/wk, oatmeal instead of cereal, etc.). The thing that has saved me the most on groceries is Aldi moving into town. Incredible deals, no brand name products and reduced selection means shorter trip and less chances to go off grocery list…

ami | 40daystochange
ami | 40daystochange
10 years ago

This is a timely post. I just started using coupons on a regular basis, and it seems like manufacturers are responding to the economic conditions by offering bigger coupons – I see quite a few for $1 or $2 or even more (e.g., for cosmetics or hair products). At the same time a lot of grocery stores and drug stores appear to be offering store coupons for comparable amounts – or doubling manufacturer coupons. And every week some major item (meat!) is on sale. When you take advantage of all these opportunities simultaneously (a lot of stores allow you to… Read more »

Mike
Mike
10 years ago

I have always been amazed how much some people can save by clipping coupons. I remember a You Tube Video I watched a while back where this young mother of 2 was able to get $300 of groceries for FREE

Thanks for these tips!

Mike

Frank
Frank
10 years ago

My wife is a coupon Queen. In 2009 she saved almost 80% of retail. It wasn’t just coupons, but they were a key component. She is a big advocate of CVS’s extra bucks too.

Jackie
Jackie
10 years ago

Using coupons wisely can save a bundle. I sometimes get them on eBay or by asking the manufacturers of products I buy a lot of where to get the coupons if I can’t easily find some.

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

took the “Myth: I can’t find coupons for the items I purchase.” challenge… we’re finicky about our deodorant, shampoo, soap, coffee, frozen veggies, yogurt so no coupons there (I checked) dentist provides free toothbrushes that leaves toothpaste, but honestly we buy that so infrequently (1x or 2x a year) and there’s always a huge sale at the store when we do (otherwise we wouldn’t buy just then) So I continue to say humbug. Coupons work for some people, but not worth it for us. I spent a few months when we moved here going through inserts and never finding coupons… Read more »

jennifer
jennifer
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

The idea is that when there IS a sale on the toothpaste, as you mentioned, that you not only stock up but also use coupons. I pay nothing for toothpaste, deodorant, body wash. And, I can buy these items almost any time.

RMoM
RMoM
10 years ago

I’ve tried the Grocery Game and clipping coupons but I found myself buying products we wouldn’t have bought otherwise. Since Winco came to town, we’ve become vegetarians anyway and we shop with a strict menu/list. I save far more $$ at Winco without coupons that I ever would have been able to at Vons, Albertsons, etc etc. In our town, Vons is 150% more expensive than the staples I buy at Winco.

Mike Crosby
Mike Crosby
10 years ago

After reading this post, it inspired me to type in Google-“Costco coupon tires” and it brought up a $70 coupon.

Thanks

And the part about coupons are for poor people, makes me want to use my Entertainment Guide more often.

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

Coupons, like all time-consuming money-savers, are a balance between time and effort. When I was very busy and making good money, clipping coupons didn’t fit into my schedule – my time was put to better use elsewhere for the few bucks coupons might have saved. When I’m not so busy, clipping coupons makes sense.

I figure if you’re putting in lots of hours outside the house and getting decent money for it, you’re doing that in order to not have to do things like clip coupons.

Kimberly
Kimberly
10 years ago

I use truecouponing.com. I went shopping yesterday and my bill came up to $175 before coupons. After using my coupons, I paid $62. I spent maybe an hour getting my coupons ready and in order. I’d say it’s certainly worth it to us.

My sister routinely gets over $200 worth of groceries for less than $50. She saves about $8,000 a year on groceries. I didn’t believe her until I went shopping with her once and saw how easy it was.

Erica Douglass
Erica Douglass
10 years ago

I use coupons all the time, but not for groceries. (Most grocery coupons are for items containing wheat; I have Celiac disease.) I use coupons online & via the Entertainment book. I always do a quick Google search for store website URL + coupon before I buy something, and if I’m going to a store, I check online for store coupons. (Petco, for instance, will occasionally have printable $5 off $25 coupons.) I run a lot of purchases through aadvantageeshopping.com, which gets me extra airline miles on top of the regular purchase at many stores, and I try to buy… Read more »

Ivis
Ivis
10 years ago

I went to look at the Entertainment Guide and it didn’t say anything about 5% off any AA flight–it said $10 off any flight which is pretty much nothing for me as I only make a single expensive (overseas) flight each year. And as a single person those restaurant deals are pretty useless. Any single folks out there make use of the Entertainment Guide book? BTW they are on sale for $15 + free shipping today. I also find that the coupons in the newspaper inserts are all for processed foods that I don’t buy anyway. As a single person… Read more »

kristen
kristen
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivis

As a single person it may be harder for you to use the fine dining coupons but it is still possible to save money. My entertainment has “sporting goods” stores coupons so I automatically saved $15 off $75 pair of shoes. With the take out/casual dining I can eat one for lunch and the other for dinner or get 50% off a meal…going out to dinner with friends, people always get excited about coupons!

Des
Des
10 years ago

“I can’t find coupons for the items I purchase.”

This is my hang up. there are TONS of coupons for processed “foods”, but not for staples. I’ve never seen a coupon for dried beans, flour, or bulk spices. Cooking from scratch is cheaper and healthier than coupons for processed foods. Yes, toiletries are the exception. But really, how many sticks of deodorant do you go through in a year. 2-3 maybe? Other than the occasional toiletry, I don’t find that coupons save any money.

rg
rg
10 years ago

I find coupon clipping a waste of time for me. I don’t buy much prepackaged foods. Most of my grocery money is spent on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Coupons always seem to be for “garbage” foods – like “Hamburger Helper” (really? people still eat that stuff?) or other nasty products that I would never buy.

As far as toiletries and the like, it’s such a small part of my budget that I don’t worry about saving 20cents on a $2 bottle of shaving cream once every 3 months.

Cathy
Cathy
10 years ago

The Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting article making coupon clipping the topic of personal finance. You might be surprised at how much you could “earn.” I was. In the very least, the article will give you some interesting things to think about.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/earn-100-dollars-an-hour-clipping-coupons.aspx

sora
sora
10 years ago

I am with 10 & 16 as well – I hardly buy anything from the inner aisles – fresh produce, organic dairy & eggs, bulk flour, spices & lentils from an indian grocery store (already cheap as is). Anything from aisles is few & far between and really not worth the effort. Now if you have 3 teenagers at home, who only eat out of boxes, then sure, it could be really worth your time.

Cathy
Cathy
10 years ago

The Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting article making coupon clipping the topic of personal finance. You might be surprised at how much you could “earn.” I was. In the very least, the article will give you some interesting things to think about. Des, has a point, it is a lot harder when your trying to eat healthier.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/earn-100-dollars-an-hour-clipping-coupons.aspx

erika
erika
10 years ago

As Amy #13 said, couponing really is a balance between time and effort. Between a full-time job and raising 2 young children I don’t feel that I have a whole lot of extra time to devote to this, but I don’t have extra money to throw away on groceries, either. The balance I have created is to set aside a little time each weekend to scan the store circulars, clip and sort coupons from the newspaper inserts, and make my shopping list. This takes about 30 minutes, and I write my list on an envelope (pulled from the recycling bin)… Read more »

April
April
10 years ago

I’m with Nicole. I’m very picky about what I buy and which companies I’ll support, and I buy local as much as possible–soap, shampoo, lotion, skincare, etc.

I never see coupons for items I commonly buy (and I just tried a search for several). Coupons work for some, but it’s not a myth that some people can’t find coupons for the items they purchase.

Steve
Steve
10 years ago

We spend about $50 per week on groceries – so if we saved 50%, for an hour of time, that would be $25 per hour. Not too bad but that’s the best case and I would honestly, rather have the hour right now.

Stephanie
Stephanie
10 years ago

Razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes and hair color are about the only things I can rely on coupons to help save me money with at the grocery store. I stopped eating a lot of carbs which cut down on processed foods significantly. I am fortunate to have a salvage grocer nearby that saves me the most money on the few processed items I buy. Sometimes they have gourmet spaghetti sauce with no sugar in it or whole grain crackers with lots of dietary fiber. I actually enjoy making meals out of what I find vs. buying stuff to make meals happen. That… Read more »

CERB
CERB
10 years ago

The important number here isn’t how much money you “save” using coupons, but how much money you’re actually spending. If a shopper buys $800 worth of groceries, then saves $400 using coupons, the shopper spent $400. A savvy shopper might be able to buy comperable groceries for $300 by shopping generics, loss-leader items, etc. The crucial number is how much you actually SPEND.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look into using coupons, just use logic to think through any claims of “savings”, and that’s true for all kinds of items, not just groceries.

Karen
Karen
10 years ago

Like some others posting here, I usually only buy fresh veggies, meat, bread, and bulk staples like rice.

I tried hard to look for coupons I could use but it was just a lot of work for nothing. Coupons alway seem to be for weird packaged and processed food that I’d never buy or eat anyway–and they’re still expensive even with a coupon!

If I wanted to save money I’d just cut out the meat for some meals and buy cheaper fruit (apples bananas) instead of strawberries and peaches.

Monica
Monica
10 years ago

Are there any alternative ways to obtain the Red Plum, Smart Source and P&G coupons that come in the Sunday paper? I don’t subscribe to the paper, and to pick it up on Sundays would be $2/week. As a single person, not sure the amount I would save with coupons would be worth the yearly expense of buying a paper each week. The way I save money is by using the sale circular at the grocery. I shop at a more expensive grocery store (Publix), but by planning my groceries around fresh food and BOGO items my wallet and my… Read more »

Dina
Dina
10 years ago

My favorite coupon things:
1. The comment from the person behind be in line (usually “wow” or “you go girl”)
2. Brands that have coupons on the product (buy, clip, repeat)
3. The fancy meat departments on Mondays and after 4th of July (steak half off of the sale price)
4. New store openings (often 10% or $10 off for a week or a month)

CouponDad
CouponDad
10 years ago

As an avid coupon-er and burgeoning user of rebates I save probably about 70% more than I used to before I really started any concentrated saving efforts. This translates into several thousand dollars primarily because I have taken over almost all of our shopping. For example my wife used to spend about $50 weekly at CVS. I am down to about $60 monthly buying all our stuff at drugstores not including grocery items. But in order to do this and do it really well it depends on a variety factors: 1.) Where you Live: This impacts the type of stores… Read more »

Jessica @ Life as I See It
Jessica @ Life as I See It
10 years ago

Awesome!
The last time I bought razors, body wash and deoderant was when my son was 1 month old… he is almost 2 now! There were AWESOME deals that, combined with coupons, made the items free. I spent about .10 cents per coupon online and stocked up – never emptying a shelf at the store. I think that’s rude… but we have lots of drugstores around us so it worked well.
It’s been nice not having to buy that stuff and nice taking such a long break from the drugstore game!

Guest
Guest
10 years ago

To those people commenting that they can never find coupons for the “things” they buy are just not looking that much. In order to see results, you have to stockpile coupons for a month or so and then you will begin to see results. We maybe end up using 5% of the coupons we clip, but we save about $400 a month in food. This whole complaint about unhealthy processed foods is also not true, just last week we got 3 big bags of wheat rice and 4 loaves of Nature’s Own Wheat Bread for free and Annie’s organic mac… Read more »

ElysianConfusion
ElysianConfusion
10 years ago

Ok, I’m not a coupon hater, but I don’t seem to do well using them. I always look in the BJs flyer and pull out coupons for the things we use, but I hate going to BJs in general because every single thing costs 7$ or more. That adds up FAST!
I also do as much of my shopping as possible at Trader Joe’s and local farms. Should I take the time to really figure out couponing? Or given my shopping locations is it unlikely to help?

EE2000
EE2000
10 years ago

I’d like to mention that it doesn’t just have to be grocery store coupons. Consider things like the Entertainment book. Many times you can wait until January and easily buy them for $15 or less. I’ve saved lots of money just from this alone.

Consider the movie tickets ($7 instead of $11), lots of B1G1 for Fast food and restaurants, discount admissions to parks/museums, and recently I used the Priceline Coupon for 3 night hotel stay with 2 rooms that was roughly $60 by itself.

Laura
Laura
10 years ago

So. here’s a coupon question for you smart people. Maybe I am just missing something . . Okay. So. I clip a coupon for a product. I go to the grocery store and I use it with no problems. But if I take it someplace else that just happens to sell that product but is not neccessarily a grocery store (or Walmart of Kmart or Target), do they HAVE to take the coupon? I thought it was good towards the product itself no matter who sold it. If you are selling that product don’t you have to accept the coupon… Read more »

KarenJ
KarenJ
10 years ago

This past weekend, I ordered some shoes online. Just prior to checking out, I “googled” the company’s name and “coupon” and came up with a link to go through that gave me free shipping. We also purchased a new Blue-Ray player as our old DVD died. I “googled” Best Buy Coupon and came up with a 10% coupon to bring to the store. We also use Restaurant.com almost every weekend. Sign up for their newsletter and wait until there is an 80% off sale (which is frequently). You’ll end up paying $2 for a $25 gift certificate, which is the… Read more »

Thisiswhyubroke.com!
Thisiswhyubroke.com!
10 years ago

I like how you attacked these myths. People have been in the dark about these thins for far too long. The biggest complaint I hear when trying to convince someone to use coupons is that it takes too long. Well with all the new and easy ways to use coupons, even using your iphone and reading the discount code to the cashier, people really have no excuses anymore!

http://thisiswhyubroke.wordpress.com
“Because credit crack is wack”

Molly On Money
Molly On Money
10 years ago

We did the Grocery Game and ended up with products I didn’t want.
The toughest decisions I’m confronted with everyday is the ethical questions of my purchases- am I willing to exchange quality and where it was made to save some $? I find the majority of coupons are for processed foods and products full of chemicals I don’t need.
If you have time and would rather not spend it clipping coupons, make your own cleaning and beauty products.
http://www.honey.com/nhb/recipes/category-results?category_number=3 is just one of my favorite sites!

CouponDad
CouponDad
10 years ago

Per laura’s question What type of retailer does not have to accept coupons? Laura I don’t believe there is a law regarding coupon acceptance requirements by stores. Each store sets its own coupon rules and requirements as far as I know and it is usually listed on their websites. Walmart and Target accept coupons and some dollar store but they usually don’t double them. In my experience most normal Department stores or like Home Depot don’t accept regular coupons. There was a while there that many grocery stores and Wal-mart wouldn’t accept internet coupons due to perceived fraud issues, but… Read more »

Laura
Laura
10 years ago

Thanks Coupon Dad . . . I just find it interesting! It’s not like Home depot is out 55 cents when I try to use my Tidy Cats coupon there. Tidy cats is out 55 cents!

Thanks again,
Laura

Amber
Amber
10 years ago

A lot of people are saying they used the grocery game and ended up with products they didn’t want. The post actually addresses that. The Grocery Game site did not make you buy things. If there’s a great deal on diapers and you have no infants, you just don’t buy them. If there’s a great deal on mac&cheese and you don’t eat processed stuff, don’t put it on your list! I once bought my husband 6 sticks of deodorant for 25 cents and he made fun of me and said it was 3 year supply. Um, no it wasn’t. He… Read more »

Leah
Leah
10 years ago

I’m with the crowd who says coupons never apply to what I buy. I have a bunch of foods I’m restricted from eating, which means I basically don’t buy anything in boxes, bags, or bottles.

I’ve never seen coupons for things like broccoli or salmon. Store promotions, yes, but not coupons.

I also have pared my toiletries down to bare minimums by making my own deodorant, dishwasher soap, shampoo, etc in bulk amounts out of cheap ingredients (baking soda, for example). Every six months, I make a batch and never buy anything at the drug store.

Amber
Amber
10 years ago

Another thought on Home Depot type stores & coupons…

I wonder if Home Depot just doesn’t get enough of them for it to be worth their time and effort to submit them back to the manufacturer for reimbursement?

CouponDad
CouponDad
10 years ago

Laura I’m not a coupon expert. I’m sure there is someone out there who worked in the coupon industry and knows the in and outs. What I have read in the past on a blog was that most companies (Albertsons, Walmart, etc.) don’t handle the coupons themselves due to the expense(whereby it actually costs them money above the handling fee) Even though the manufacturer pays a small handling fee for each coupon, the grocery stores say it actually costs them money to process the coupons due to the millions that they receive each year. So the companies outsource the processing… Read more »

Heidi
Heidi
10 years ago

I have been using coupons for about the last 8 months to purchase groceries and toiletries. I want to point out that there ARE coupons for staple foods. My husband and I are vegetarians, and hardly eat any packaged foods. When you start to collect coupons over a few months, you can stockpile up on staple items. Flour, sugar, eggs, cheese, produce, and even milk all have coupons. I dont save a TON of grocery money using coupons, mostly because we do buy all fresh foods. But, I save about 5-15 dollars per week on groceries. Thats 20-60 dollars a… Read more »

Amber
Amber
10 years ago

One more thing (then I’ll shut up, I promise): Quite often I buy things that I don’t need or won’t use myself. I buy them to give them away. I haven’t eaten Hamburger Helper since college, but it is always on the local food pantry’s wish list so when it’s on sale and I have a stock of the 75 cents off 3 coupons, I’ll buy some and give it away. Perhaps I shouldn’t support people eating something that I wouldn’t eat, but I doubt giving them a bag of rice is going to change their eating habits. I like… Read more »

NandaH
NandaH
10 years ago

I am vegetarian and my family is not. I started couponing about 1 yr ago. I am not an expert by any means. But, I have been able to supply my family, my sisters, family, my sister in laws family and my mom and dad with all of the toiletries, cleaning supplies, office products they will ever need. I have even given them grocery staples at times. I cut down my grocery bill from my family of 5 from over $150 a week to about $75 and sometimes its even less than that. Every week I go through alot of… Read more »

CouponDad
CouponDad
10 years ago

Per ElysianConfusion ?s 17 May 2010 at 10:55 am I also do as much of my shopping as possible at Trader Joe’s and local farms. Should I take the time to really figure out couponing? Or given my shopping locations is it unlikely to help? Maybe it depends on your situation. You are not going to find a ton of coupons for Trader Joes (which I also like) or your local farms. But you can look at your non grocery purchases. Save your receipt for like a month or two and see what you are buying. Sign up for a… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

Amber: deodorant: want one without aluminum (none had coupons, I checked) yogurt: hooked on local organic. There is no comparison, not even with Stonyfield. coffee: the beans we prefer are from TJ’s or not couponed shampoo and soap: highly allergic to all but 3 dermotologist-recommended brands (yes, Dove occasionally has coupons, but usually not for their bar soap which is cheap even without– a dollar’s worth will last a year and a half). frozen veggies/fruits: we have a small child, so we buy organic. Lowest price for organic is TJ’s store brand. Generally we try to get fresh organic local… Read more »

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