Friday, July 23, 2010

Eight Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Coupons... and my arguments against them.

This article has stirred up the she-bear in a lot of my coupon-savvy blogging friends. Just for kicks, I thought I'd go ahead an post my $.02 worth.

The article says... "You have to buy a newspaper."
I say... Yep. I subscribe and have 2 delivered every Sunday. But I get a LOT more coupons for free, because my MIL gets her neighbors inserts. Each week, the savings I get using coupons is FAR greater than the expense of the papers.

The article says... "Clipping coupons takes time."
I say... and what doesn't take time? I could stop nursing Susannah because that takes time. Or I could stop folding the laundry (*ahem*) because that takes time. I spend maybe an hour on average each week clipping my coupons.

The article says... "Getting the newspaper invites lots of additional advertising into your home."
I say... that's what the trash can and self control is for. We don't browse through the ads, or even read the newspaper (because we don't want to). I open the the papers, pull out the coupon inserts and maybe the grocery store fliers, and the rest goes straight to the trash. I know I can't afford all the pretties that are advertised, so I don't even look.

The article says... "Many coupons are for things you neither need nor want."
I say... I sure do need or want: Toilet paper! And toothpaste! And Miracle Whip (or Mayonnaise if you're Daniel)! And Nestle's Chocolate Chips! And cheese! And eggs! And bodywash (you use some type of bodywash, right??)! Not to mention other baking goods, meats, canned fruits and vegetables, toiletries and I could go on and on!

The article says... "Coupons can tempt you to spend your grocery dollars on things you shouldn't."
I say... Yes, I admit there are times where I will splurge on something because I have a coupon for it when I normally wouldn't buy that item... but again it's about self control. Just because there's a coupon for Oreos or Ice Cream, I don't buy those items. Would I like to? You bet! Those are yummy, yummy things!! That's where self control comes in again.

The article says... "The same coupons tend to be offered over and over again" with the idea that you might want to try different things or experiment other items.
I say... Ummm....yup, we still use toilet paper here daily! And Daniel still gets his egg & cheese sandwich every morning... and his lunch sandwich every day... and we still take baths :) Oh, and I don't always buy the same brand of toilet paper every time. It depends on what's cheapest when combining the sale and current available coupon. Same with Mayonnaise... sometimes it's Kraft, sometimes it's Dukes, sometimes it's Hellmans. I think we experience variety while using coupons!

The article says... "You might become a slave to coupons" mentioning that you might not buy something if you don't have a coupon for it.
I say... I do not starve or inconvenience my family because there is not a coupon. If it is a splurge item (say... bacon) or a convenience item (like... paper towels), I will probably not buy it if I don't have a good coupon and a sale. And really, it's not often that I have to buy something without a coupon (that I would normally buy w/ a coupon) because I stockpile.

And last but not least:
The article says... "Shopping takes longer."
I say... Eh, not really. Yes, the first couple times I went with coupons it did take me longer... but everything takes longer the first time you do it.

The article's bottom line is that if you don't clip coupons, don't bother with starting.

My bottom line is I have no doubt that I have saved us piles and piles of money by clipping coupons. For instance, this week's shopping trip, in just the paper coupons alone, I saved $25.06, not counting the coupon doubles, store promotions or sales. I'd say $25 savings in one week because I spent $3 on newspapers and maybe 45 min. clipping? Yup... if you haven't started yet, what are you waiting for? Besides, the "couponing high" you get when the numbers drop like flies at the register? Worth it :)


Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

Wait... was this article written by a cashier that hates figuring coupons out?? Because every one of those reasons was completely ludicrous. But, it made me laugh anyway. I hope nobody buys into it. "It takes time." Uh, yeahhh... so does trying to figure out how you're going to afford gas for the week because you spent too much at the store NOT using coupons.

Judi B said... [Reply to comment]

Well said M!

Ann said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with you Miriam and I could go on and elaborate on several of your points. One of the arguments I have heard others say is that we don't buy Hamburger Helper or packaged meals. The bottom line is you don't have to buy over-processed packaged foods (like Hamburger Helper) because you use coupons. I don't buy Hamburger Helper either, but we eat cereal and with sales and coupons I very rarely pay more than $1 per box of brand name cereal. You can "buy" your toiletries for free or super cheap and then with the savings buy organic or higher quality ingredients - or ice cream if you want. I have had people tell me I am crazy for buying multiple papers, but every week I save more than the cost of the newspapers so I see it as an investment.

Maria D. @ DownrightDomesticity said... [Reply to comment]

I can totally relate to "Many coupons are for things you neither need nor want." It seems that all the coupons I get my hands on are for gum, dog food, or products that are still more expensive than the store brand, even after coupons. I'd love to know how you get your coupons to work for you, and where you get the useful ones!

Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

@Maria... Great questions. You're making me think! :P I think I'll figure out what my thoughts are on your questions and get back to you through a post. You're probably not the only one with those situations!

Candi said... [Reply to comment]

I'm just going to type "AMEN SISTER!" And you can get free coupons from the recycle bins if you like to "dumpster dive".


Sally said... [Reply to comment]'re wonderful! And you have a wonderful husband--who will eat what you have coupons for (and wash with coupon soap, etc.), and what's on sale.

Anyway, I've had a "Principled Living" post rolling around in my head for a little while, and if I get a chance, I'm going to type it up sometime before our baby is born.

Somehow, I just haven't gotten into the big guns couponing. Maybe it doesn't spur me on that my hard-working, bacon-earning husband is not thrilled about it. I do enjoy using the coupons I do get and use, and each week I browse the on-line coupons and then browse the FL and Kroger sale papers to see what I could match up for big savings. But, when I print off coupons, Andrew says, "You know, it cost a dollar of ink to print that." And, I have hunted and looked but I can't find anything to put my printer in the "low ink" setting.

O.k., there you have my weak excuses. Oh, one more. Our Kroger's will not accept more than 2 coupons on a product (2 coupons, 2 products), so stockpiling with lots of coupons can't happen in one trip.

Uhhh...can I save money some other way? I don't know which way I'm saving money, except that I avoid going to theme parks!

Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

@ Sally,
Hmm, does it *really* cost 1 whole dollar to print a coupon? I can't imagine that it does unless you pay some high dollars for a small amount of ink. I'm almost certain that I print of way more coupons than the number of $$ I spend for an ink cartrige.

The only way I know to change the printer's ink setting is under print preview. When in print preview, (at least for our computer) when you click "print" it brings up a window where you have to click "ok" or "print". In that window we have an "options" or "prefrences" button, and you have to go into there to change the print quality. And I have to do it each time.

It is a bummer about your store w/ their 2 coupon limit. It sounds like you do the best you can with the circumstances :) And couponing isn't for all people, so if you don't like doing it, I wouldn't worry about it unless you really have to :)

down comforter said... [Reply to comment]

Good post and very good points! I agree with you totally

Courtney said... [Reply to comment]

Really ...I spend minutes a week on "clipping coupons" because I jsut store the inserts and pull what I want from a website like "SouthernSavers" ..she tells me where to go and go there. Its nice, I just pull the insert, find the coupon I want from that week and I am done. No finding room for lots of coupons and no having to clean them out :)