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August 08, 2007

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My wife clips coupons AND reads the fliers. She goes to the grocery store that has the MOST sale items that match up with her list and her coupons. Most of the time she saves at least $10 per trip, sometimes a lot more. Plus, with coupon doubling and club cards she can save a boat load more.

We usually make a little competition out of it, which takes away the mundane aspect of grocery shopping, by seeing who can save the highest percentage. She has me beat at almost 65% (using coupons, coupon doubling, sales, and store club cards).

Some people think this is a time waster, but just think if you didn't do any of that how much more your grocery bill would be.

I still don't agree that $5/20 minutes is the same as $30/hour. When somebody says "you earn $30 per hour" it is implied that at the end of one hour, you will have $30 in hand (or at least owed to you). An hour after clipping coupons, you still have only potentially saved $5. I suppose while we are making up fantasy numbers, we could also say that if my salary works out to, say, $50 an hour (yeah right!), if I clip coupons for 10 minutes, and add that to the other $40-odd dollars my time is 'worth', I should make enough to be able to quit my job and clip coupons full time.

Also, I don't know what kind of coupons the author of this article gets, but the ones I get are mostly for prepared foods that I wouldn't eat anyway. Bummer I'm missing out on this gravy train of easy money.

That is not to say I think its a waste of time to clip coupons. I think if you are lucky enough to use the products you have coupons for, then you would be foolish to pay the real price.

I don't clip coupons because the items that I buy don't go on sale with coupons. I order my meat from grass-fed online producers or buy it from the local farmers. Most of my produce comes from the farmer's market and the rest from the grocery, but there are never coupons for produce. I don't eat much in the way of packaged goods except for coconut milk and a few sauces. My mother-in-law uses double and triple coupons to get stuff for free. But other than mustard and hot sauce, it's mostly junk food. I think I'll stick to my diet of natural foods rather than saving some money by clipping coupons for processed stuff...I'm sure the savings on my health will trump the $5 saved from coupons.

Scott

We save $10-$20 a week with coupons. It takes maybe 30-45 minutes to dissect the Sunday paper ($1/week) and clip the coupons for items we regularly purchase. We would probably save more, but we don't buy a lot of the junk that coupons promote (twinkies, forzen pre-prepared meals, etc.).

We're not brand loyal - we buy whatever is cheapest. Sometimes the generic brand is still cheaper than using a coupon for a name brand.

We also take advantage of buy one/get one sales when the items can keep for long periods of time. We'll buy more fresh chicken then we can use for the week, and freeze the rest for later. Additionally, we use our local grocer rewards card for additional savings. With our grocer rewards card, we save on both groceries and get a discount on gas as well for "free". The last time we filled up on gas we used our store points and got 80 cents off per gallon.

We save $10-$20 a week with coupons. It takes maybe 30-45 minutes to dissect the Sunday paper ($1/week) and clip the coupons for items we regularly purchase. We would probably save more, but we don't buy a lot of the junk that coupons promote (twinkies, forzen pre-prepared meals, etc.).

We're not brand loyal - we buy whatever is cheapest. Sometimes the generic brand is still cheaper than using a coupon for a name brand.

We also take advantage of buy one/get one sales when the items can keep for long periods of time. We'll buy more fresh chicken then we can use for the week, and freeze the rest for later. Additionally, we use our local grocer rewards card for additional savings. With our grocer rewards card, we save on both groceries and get a discount on gas as well for "free". The last time we filled up on gas we used our store points and got 80 cents off per gallon.

I use coupons mostly for toiletries like shampoo, razors, and soap. By making a weekly stop at a local discount store and skimming my coupons before hand, I end up paying nineteen cents for my regular deodorant, getting a free bottle of shampoo, and deep discounts on items we use anyway.

You can definitely save a bunch by using coupons. One thing you might try rather than taking the time to scan all of the flyers is to check out a site like coupons.com. That allows you to quickly search for specific items that are on your list anyway so you don't impulsively by something just because you can save $1.00 with a coupon.

People seem to forget the purpose of companies issuing coupons....ADVERTISING!! Coupon's are marketing campaigns. So a lot of times you buy new products that you normally wouldn't think about buying because you can save 35 cents. If the coupon is by 2 get $1.00 off the third you end up buying mored product then you need and end up spending more money than necessary.

The only way coupons are beneficial are if you only use them on products you buy on a regular basis. They you can end up saving some money.

I think a lot of people get taken by these ad campaigns and spend way more money then they need to. You still need to be savvy when it comes to using coupons if you want to really save your hard earned cash.

I'm still not completly convinced that most coupons will actually save money when compared to stores like Aldi. We mainly only get and use coupons for shampoo and other similar consumables like that. When we do get coupons for food it is for super expensive/marked-up products like cereal and stuff that we wouldn't eat. So I would agree with Scott.

I don't know how anyone could say they are interested in saving money, and not use coupons. My husband and I have used them for our entire married life (over 30 years now) and have saved a small fortune doing so. We actually had enough in a separate account some years ago to take ourselves and our 2 daughters to Jamaica for a week. Many times - if you just read the fliers - we have not only gotten an item for free (whole price rebate), but been paid for it (using a $1.00 coupon). As far as it being advertising, would you rather have them spend the money on a TV commercial? I agree with the other comment up above - we view it as a fun competition to see how much we can score against the big guys.

How many coupon clippers actually save this money by setting it aside in a savings or investment account?

How many think that they are saving money when they actually just go out and blow that money on something useless?

Clipping coupons involves finding, clipping, organizing, and remembering. I prefer to shop the outer aisle for bargains and use a price book.

I'd like to give you all sorts of money tips, but your buddy here has blocked true money mastery.

Trent,

This is a completely different issue. The same could be said for any area of your budget that you can potentially cut. Why bother cutting budgets at all if we are just going to blow all the saved money anyways?

I've been tracking my coupon shopping since March. What have I learned? I saved almost nothing on groceries, I don't buy a lot of stuff that uses coupons.

I do however save on my toiletries so I continue doing it. And so I like the Sunday paper anyway because it's fun to sit in bed and read. Then I look at the ad and skim the coupons, stick them in a box and cut which ones I need.

I am the primary grocery shopper in our family (I enjoy grocery shopping, my wife hates it!) and I save a good bit of money each month on groceries. We budget $300 a month for groceries, and it is not uncommon for me to get $350 worth of food with that money. That extra $50 saved is like having a half day of work off per month, or a week's vacation each year (in theory). Coupons are totally worth it. The only time I would say that isn't fully true was when I was single. A lot of our local coupons are buy one get one free, and as a single person this was almost alway more of any product than I could use before it would go bad (except meats that I could freeze!).

Big Chris

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