Saturday, November 3, 2007

Coupons - to use or not to use?

Most "frugal" books that I've read tend to all say the same things. So I've found it interesting to find something that is "controversial" among those that consider themselves to be frugal. That is, some swear by it while others don't give it the time of day. Some people claim to save hundreds of dollars and get lots of stuff for practically nothing by using coupons, while others say that it isn't worth the time to search for coupons, and that when they do find them, they are usually for name-brand products they wouldn't buy anyway, or that are still more expensive than generic brands.

I tend to agree with those that think coupons aren't worth it. I personally don't use coupons very often. I purchase the majority of my groceries at the store my husband works at, where the prices are lower than most other stores, and I get a discount. Most of the products they sell are their own store brand, so manufacturers coupons don't work there anyway, and they don't put out store coupons. The rest of the things I buy I usually buy on sale, which often happen to be generic brand products. I don't have the time to spend looking for coupons, and the amount I would save probably wouldn't be worth it. Some stores in other parts of the country offer double or triple coupons, and then it is probably more worth the time spent looking for them. But around here, no stores do that. And since I am able to stick to a fairly frugal food budget without coupons, I don't really bother with them.

I will use them every once in a while, if I just happen to come across something I would use. I do have have a coupon envelope that I keep in my purse, mostly filled with coupons for 40% off something at a craft store or the Christian book store. I have found a few really good coupons that other people have posted on their blogs, like a coupon for a free bag of candy, or for $5 off a Polly Pocket toy. Since these are really good (i.e. free) coupons for something I would buy, I'll use them. My mom will give me good coupons sometimes, also, like a coupon for $5 off a Tylenol product. Since I have a hard time swallowing pills, I buy chewable Tylenol, so this coupon will save me a fair amount of money. This is the sort of coupon that is worthwhile to me. Most coupons aren't that worth it.

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