“Use coupons at the grocery store to save big!”
Or, how about the shows that follow a woman with a binder (always a binder) who ends up clearing out the grocery store and paying $25.47?
My mom used coupons all the time, and as a kid, I loved it. She let me go through the Sunday paper and clip coupons for the things I wanted.
I remember finding coupons for things that were usually out of our price range. For some reason, NutriGrain bars come to mind as something I always wanted, but never got. Until we had a coupon.
My mom kept track of her savings on a weekly basis, and never stopped using coupons.
However, it didn’t catch on with me.
Why I Don’t (Usually) Use Coupons
1. Coupons provide small discounts on expensive items. Like the NutriGrain example above. I can’t for the life of me imagine that $1 off the price of a box of cereal bars makes up for the fact that they were always $2 more expensive than granola bars.
2. I don’t get the paper. I suppose I could go pick up a Sunday paper every once in a while, but I don’t. And without the paper, where are the coupons?
3. Coupons give discounts on things I don’t eat. Pasta, dinner-in-a-box, frozen meals … those aren’t things I buy. There aren’t usually coupons for things like meat, eggs, and produce.
4. I don’t see clipping coupons as a valuable use of my time. Am I really going to save more than $10 a week? Probably not. It’s a better use of my time to pick up another freelance gig instead of spending the time saving a dollar here or there.
5. I don’t understand the double/triple coupon math. There’s something more complicated than algebra going on in the fine print of coupons these days, and I really don’t get it. I see people get money back from the stores but I never can tell how they do it.
6. Most importantly, I’m lazy. This is a bigger reason than anything else I’ve listed. I’m lazy. I don’t like the idea of trying to plan my meals around this week’s coupons. I see it as a small savings because I don’t really want to know the truth: that I might be missing out on a lot of money.
There are exceptions, though. If my favorite grocery store has a coupon (which they do from time to time — and it’s a good one: $5 off your groceries if they’re over $20!) I’ll print it and use it. But usually that leads me to buying at least the value of the coupon back in every aisle.
Do you coupon? Do you think it’s a personality thing? Or is it something that can be taught? I feel like my life is more simple because I don’t use coupons, but let me know if I’m missing out!
Image by cohdra