Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Coupons : A Love & Hate Relationship...



As a family that is on the path to self-sustainment, we really find no need to coupon. I know people who are quite passionate about their "extreme couponing" and love to brag about getting a shopping cart full of items for as little as $10.00, but honestly, I will probably never follow in their footsteps Listed below are the reasons why I dislike couponing.

Mark-down bins are were it's at!
 Why I Refuse To Religiously Clip Coupons :

1) I refuse to buy the products listed on the coupon - Sure, I do enjoy a some ice cream every now and then, but for the most part, I try to limit the purchase of items that go against my mission to lead a healthy chemical-free lifestyle, and there are not many organic/clean living coupons out there.

2) Coupon clipping is far too time consuming & I really do not save at all - Some may find that they hours they spend rummaging through newspapers is rewarding. Of course, if one were to take advantage of all or most of these coupons, the time may be worth it. Since the newspapers cost money, I am really not saving that much from the one or two coupons that I decide to keep.

3) Buying in bulk is MUCH cheaper - Who needs the fancy packaging? Save your money and buy in bulk! If you haven't searched for a local co-op, check out Co-op Directory and join a buying club!

4) We grow much of our own food, and hope to grow or raise more in the future - No coupon in the world can give me a better deal than what my family is growing in the backyard. The biggest cash crop so far? Our organic bell peppers! Ranging from $3-$4 each locally, the seed packet cost around $2...plus we are saving some of the seeds from our crops to grow next year! The next project is to raise our own chickens.

5) Making it yourself is easier than it sounds - Here, I am not talking about home cooked meals that do require a little more effort than popping a pre-made pizza in the oven. Recently, I have taken an interest in making my own cleaning products...that cost next to nothing! You can check out my soap, detergent, cleaning supplies, and more here.


Scored these babies for $0.99 each! (Regularly $3.50)





Here is what I DO :

In efforts to save money without couponing, I stalk those mark-down aisles and bins frequently. Luckily, the store that I shop at begins marking down their items at 2:00 pm, so I make sure that I am there to do my grocery shopping at that time.

If I find a good buy...I stock up!

With perishable items, I plan my meals around those items, and freeze what I cannot use right away.





When I Do Use Coupons :

Okay, I will be honest, sometimes I do use a coupon or two, but just because I have one, doesn't mean that I will actually use it.

One of the many reasons why I am a loyal Kroger customer is that when I use my Kroger Plus card, the store knows what I love to buy (psst...you do not have have your personal information tied to that card), and occasionally, the register will spit out coupons for items that I just bought or have bought in the past...which occasionally include savings on organic produce, SCORE!

Kroger also sends out customer appreciation packets filled with coupons based on the items I purchased. From time to time I will also go on their website to add coupons to my savings card.

Occasionally, I will stalk coupon sites and print a coupon or two or look for a specific item, like almond and organic milks. I also do subscribe to the mailing lists of the companies that make my favorite products and fan their Facebook page, so that I can be notified of any printable coupons.

When I come across coupons, I do save them, but only use them when I feel like I am getting a "good deal" or when I want to buy that product.


For example, look at my latest purchase!

I hit the Zevia jackpot!
Each 6-pack was $1.99 and I had $6.00 worth of coupons...
$1.99 x 8 = $15.92 or $16.88 with tax - $6.00 = $10.88
Retail price is $5.99 per 6 - pack (That is $50.88 with tax!)...so I saved $39.92!


 
Do you like to coupon? What are the ways you like to save?






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3 comments:

  1. Couponing is not generally for those of us not willing to buy things with HFCS or partially hydrogenated oils in them BUT I've found there are savings to be had sometimes! Think: razors, toilet paper, produce. It largely depends on the stores you have in your area and what their policies are. We have Target and Publix which both issue store coupons which can be stacked with manufacturer coupons for the same item AND they consider each other competitors so they accept each other's coupons! ;) Also, Kroger is a great one for their Mega Sales, coupon doubling, etc. I love when I get coupons in the mail from Kroger because they are for products I already buy.
    I don't buy newspapers for coupons because awesome ones can already be found online! I use Southernsavers.com to match coupons to sales. :D

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  2. We don't get great coupons up here in Canada. I do occasionally use some of the coupons I get, say on a cereal box or something. Instead I try to buy only what is on sale and save money that way.

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  3. Perhaps the main reason I don't coupon religiously is your reason #2. It is SO time consuming to really coupon so that you get a whole grocery cart full of items for $10. And, for me, I'd rather have the time with my family to do things I really love to do. Plus, I also firmly believe that we will also save more money by buying what we actually USE. I have a list of pantry staples & then plan weekly menus; I purchase what we need based on those menus & staple items. In my opinion, I save more money because I waste less by purchasing what we will definitely use. We're also Kroger customers, and those personalized coupons are great.

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