I’m going to say something that may be a little controversial for a frugal living/personal finance blogger. I’m just not that into coupons. Don’t get me wrong – coupons can save some people a lot of money. Some families can load up two or three carts full of groceries that they just scored for just $10. That’s great for them – any way to save money is okay by me. However, it just does not work for me or my family. I will use coupons from time to time to save a few dollars, but I’m far from an “extreme couponer” and here’s why:
Coupons just don’t save that much money. At my local grocery stores, they don’t double coupons over a dollar. In fact, they only double coupons on a few select days (maybe once a month?). All this adds up to the fact that you really can’t save that much with coupons at my local stores. Additionally, more often than not, store brand products are cheaper than the brand name even with the coupon. I am not going to pay more for a certain product just to be able to use a coupon, so the coupon is likely to be trashed (along with the time it spent clipping it). In the end, it’s just not worth it.
You can’t buy fresh and all-natural food with coupons. Most coupons are for, let’s face it, junk food. There are coupons for frozen pizza, TV dinners, pop-tarts, you name it – if it’s packaged and pricy, you can probably find a coupon for it. You may find coupons for packaged organic food that’s somewhat healthy, but you’ll never find coupons on the foods that should be a main staple of your diet – like produce and all-natural grains like oatmeal and brown rice. You might find a coupon for those packets of instant oatmeal loaded with artificial sweeteners, but you’ll never really find coupons for those big tubs of old fashioned oats that are oh-so-healthy (hint: it’s because they’re cheaper anyway – less incentive for the manufacturers to sell them).
Coupons clutter life and promote buying more and more stuff. Two thousand tubes of toothpaste? Four hundred and fifty containers of laundry detergent? Do you really need that much? I’m here today to say no, no you do not. Coupons take up time and make life more stressful. And all they do is promote buying things you don’t really need.
Coupons can be a great strategy, for saving money at the food store, but you have to be careful. Unless you were going to buy that item anyway, Buying things just because you have a coupon is a waste of money. Always make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
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