Monday, October 11, 2010


I don't understand how to use coupons.

I mean, I get how they work - you print/cut out the little slip of paper and get cents off a product.

But I don't get how you walk away with $80 of groceries for only $5. I have an online friend who paid $1.60 for $147 worth of groceries. And that was only because her total had come up negative and they made her buy something to give her a positive bill!

I take coupons to the store - but my $0.35 off a brand name product - lets say zip-top bags - is still more expensive than the store brand. So I buy the store brand. Now, some things are better off with the name brand - trash bags, oreos, etc... But for a lot of items the store brand is just as good or better and cheaper than the name brand even with a coupon.

So how on earth are people coming up with negative balances from using coupons when I, at most, save $5. Don't get me wrong - I'm happy with my $5 when I can save it - but I want to be saving $50! Or at least $15!

If you are a champion couponer, please explain it to me. And don't just show me websites - I've been to them all and I still don't get it. Anyone want to offer to walk me through the store on my next trip to figure all this out?


Tara said...

Alli--there is a blog I read called The Low Ryder, I think she does a great job of explaining her couponing strategies. Maybe you'll benefit from checking it out!

Unknown said...

I'm with you Allison! I've gotten better over time, but I just don't see how people can save so much money. Of course, it might help if I knew how to cook...maybe there's a connection there.

Beth said...

I so wanted to be a coupon/shopping guru, but my advent into having that much time coincided with moving 30 minutes away from actual stores, so it didn't work out.

I have figured out that you really have to commit time to it. Coordinating sale paper sales with the appropriate coupons and collected specific store deals and whatever.

But i'll tell you, if i were a housewife in the city again, i would so be on that train....just for the shear excitement of getting stuff for free.

Lydia's mommy said...

I've noticed that most coupons for food items are for processed foods. I try not to buy processed food, so it is hard to save on food by using coupons. Sometimes I'll find coupons for frozen veggies, which I'll use. I mostly use coupons for things like cleaning supplies. I try to wait until my store has items on sale and then also use coupons for extra savings. I'll buy 4 or 5 of something if it's a good sale, espcially stuff that is always needed like toilet paper. For food, I'll look at my grocery store's website to see what fresh produce and meat they are having on sale and will plan meals around sale items. We have a large freezer, so I'll buy a lot of meat whenever it's on sale and then freeze it. I usually save around $30, mostly from buying items that my store is having on sale, not just from coupons.

Allison said...

Lydia's Mommy - I also shop my store's sales. I buy what's on sale that week as far as fresh fuits, veggies and meats. I always shop the sales, so I save money there, but I want to get to the point of $50 off my bill!

Beth said...

To truely (sp?) do couponing you have to "stock up" on items when they are on sale. And they need to be buy one get one, with a coupon...and preferably two coupons (manufacturer and store)...the best place is Publix (but you don't have one) or Bi-Lo. Say spaghetti sauce and pasta are BOGO this get your coupons (and stores double up to a certain point)....and you fill your pantry....same goes for things like butter and cream cheese (you can freeze them)....and week to week you get things dirt cheap and hoard them basically.

You really have to be on buying the papers every Sunday...and be willing to put in like an hour a week to going through the ads (or southern savers) and printing coupons and clipping them.

I couponed for a while and saved maybe $10-$20 a trip....but I hate to buy up a lot ahead and hoard things....I like to buy what I'm going to use for the week...but you won't save the big bucks that way.


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