Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why I'm Considering Giving Up Couponing

This time last year I was all gung-ho about saving money with coupons!  I had begun a money-saving blog and was getting ready to teach a big group of ladies at church what I had learned on the subject (which lead to a couple more "coupon seminars").  My coupon binder was full of coupons and I was saving, saving, saving!

These days, however, while I'm still acquiring coupons, most of them are never used, and the savings have gone down, down, down . . . waaaaay down!

I'm not sure what's happening!  I have some guesses, though.

I don't know this for a fact, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if things started going downhill for myself and other coupon users after that TLC show, Extreme Couponing, began to air.  I haven't seen much of the show, but have heard it often shows greedy couponers who misuse coupons and cheat the system.  As I said, I haven't seen enough of the show to know if that's what the show contains, but I've seen enough on money-saving blogs to know this kind of behavior does exist.  And if that's what they show on the TV program, then many people's eyes were opened, probably including those who make the couponing rules for the various corporations and the manufacturers who create coupons.

Whatever the reason behind it, coupons in general are not nearly as valuable as they once were, and some stores are tightening the rules on how they can be used.

Couple the coupon catastrophe with rising grocery prices, and it can become quite discouraging!

Yesterday, after much planning for my grocery shopping trip, I ended up taking exactly 2 coupons with me, neither of which did I end up using.  The products they were for were not on sale as I thought, and their regular prices were extremely high.  I was able to get the Aldi brand for much less, even had I used the coupons!

Couponing, done the most effective way, takes time, and lately I feel like I've been often wasting that time in the end!  Who wants to waste time?  Who has time to waste? 

Yet, I haven't felt totally convinced to give it up.  I feel like if I give up now I'll miss something that might happen after this slump.  After all, I did pay only 25 cents each for a couple of tubes of toothpaste a couple weeks ago and got a couple of other great deals.  That does count for something.

I'm just trying to decide how much it counts!

I may just scale back for the time being, and stop buying the Sunday papers for coupons.  I can still print coupons off the internet.  That won't give me as much of a variety, but will help me feel *less* like I'm wasting time and money.  Even this I haven't decided for sure.

Any of you other couponers want to share your thoughts on this?


  1. Hey There! I do not use coupons to save on groceries. My shopping day is now Thursday. I shop between 3 stores. EuroFresh, Walt's and Aldi's. I pretty much know where I can get whatever item I am looking for the cheapest between these three stores. If I do happen to have a coupon for something that I know I will be purchasing at my main two stores, I will use it. I don't waste the printer ink and we always get the Sunday paper. What helps a lot to keep your grocery budget in check is to pay with cash (the green stuff). No debit card, no credit card. It makes you really accountable for how and what you purchase.

  2. Hi Laurie! I have noticed a decline in good coupons recently as well. I am a little miffed that I can't find cereal coupons when they used to be in every Sunday paper! I finally found one for Secial K and the coupon read, "Save $1.00 on 3 (THREE) boxes." Couple that with the fact that cereal has gone up $1.00 per box lately, and it is no deal at all, especially when you can't double the coupon at most stores. The thing I noticed when I watched one episode on TLC is that almost all the food being bought with coupons was processed food. Healthy food still costs more and it's rare to find coupons for it. I'd say, keep clipping, and use what you can when you can find good deals, but don't spend tons of extra time. :)


I love knowing what's on your heart and mind! Your thoughts, opinions, questions and ideas are welcome here anytime. Differences are respected as long as they are written respectfully! :)