Friday, February 17, 2012

My Thoughts on Couponing

I know there are a lot of avid couponers out there, even some like the Coupon Queens that are considered extreme, but does it really save you money?

To do what the Coupon Queens do, you must be willing to give up considerable time to save like they do, not too mention it is all about the area you live in. For example, I would have to travel 35 miles to reach a store that does double coupons. These woman have access to stores that not only double but sometimes triple coupon as well as allows stacking-using manufacturers coupons on top of the stores coupons.

They also need to buy newspapers in bulk then spend hours clipping, sorting and searching store flyer's and sales online to get the most bang for their buck. Yes they walk out with chests puffed out like a proud rooster spending $10 for $200 or more in groceries.

But now, take a look at what coupons mostly buy, while some may be for meats and dairy, many coupons are for things like frozen pizza, pop tarts, sugary cereals and drinks, cookies, candy and a whole lot of what I would consider JUNK.  How many pudding cups does one really need?

I thought I would experiment and in December had hubby every Sunday bring me several newspapers. I clipped and sorted then pulled them out several times and sorted through them and yet certain thoughts kept running through my head.

Am I saving money if I get $1 or $2 off of 3 frozen pizza's  of their original price of $10 when it costs me $4 to make 3 whole pizza's from scratch? (bread from scratch, sauce made, a block of mozzarella and hot dog pieces)  Okay well NO it is costing me money in that example.

Is canned muffin mix, cinnamon rolls or sugary cereal saving any money or healthy choices? NO to both! I can make muffins from scratch that are way more healthier and cost effective. Oatmeal or whole wheat hot cereal with a little honey and cinnamon or molasses and fruits added are more healthy and much much more cost effective.

Is saving $1 on batteries a savings? Well YES we go through batteries like their is no tomorrow, I can not make them and I would purchase them with or without a coupon so YES a coupon to save a buck would be worth it to me!

If I look at my coupons for February and March I have ones for

Crescent rolls
cookie mixes
cinnamon rolls
pie crusts
chip dips
organic eggs
cough drops
Robitussin
cake mixes
muffin mixes
gourmet coffee


The only thing on that list I may be tempted to purchase would be the Organic Eggs if the 50 cent coupon that can not be doubled brought the price down cheaper than the eggs I normally buy would be.

The rest? MIXES and to pay for that convenience of having flour and baking powder with dried blueberries or whatever in it the price is already hiked up and using a coupon still does not reduce the price to what the making it from scratch counterpart would be if bought in bulk quantities (like 25 pound or larger bags of flour.)

Not to mention mixes are loaded with sugar, much more than what I typically add in my baking.

Other than the organic eggs, the list is JUNK.

Even if I could go and get $500 worth of groceries on $20 or less, I could not reason out the fact that I would not be willing to take such a health risk on the foods that most coupons cater to.

I know we do not always eat the healthiest ( I am working on it!) BUT we also eat a wide variety and still eat healthier than a lot of folks in America do.

Our worst area is processed or refined foods that we are trying to move away from.

My point is though that I see coupons costing far more than actually saving would go.

So I shall continue for now, shopping the way I do buying a few bulk items and making it all from scratch where it costs less and tastes far superior in the meantime......coupons lose for now.