My problem with coupons

I don’t have a problem with coupons, per se but the title got your attention, right?   LOL

     Rather, I have a hard time implementing using them. 

     Cutting your grocery budget is a huge way of saving money.  To save money on groceries I menu plan, shop for two weeks of groceries at a time, use my store money-saving card, a few coupons and look for clearances. 

     I wish I could get more use out of coupons but it just doesn’t happen.  Very few of the products our family uses ever have coupons.  Usually the coupons are for disposable products, processed foods, foods filled with refined sugar, convenience foods and more generally unhealthy food. 

     Even with coupons, the individual serving snacks are more expensive that the big box or tub.   On the other side of coupons- so many of the name brands the coupons cover are still more expensive with the coupon than what I already buy and it is no better!

    As a part of our family’s commitment to be healthy, and raise healthy children, we not only are careful of what we put in our bodies but also what we put on ourselves.  Your body (and your child’s) is a sponge and it soaks up whatever chemicals bath products, lotions, make up, deoderant and such have in them.  This means we are very careful about what products we use.  Those products are bought at the local health food store with the exception of the Burt’s Bees products, which are sold at our local grocery store.  It is a very rare thing to find a coupon for organic products.  I am a member of a money saving club at our local health food store.  I save 5% off of each purchase and then 3 times a year there is a 15% off weekend but no coupons. 

     Recently I paid $2.50 for the Sunday newspaper to get the coupons out of it.  I was not even able to find enough usable coupons to cover the cost the newspaper. 

     So this leads me to a question I have for all of you.  Do you have a source of coupons that are for products that are healthy and eco-friendly?   Do you have any luck with coupons?  I would love to hear how the whole coupon thing works out for you. 

Have a blessed day,

~Rhen

    

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12 responses to “My problem with coupons

  1. The only way my coupons seem to work for me is when I actually use the grocery game. You’ll have to check out their website and see if it’ll work for you. I like that it shows you how much you save!

  2. amyswandering

    Here’s a link I came across this morning of organic coupons – hope it helps!
    http://affluentpauper.blogspot.com/2008/06/questions-from-readersarent-you.html

  3. I wish I did any better, but alas, I run into the same problems.

    ~Eva

  4. I have your same problem. Most of the time coupons or sales are for stuff we either don’t eat or shouldn’t! 😉
    My best bet is the safeway circular that comes once a week. I just check it to make sure there isn’t a good sale on stuff we do use. The last couple months I have managed to get my chicken at a REALLY good price because I knew it was on sale (and we weren’t quite out).
    It also tells me which fresh fruit is on sale so I know what to look for when I’m at the store.
    And one nice thing is that you don’t have to keep track of coupons (for the most part) because it’s all part of the store card.

  5. Thanks Amy for sharing the organic coupon list link to my blog – there truly are lots of coupons out there for organic items. The key to using coupons is this:
    1) You need to get organized. Spend a morning setting up a check file with categories where you can file your coupons, subscribing to your favorite manufacturers websites and coupon sites.
    2) Subscribe a list such as http://www.thegrocerygame.com where they will tell you what is on sale and what coupons are available for those same sales so you can stock up on things at rock-bottom prices (if you do sign up, tell them that gayle@buvirtualoffice.com referred you so I can get the credit, they have a $1 30-day trial). While reading supermarket flyers is helpful, it’s information-overload and the flyers don’t tell you what coupons are available. The Grocery Game also tracks sales and coupons for Whole Foods.
    3) Buy a double bundle of newspapers at the supermarket every Sunday and file your coupons. If you go completely organic, the Sunday paper may not be as helpful, but if you use traditional toothpastes, toothbrushes, toilet paper, paper towels, etc., you’ll get drastic savings.

    The first month may seem like you’re spending alot of time on the process, but soon you’ll have a system that will become a habit and you’ll never again pay full price for groceries or personal items. If you have questions on setting up a system,
    visit http://affluentpauper.blogspot.com/search/label/Groceries If you have more questions, leave a comment for me to reply to or e-mail me at affluentpauper@gmail.com so I can help.

  6. I’m not a coupon user either. I shop at Aldi’s for most of my groceries and then the ole standby, Wal-Mart….only thing available in our little town. My budget has gone from $50 a week to almost $100.00! I’m also shopping at the local farmer’s market while it is available. I’m a firm believer in the menu planning…..it makes a world of difference on the eating out because I don’t have anything to make syndrome. I enjoy your blog…keep up the good work!

  7. I have the same problem every week. I would love to be able to use more coupons, but there are not many that I would use. We also buy the snack things in bulk sizes, and don’t get the travel sizes. They do not do many coupons for that size.

    I do work the store circular to the bitter end. I will shop at competitors, or take my add for one into the other and see if they will match the price. That is a nice trick. Last week I save $45 buy working the circular and in store coupons. It can work really well if you take the time to go through the ad.

  8. Ummm, I have limited luck w/ coupons. Sometimes I find one for cat food. Usually not people food.

  9. I agree with you…on good trips, I might save about 20 dollars, (love doubled coupons!) but I will nearly always choose the generic over name brand, for greater savings. However, one really neat thing is that the store I shop at prints coupons upon check-out for later use, based on your current purchases. These tend to at least be more suited to my needs. One suggestion? Instead of buying the paper, why not be super eco-friendly and talk to your local librarians? They recieve the local newspapers, and have to toss the multiple sets of inserts. Simply ask if you might have them instead. (It’s where I get all of mine!)

  10. You are not alone … If we don’t produce it ourselves, then I usually the purchase orgainc. I have found it very difficult to find coupons for organic products. (I will certainly check out the above posted link). Since we don’t purchase “snack” items, pre-prepared items, or anything containing high fructose corn syrup, coupons generally just don’t work for me either.

  11. I use to think that about couponing too. But then I discovered store sales, combined with coupons equals big savings for me! Check for your store to double manufacturer’s coupons and you get added discount.

    Our family cannot afford to eat as healthily as I would like. But for now, that is where we are at. That being said, we don’t use a lot of prepackaged stuff. My kids don’t drink sugary drinks. Water is cheaper..lol. And they consider graham crackers to be a special treat.

    I suggest you read “Shop, Save and Share” by Ellie Kay. I checked it out from my local library and it revolutionized the way I shop.

    I refuse to join any grocery game-esque help sites. I figure that I can learn to be as shopping savvy by paying attention. But I am happy that it works for others.

    Try reading Ellie’s book and then take another stab at couponing 🙂

  12. Rhen,

    They are multiple websites that can assist you in locating, organizing, and matching those coupons up to store sales. Some of them as mentioned above are paid websites. the most popular paid website is Refundcents.com.
    There are however free websites that list these deals as well. My favorite among those is Afullcup.com But you will find many on the net.
    Remember coupons are not just for groceries anymore. Couponing is a lifestyle. As our economy sinks, the couponing lifestyle will be adopted by many more people.

    HTH,
    Tricia

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