I remember when we could clip a few coupons, head to the grocery store and fill our carts with all kinds of goodies. Do you remember the good ‘ole days?
Although there are still great deals to be had at the grocery stores, they don’t seem to be as good as they were when I first started couponing. I’m convinced that the deals have declined because people became greedy. They want everything for free, try to cheat the system, clear shelves, and all kinds of other nonsense. I’ll be honest – I blame it on TLC’s show Extreme Couponing!!!
(On a side note) When people find out that I’m a couponer, they automatically ask, “Are you an extreme couponer?” After cringing, I quickly remind them that the show is staged and those people are encouraged to make their biggest coupon hauls ever, all for TV! I can’t even watch that show, so don’t even get me started!
For years I clipped all of the coupons in the inserts and neatly filed them away in my coupon binder. Last year, that changed. I still collected the coupon inserts, but instead of filing them in my binder, I filed the entire inserts by date so that I’d still be able to find and clip any coupons I needed. (By the way, this is a great system if you still collect the inserts! Simply write the date on the front and you’re good to go!)
And a few months ago I stopped collecting the weekly newspaper coupon inserts altogether. Here are a few reasons why:
I Was Breaking Even
Before I stopped collecting the weekly inserts I mentally tracked how many coupons I used. As each month passed, I noticed I was using less and less coupons from the weekly inserts. I would save a couple dollars here and there, but when I compared the price of the paper ($2 each) to how much I was saving in coupons, I quickly realized that I was breaking even.
The Same Coupons Are Available Online
It’s no secret that coupons are readily available online. Another thing I noticed as I would make my grocery list and clip my coupons was that I could get the same coupons online as I could in the weekly inserts. Now, there were a few times when they were different amounts but it’s still better than buying the weekly inserts.
Coupons Have Crazy Restrictions
Limit two per transaction. Not valid on travel sizes. Valid only on certain sizes. And here’s the newest one, not valid on clearance. (If you don’t believe me on that last one, just check out this post at Hip2Save.)
Coupons were originally intended as advertising for companies. But when they realized that consumers were actually using their coupons, and in mass quantities, they chose to add crazy restrictions to make it worthwhile for their businesses! To be honest, I would likely do the same thing if I was a manufacturer.
When I first stopped collecting the weekly newspaper coupon inserts, I questioned myself. But now that it’s been a few months, it’s definitely a decision I’m glad I made. When it comes down to it, collecting the weekly inserts just isn’t worth it to me anymore!
Am I still using coupons? The answer to that question is absolutely! These days, most of my shopping is done at Aldi, especially since they have fabulous deals on produce. But when I head to a store that accepts coupons, you better believe that I check to see if there’s a printable coupon that I can use on an item I’m already purchasing!
Along with shopping at Aldi, every few weeks I’ll stop by Publix to grab their BOGO deals (paired with a coupon, of course)! I still head to Walmart once a month to get dog food, and I’ll grab any staples that I can’t get elsewhere!
Are you a couponer? Do you collect the weekly newspaper coupon inserts?