Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coupons!

In my last post I mentioned subscribing to the newspaper, even though I didn't want to. I'm a people-pleaser, and I couldn't say no to that nice old man at Smith's. Especially after he was so impressed that I used to write for newspapers. It seemed relevant to the conversation. I don't think I was bragging. But I could have been. It's one of only a few things about me that makes me seem smart, so it comes up... you know?

Anyway, I had to give my husband a good reason for subscribing, so I told him I would use the coupons from the Sunday paper.

I have never been coupon shopping before, but I have several friends who get really excited about it, and even post pictures of their super deals online. So I thought I would give it a try and see if I could have a similar experience.

So here's what I learned from my first coupon shopping experience:
  • Don't go coupon shopping on Monday afternoon. By that time most of the good stuff is cleared out and not re-stocked. And it might make you want to swear.
  • Don't try to converse with the checker. She can think of about a billion better places to be than behind the checkout on coupon day. Like prison.
  • If your toddler falls asleep in the shopping cart because your shopping trip takes most of the day, it doesn't make you a bad mom. It's even kind of cute. And it doesn't make you a bad mom. It doesn't make you a bad mom.
  • When you have just spent most of your day grocery shopping and cashing in on all the great deals, and you don't know what you're going to fix your family for dinner, you're doing something wrong.

So I'd like to ask all you coupon shoppers out there, is it worth it? Is all the time it takes to go through the ads and then search the shelves for the exact right item really worth it?

What did I do wrong? I haven't caught the bug just yet. I know there are websites out there that help, but is there anything that is easy to use if your life and your brain are not very organized?

12 comments:

millerandbrandi said...

Emily, you seriously crack me up!!! Good job on the 2 pounds...I'm jealous! My weight is going up while yours is going down. But don't get me wrong, I am stoked for you :) The coupon thing...hmmmm, not so interested just because of the time and stress of it.

Diana said...

LOL! This one is a funny post. :D

That seems to happen to me a lot though. I go grocery shopping I swear everyday because I can only remember to get the things at the store that I'll need to cook that night. And then on the weekends when I go shopping (again) and bring home a mess full of crap, I can't decide what to make for dinner.

I'd like to say no, it's not worth it. I'll go through and see all the stuff that's on sale and then do a price match at walmart... if I remember to bring the paper with me (which I never do) or if the checker does a righteous judgment of me and realizes I would NEVER lie about a price match. But that's the thing about coupons... they are for the oddest sizes or things.

Maybe you could just tell Dave that you are supporting your interests and keeping your writing skills sharp by studying others work.

Yeah, he'd probably buy that.

Rebecca and Nick said...

My mom has taught me to check the prices on the store brands first, because sometimes the coupon looks like a good deal for the name brand stuff, but you can still get it cheaper. Unless it's on sale already at a great deal. I like to stock up on cereal and juice. But there are so many things couponers buy, that I don't usually need or even want. Like lots of processed junk.

Valentine said...

yeah....i've never had much luck with coupons. they're usually just for strange things.

the only time i have had them work is when i want to try something new, if i can get a coupon for it, then i don't spend so much on something we may not end up liking.....

julie said...

Amen! I hear all these blogs saying, I got an entire sailboat for a buck 67! And then I go and the deals seem to escape me. Store brands are always cheaper even with coupons. Sometimes you have to get name brands, but yeah..PAIN..and I hate that there is a deadline on the coupon..never can beat it. Wow, I just vented there for a minute.

Heidi said...

I'm not a HUGE coupon person, or I don't go from store to store getting the best price or even price match at Wal-Mart, but I do cut out coupons of things I buy most of the time and use them when I go shopping, and I usually save about $5-$8 just with coupons. I think that's great!

KATIE said...

I defintiely recommend using the website I told you about. There is a class on that website this Thursday night in my ward. I would love to bring a friend! Let me know.

The website does the price matching for you and tells you where to find the coupons. I saved like $6 and got something for free with spending less than thirty minutes. Totally worth it to me especially since I know as I learn more I will earn more!

heather said...

You used to write for newspapers? Cool!

I tried the coupon thing, but I didn't get very far because A. The printer broke and I couldn't print coupons and B. We never did get a paper subscription. I didn't have a lot of coupons to go on, and the few I did come up with were for the expensive name brands that are just as cheap to buy at Wal-Mart -who ad matches by the way.

What I have done/ am still trying to get a handle on is watching the ads, shopping the good deals, and menu planning around them. It works for us. I haven't paid more than two dollars for a box of cereal in a year.

ALSO, use rain checks! If the store is out, get a rain check. :)

heather said...

Oh yeah. AND there's usually a day where the ads over lap. Where I am its a Wednesday. Not all stores do this, but some of them do.

Liz Brown said...

I've never been able to "catch that bug" either. I would imagine maybe holding out for something you really want/need or coupons for stuff you normally buy instead of all of them! Them maybe just using a few instead of a ton?

*your toddler falling asleep in the car DOES NOT make you a bad mom!!! I promise =)

Joella Hancock Morris said...

So, Aly and I are just starting to dabble in this. There's a Harris Teeter here that does triple q (short for coupons) once a month. That definitely makes it worth it. Here are a few examples: The last time I went, I had 5 $.70 q for kellogg cereals. That is $3.50 tripled = $10.50 off of 5 boxes of cereal. Then, some of them (mini-wheats) were buy 1 get 1 free, but the free ones counted in the 5, so really you could pay for 3 boxes (appr. $11), but use the 10.50 worth of q, and actually get 6 boxes for < $1. Then, at checkout if you bought 6 boxes of Kellogg cereal you got a coupon for 3 free gallons of milk (to be used later at separate shopping trips).

Last week, they had Kraft BBQ sauce buy 2, get 3 free. The bottles had a .35 coupon attached. They always double them, so 5 x.35 = 1.75, doubled = 3.50 off of buying the first 2, which were only 1.69 to being with. So, 5 bottles of BBQ sauce for free.

It can work, but it can be a lot of work. It's also sorta fun, though, to get the good deals. I say it's worth a shot!

Kyle and Cara said...

I hate to admit it but I am a couponer. It does take a long time and organization, but I think you get faster and better at it as you go along. I got a killer deal on the newspaper and I am trying to stalk up so I don't have to do this for the rest of my life.

Do it half hearted like me or go shop on Sunday before the others clear the shelf Monday morning. hehehe