This Article is About
couponing
many other items
detergent
50 cents
assertion
six weeks
toothpaste
family member
Does Couponing Really Save You Money?
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Does Couponing Really Save You Money?

Over the past six weeks I've taken a hiatus from Street Articles in order to attend to our newborn girl, Heidi. She's healthy and happy, and we're all doing well. While family was in town for her arrival, the topic of couponing came up and the assertion was made: I don't see how coupons can really save a person any money; rather, the cheapest thing to do is to buy store brand products.

I did not respond to this comment, perhaps because I didn't have enough energy since our baby had just come. Therefore, I thought I would take the time to respond to the comment in my first Street Article writing in six weeks!

YES and NO

To the above assertion, my answer is both yes and no. Yes, buying store brand items is sometimes, and many times, the cheapest way of shopping. In fact, when I shop, I often purchase store brand merchandise, simply because it often is cheaper. Thus, in this respect, yes, a good way to save money while shopping is to buy store brand products. With this statement, I can agree.

The Need for Knowing HOW to Use Coupons

However, my response to the statement, "I don't see how coupons can really save a person any money," is that one needs to know HOW to use coupons. When a person knows how to use them, savings can, and will, follow. For example, I've mentioned before how I get toothpaste for free, diapers for little cost, medication for free and many other items at low prices, including name brand merchandise.

To Give an Example . . .

Thus, while I agree, and disagree, with the assertion made by my beloved family member, I can easily see why my beloved would think that coupons couldn't possibly save a person any money. Case in point, let's say you have a coupon for .50 cents off of a name brand detergent. However, though you would get .50 cents off, the store brand detergent would still be cheaper. Thus, the conclusion is formed: Couponing doesn't really save you money.

Example of Combining a Store Sale with a Coupon

However, let's change the scenario a bit, let's say that the name brand detergent is on sale at a handsomely reduced price AND that you have a coupon for .50 cents off. In this case, it's likely that the name brand detergent is now at a lesser price than the store brand. Thus, here you have it, an example where coupons DO provide savings . . . and with the added luxury of being able to purchase a name brand item!

Conclusion

Does couponing really save you money? This is an excellent question, to which I respond both yes and no. It's true, sometimes the shopper can save more by purchasing the store's brand. On the other hand, it is very possible, and indeed happens, that people really do save money by couponing. The trick is, however, that you need to know how to use coupons. From personal experience, I find that the best way to use coupons, to get the best savings, is to combine store sales with coupons.


Street Talk

I was really interested I have heard a little about coupons but was a bit skeptical about where you actually saved money or not. I think the moral of the story as you point out is knowing hoe to use the coupons. Thanks Gayle

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Exactly, Gayle. Knowing HOW to use them makes all of the difference.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Agree with you on this !

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks, Eugene:)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Delighted to have you back, and happy to hear about your technique with coupon.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Yeah, I've been out for awhile. I've been heavily working on my site, which has prevented me keeping up with SA. I hope you're doing well, Alfred.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Quite right !

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks, Eugene:)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Welcome back! Congratulations on the new addition! Great article also.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks, Shawn:)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Nice article.. coupons are not a big thing here but all sounds good... hows the Baby by the way...???

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Rob, I'll try to write an article on her . . . :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
joe witt  

Welcome back, thought it had been awhile, nice article I agree.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks, Joe:)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Welcome back and congratulations on your new baby!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you, Lacey! I appreciate it:)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Interesting dilemma...huh....to coupon or not to coupon. Many of us have seen the programs on extreme couponing, where people can purchase hundreds of dollars of products for just a few dollars. The question to be asked, are we choosing to purchase unhealthy, processed foods, just because we have a coupon? I recall having patients purchasing baby formula for their infants because they had coupons. I asked them to bring the formula to the office to assess the health benefits for their child. They were shocked, and horrified, when they saw that the second ingredient in the formula was corn syrup. They chose that particular brand because their pediatrician gave them a free sample can and several coupons. Coupons, while they can be a money saving opportunity, are not a replacement for common sense. If you are going to feed your children, you need to know what is going in their little bellies. High fructose corn syrup will significantly increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in our children. Bovine growth hormone in our dairy products decrease fertility rates in little boys and cause 'precocious puberty' in our little girls. Sometimes that 50 cent coupon comes at a high price. If only they had coupons for healthy, organic foods....wow....I'd be a couponing fool!!!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

That is excellent advice, I know how important it is to never put HFCS in my body and if my kids pediatrician gave me something like that for my kids he/she would get a scolding right there in their office, I can't believe the FDA even allows this garbage to be put in any food, but baby formula of all things, what's next a get started smoking package when they turn 2! The FDA does not care one bit about peoples health, if they did MSG, HFCS, and GMO would be strictly forbidden in all foods! I guess they think cancer and diabetes are good for people, I am disgusted by the FDA

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you so much for saying this; obviously it's something that needs to be said. Recently, I've been looking at the No Harm Foundation site (I'd include the link, but I'm not allowed to--it's a great site, from what I've seen of it so far) Baby formula is something they mention on there, though they don't discuss corn syrup. As I've written on my blog, when using coupons it's best to be wise. Personally, most of my savings in using them is in the way of every day items such toothpaste, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Welcome back! Yes, indeed, details matter on coupons. Here's an example from yesterday! I'm day 13 fasting and I wanted toothpaste with no fluoride, sorbitol or other stuff. That's expensive normally - instead of $6.21 I used $1.44 and two coupons. Then I took my brother out for iced coffee and ice cream across the street from that store and used two coupons and $1.06. So for $2.50 I got a big tube of specialty toothpaste and he got two treats. While out, I got a pound of organic lemons and noticed that stuff I'll want once I'm eating is on sale all month - and I noticed I got a printout coupon for 25% off of if I return within a week that I can use on those. Couponing is in the details...

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for the examples, Cynthia, that apply directly to what I was expressing. It is in the details, as you say. Though coupons may require a person to be somewhat tedious, there certainly is a way to save when using them. I appreciate you taking the time to point this out. And thanks for the welcome back:) Hope you are well.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks! Ahhh... and I benefit from an email from a group I joined at my parish too. That way I don't even need to go thru the coupons, just pull out the Red Plum or Smart Source or whatever from the week specified when I see a "sale plus coupons" special that I want for me or to donate.

  
  about 8 years ago
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