Couponing: Essential budget skill or time waster?

Do you clip coupons and shop for deals, or do you find it to be too time consuming for your lifestyle?

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21  Answers

2 0

I have used coupons I used to everything clip online, buy two sunday papers, register for every company like (p&g, or Kelloggs) we would average at about $35 but I would find that we weren't really saving we would buy stuff we wouldn't need or use or buy more of things we didn't need. Lately, I have stopped entirely. I have limited use on meats and cheeses which get expensive. I usually buy meat in bulk. As far as cheese I have cut back on it as my husband has so I only get what my daughter will eat in two weeks. I stopped buying my daughter tons of crackers and cookies, and opted more buying of fruits and veggies. I started to make my own breads, pancakes, biscuits and pizaa dough from scratch. Which costs less than buying all of the premade stuff. A buy a little more frozen veggies and canned fruits or dry fruits for snacks on the go instead of buying cookies or junk at a gas station for my daughter. I also make our own travel bars with fruit and nuts as well as fruit leather for my daughter (like roll-ups) but with real fruit and real juice that you make, all of this has kept us in a good shopping cost window. Also, I always have a list that has meals in it and add two extra ones like hamburger helper or something that I can make easy if I really don't wan to cook that night. You have to stick to the list of what you will be needing. Otherwise you end up buying stuff. I have found that if you go shopping on a empty stomach you buy things you don't need. I always carry a water bottle with me too. Just so I don't get the urge to buy a sugary drink there at the store. But, simple things like this has done more for my budget than couponing. Hope some of this helps

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0 0

how did you make your travel bars and fruit leather--would love the receipe. Please send to emmy0719@si.rr.com Thanks so much!

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0 9

It takes more time than it is worth. I buy store brands which all ready reduced price anyway.

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13 0

I started clipping coupons about 4 months ago and I save a ton of money. I get two L.A. Times delivered every Sunday and buy two more on an especially good week. I also print coupons online, mostly at coupons.com. I save about 30-40% at the grocery store (mainly exclusively Vons now). I save about 80-90% of household stuff such as toilet paper, paper towels, feminine products, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. I buy those things from Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. I spend a few hours a week clipping coupons, filing them and planning shopping trips. It is a lot of time but I consider it my contribution to our family since I don't work outside the home. We've cut our grocery bill in half and are able to buy a lot more "extras".

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7 1

I do clip coupons but also find that I am not really saving the money that I should be for the time I spend clipping. I live in east central Florida and we do not have stores in this area that double or triple coupons. I also find that most of the coupons in the circulars are for items that I do not use. It's great if people can save tons of cash but it just doesn't work for me most of the time.

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1 6

I am in south Central Florida and sadly I have found much the same thing. I used to clip a lot more coupons than I do now. I find very few coupons worth using, its all for processed prepackaged junk & convenience food and disposable products. Things that I remember buying 20 years ago are all full of garbage now. We don't eat this kind of stuff. I don't have the time to run to Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Publix each week to save a little more at one store for just a few convenience foods & disposable things. I have seen some of the things in the CVS & Walgreens ads are close to free but I will see 1 or 2 things in the ad we can use and its just usually not worth it. The coupons I see are always for overpriced brand name products. I buy generics whenever it is a better price, the Publix bogo sales have been great and occassionally I will have a few coupons. I do buy things that we use a lot in bulk especially at Costco where I save a huge amount of money when I stock up. We buy a lot of fruits, veggies, beans, meat, etc. I cook a lot, more than I would like to but I feel I have to.

1 0

I find that in Canada, you can't save money like in the US. Our stores don't offer double coupons or stacking. Most of the coupons are for items that are at a premium price, I can get store brands cheaper. Or they're for 'convenience' items I don't use (shave gel, frozen meals, dryer sheets, junk food). I save by shopping store specials, cooking from scratch, reducing the proportion of meat and cheese in meals, and minimizing the use of health and cleaning products (you don't need more than a couple tablespoons of laundry detergent for a load, you don't need more toothpaste than the size of a pea).

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4 4

I totally agree Evelyn- we don't have nearly the access to coupons here in Canada that they have in the U.S. I wish we did. I have signed up for a couple of sites with printable coupons that I DO use- and save $20.- $30. a week , but would love it if they still did have double and triple the coupon values

1 15

I put mine in a small tote and take them with me the one day a week when I have to pick-up my kids at school. I have to wait in line in my vehicle so I usually clip the coupons while I wait. I keep my coupon envelopes in a ziploc bag so if I have time, I put the coupons in each envelope, but if not, I put them in the ziploc and sort them when I have a little extra time. I try to use them when I can but if not, I would have waited in line doing nothing anyhow so it's not really a waste of my time.

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8 51

Where do you find your coupons? Where do you buy your groceries?

1 6

I personally clip coupons, I have lost my job and do what I can to save us money. I'm NOT an extreme couponer. My husband appreciates my efforts. It can be time consuming but I try to clip and organize myself in about an hr once a week

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1 0

The coupons that appear most often in our paper/mail are for things we would never use -- sugared cereals, frozen meals, prepared meal mixes. Or we can get a better deal at Costco. I bring my coupons to the library and let someone else use them.

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0 0

I used to think clipping coupons wasn't worth it. Here's the thing, you can't be brand specific. If you like a certain kind of razor, you'll have to give that up. BUT, you can get razors that are normally $13.00 for $1.50. I certainly think that's worth the time to clip! :) To get started you should find ONE good coupon blog & buy what they say are the best deals. Trust them, they've been doing it for a long time. :) I only use coupons on things that are on sale & offer "cash back" type rewards like at Walgreens or CVS. When I can get toothpaste, toothbrushes & deodorant for FREE, that helps my budget! :)

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8 51

Where do you find your coupons? Where do you buy your groceries?

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0 6

I have been clipping coupons for over a year now. I find that its saves tons of money for us. We've recently been able to get our shopping bills down from $73 to $17 on everyday items such as Body soap, deodorant, toothpaste, hair products & baby essentials. And our grocery bill down from $168 to $64. And being that we have a large family we have to make sure every penny counts. Our stock pile has us set until the end of 2012. I am surely not an extreme couponer by any means but I have learned a few tricks from watching the show on TLC. It can be very time consuming but I tend to clip whenever my toddler is down for his nap or on Sunday's while my Hubby is home to help w/ the kiddies.

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8 51

Where do you find your coupons? Where do you buy your groceries?

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0 12

I have been using cupons for a cople of months now and i have been paying close attention to the adds at different stores. i ususally do my clipping on sunday aftrnoon while watching a movie and wednesday afternoons. yes is time consuming, but i feel good about myself i have saved from 15% to 90% depending on the items and the cupons. Walgreens allows you to use their cupons even if is not for item u are buying. I can say that from june to now i have saved a few hundred dollars. i have bought items that i do not use for the sake of savings but i have given the item to a friend or exchanged it for something that i can use an either way it pays off. my friends like it some are embarrased to used cupons and other forget to use them or they just think that is to much hassel. i save on everything book stores, movies, dinning, fast food, groceries, toletries i mean everything. im not an extreme cuponers eventhough my friends think so. i got this way ever since i knew that i was at risk of lossing my job theres being a lot of laying off so im not there yet but when it happens im prepered. oh! by the way the money that i have been saving on cupons i open a saving acount and i have been saving what i saved in cupons believe me is a good amount n if u can u should try it. this is going to become our vacation money so far so good.

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2 47

I do clip coupons. My family consists of my sister, her spouse, myself and my son. Generally we have a pretty sizable grocery bill, so I get the Sunday paper and clip away every week. I only cut out what we might use. I'm not an extreme couponer, but in the past couple weeks, we have saved a few hundred dollars on our groceries, which is a huge help to us. Every family is looking for ways to stretch their paychecks, so for us, it's just a simple thing we can do to make our money go a little further.

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13 0

DealHijack.com is a good place to start saving money. It collects best deals and coupons from different sources for your local city and shows them on one page.

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9 0

I no longer get the paper for coupons b/c it seemed I would buy too many things that I didn't really need. Instead, I look thru my store's weekly circular to see what's on special that I would normally buy. I write those items down, then go to eBay and type in a search for coupons of that item. They are usually sold in batches of 20 and you can get them for $1 - 3.00. They come to me in the mail and I take them with me the following week . For instance, my kids like to eat Campbell's Chunky soups for after school snack. They're usually $2.00 a can. My store was running a special on them for $1.00 a can, so I found coupons for them on eBay for save $1.00 off 2. That means I got them for 50 cents a can. It's really been helping a lot.

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9 8

i have been using coupons for 6 months now and i have bought about 4500 dollars worth of groceries and only paid 25.00 i love it. however i buy only what i need always..

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0 4

I clip coupons,from paper ,internet and magazines and price match with ads. But I do not buy extra
papers for coupons,it seems it's always the same product. Make-up,dog food,vitamins and etc.
The things I want and need are food(not 3 of them either)cleaning supplies.I'm talking flour,sugar &etc.
Our Walmart will not let us use a manufactured coupon if it has another store name on it.I do write some companies for coupons and do good that way. I have noticed the internet coupons expire sooner then others. I have to drive 30 minutes to nears store so I don't run around to other towns to get a good deal because I would use all the gas to get there. I do a 1 day run,Dr. groceries & etc ,that's how I save. I cook from scratch,have a garden and we buy a side of beef from neighbors .
back to coupons,I save about enough to pay the tax at end of receipt. I think you can buy more using coupons,you see one and think I might like that but in truth you don't really need it.
Thank you
Barbara

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0 23

I started couponing about 3 months ago and wouldnt have it any other way. Time consuming - yes - but completely worth it. Im saving upwards of 40-45% each week on groceries. I am careful not to buy things "just because" I have a coupon and only stock things with a long shelf life that I know I will use. I think its important to have a routine so I get the papr 1st thing Sunday morning, I buy one, go in my car and look them over, if they are "great" I go and buy another paper, if not, no sense in buying 2. I go home, cut them out, organize them in my binder, get all of the local flyers for grocery stores/CVS ect, match the sales with the coupons and me and hubby are off! I also print coupons online! SO I have to say, definitely an essential budget skill for me!

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3 0

has anyone in Canada found somewhere that they take double coupons? i think this is the only way you can really save, otherwise it's just one dolar here or there and on stuff you wouldnt normally buy. it's dumb!

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0 0

Jeana, The key to saving money in Canada with coupons (or anywhere for that matter) is to use those coupon in combination with a sale. never buy things at full price unless it is absolutely needed and stock up on stuff you use when you do find it at a great price. I just started "couponing" a few months ago and I found mrsjanuary.com and savealoonie.com to be great resources in getting started. Mrs.January even goes through all the flyers each week and does coupon match-ups and weekly meat and produce deals, all you have to do is look at the lists, pick out what you use and go!

13 40

You really don't save as much as you can with coupons unless you combine them with the store sales and use them as stores that double them. Also combining manufacturers and store coupons with store sales saves you even more money. Many times I'm able to save 40% on by grocery bill. I also subscribe to coupon blogs such as southernsavers.com. She tells me where the coupons are, where the sales are, and what coupons are coming out in the newspaper. The only part I have to do is clip, print, and use. No need to search.

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0 4

Why do you need to download to get coupons?

1 0

Waste of time. Can't find them when I need them, don't want as many as they want me to buy, find the right one & it is expired...takes too much time fumbling with them & shopping with my preschooler...huge headache!

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24 7

As evelyn stated, we don't save that much in Canada, and I find most coupons are for items I don't need, or don't need much of. I quickly go through coupon books and clip what I usually will use such as detergent, a favourte brand of jam, that sort of thing and carry it in my little coupon folder. But in the end, it probably only saves me a few dollars a month. I save more from the sales savings of loyalty cards and sales. I remember about 25 years ago, coupon clipping was much more useful.

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4 12

After being a huge couponer, I have started limiting myself to only those things that i absolutely need and has a long shelf life. Have found out that if i have a coupon i tend to spend more money than if I don't have one in my possession. Without the coupons I am buying groceries and I then make things from scratch (muffins, biscuits, cookies, bread, scratch meals) and that is saving us more in the long run. We are now unemployed 6 months and the scratch method is working better for us, and I have to say that i think it is healther too. My husband and daughter complain about not having the convenience foods (potato chips, soda, things we should not eat anyway) but they just have to get over it. That's the way it is.

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0 10

I used to do couponing and saved a lot of money, but it was so time-consuming and frustrating for me that I finally gave up. If I could figure out how to do it and not spend so much time on it and have so many issues with it, I might do it again. One issue I had was that on sites like SouthernSavers.com (as well as other sites), it would tell me there was a coupon for an item, but when I'd look in the coupon flyer from my local paper, it wouldn't be there. Then when I would try to print coupons from online, I had to fill out a bunch of information to "sign up" with that company and then about half the time it wouldn't give me a coupon after spending all that time. I like the suggestions I've seen for making things from scratch and saving money that way. I am a very convenience-oriented person, though, so it will be hard to get used to, but I think I'll give it a try.

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