Monday, July 19, 2010

Just read the most uninformed article on couponing ever and it is really irritating me.

You can read it for yourself (with my commentary--you're welcome =). I just really dislike biased, uninformed articles about ANYTHING. This person obviously doesn't understand couponing and probably wasn't the best person to write this article. Anyways.....

****I was remiss not to share that I found this article on my Yahoo homepage AND the lady who wrote this HAS A MONEY SAVING BLOG!!! GAH! ACK!******

8 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Coupons -
8 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Coupons

by Amy Fontinelle

Monday, July 19, 2010

Couponing seems to be a time-tested strategy used by moms everywhere to stretch the household budget. But there are many reasons why using coupons won't necessarily help you come out ahead. Here are eight reasons why the savings generated from coupons aren't always worth the costs of collecting and using them.

1. You have to buy a newspaper.
This doesn't apply to any free coupons you happen to get along with products or in the mail, but once you pay for a newspaper, you've lost money. You then have to make up for that loss by using enough coupons to break even. Then, you have to use even more coupons to come out ahead. And that doesn't even account for the value of the time you spend clipping and organizing them.
***Yes. If you subscribe to the paper it costs you $1 a week. $1. If you clip and use ONE coupon you will break even. If you clip and use two---well you just MADE money! Yes it takes time to sort and organize them--but you are paid for your time in the form of savings. I spend 1 hour a week organizing coupons and routinely save: 50% (up to $50 or more) EACH week at the grocery store and up to 99% at the drugstores! And if you pay attention you can make money in the form of rebates (especially at Rite Aid!).
2. Clipping coupons takes time.
Yes, you can do it while you watch TV and turn "unproductive" time into "productive" time. But there are a lot of things you can do while you watch TV - mop the floor, prepare a week's worth of meals or actually let yourself relax and not do anything for once. Your time might be better spent on another activity.

***First of all, who mops the floor while they watch tv? Second of all tv IS a waste of time (a waste of time that we LOVE =) so why not clip coupons to save money? It's actually kind of a fun activitiy we do together. Sure if you are wealthy and don't need or want to get ALL OF YOUR TOILETRIES AND EVEN DIAPERS for FREE then don't do it. Gah.
3. Getting a newspaper invites lots of additional advertising into your home.
Advertising is powerful stuff - this is part of the reason why companies offer coupons in the first place. You might actually end up buying more stuff by having all those ads around, negating any savings you get from coupons. The same is true if a coupon compels you to venture into a store you wouldn't otherwise visit.

***Yes, advertising IS powerful. So if you don't want it in your home maybe you shouldn't have a tv either! Just sayin'. I will admit that I have bought a few things that I didn't *need* with coupons. I don't think there's anything wrong with that--everything in moderation.

4. Many of the coupons will be for things you neither need nor want.
Unfortunately, coupon circulars aren't customized to your shopping habits. If you are a die-hard bargain hunter, if may be hard for you to turn down a good deal, even if it means buying something you weren't planning on getting anyway. However, from a financial perspective, buying more than you need or want just doesn't make sense.
 ***This is true. There are countless coupons I don't use--but just because you receive a coupon doesn't mean you HAVE to use it. I'm not under *must use this coupon durress* when I go to the store. Sometimes buying more than you need does make sense. If I can get 10 botttles of shampoo and conditioner for free and wont' have to buy ANY MORE for the rest of the year--maybe it's worth storing them! If you spend $5 a month on shampoo and conditioner (5 x 12 = $60! saved!). Wouldn't you rather spend that $60 on a new outfit or something for your house? I would!

5. Coupons can tempt you to spend your grocery dollars on things you shouldn't.
Coupons don't always market the healthiest foods. This might mean that they'll lead you to buy things that aren't very good for you. Anyone can see that clipping coupons that tempt you to purchase sugary cereals and fatty or salty snacks isn't the greatest thing for your health. If your idea of a healthy snack is more "I'll have an apple" and less "I'll just have one serving of potato chips," you're unlikely to find much in the coupon circulars at all that will interest you. The "fruits and veggies" section of your coupon organizer is going to be a lonely place. Do you really want an incentive to bring more junk food into the house? Plus, if you have a monthly grocery budget that you stick to no matter what, coupons will only get you more food or different food - they won't truly save you any money.

**Yes, coupons for non-organic, prepared foods are the MOST plentiful. 1) Not everyone can afford organic. 2) There are coupons for healthy/organic items if you look for them! I also think it's ridiculous that the author asserts you'll save less money using coupons--you can still stick to a budget and use coupons. Duh. It's not rocket science (although, a calculator helps =).

6. The same coupons tend to be offered over and over again.
After a few months of coupon clipping, you'll realize that you're repeatedly clipping the same coupons. This might work for you if you use the same products repeatedly, but it's not so great if you prefer variety and experimentation. You often won't use all the coupons you clip by their expiration date, so you'll have to toss that yogurt coupon that expired on June 30 only to clip another identical one that doesn't expire until July 31. This is time consuming - not to mention aggravating. The redundancy of coupons is especially annoying if the coupons are for items you don't even want to buy.

**If you prefer variety and experimentation you're probalby not a mom with young kids who uses coupons on the same three things the kids will actually eat. Also, you can donate expired coupons to people in the military! The redundancy of this article is especially annoying if you have a brain.

7. You might become a slave to coupons.
It can be very difficult to buy something without a coupon once you get used to using coupons. Knowing that you can get ice cream for $2.50 might make it difficult for you to spend $4 on it even though many times, it would be worth it to spend the extra $1.50 rather than pine for ice cream and cast longing glances at your freezer every night for three weeks until your next coupon arrives. You might also find yourself making more trips to the grocery store in order to purchase things only when you have coupons for them.

**What the what?!?! A slave to coupons. This is the most ridiculous assertion yet. Yes. If something is worth the extra money you better believe I'll spend it. I save so much I don't mind spending more occasionally. Seriously--who turns down the delicious ice cream b/c they forgot their coupon binder? NOT ME!

8. Shopping takes longer.
If you have to hunt up and down the aisles in search of the item you have a coupon for, you'll spend more time at the store. This could also lead you to spend more money, potentially negating the savings you're working so hard to accrue.

**Anything that saves me 50% on what I need to buy is worth the time to me. If you're going to spend 6 hours clipping 1 coupon and saving .30 it's not worth it. But, if you're doing that you have bigger problems than I'm prepared to help you solve.

The Bottom Line
Yes, you can save a lot of money with coupons, especially when you combine them with sales. However, there are some drawbacks to coupons that must be taken into account. Perhaps the most dedicated coupon clippers can overcome these hurdles and still achieve overall savings. If you're not one of them, there's no need to start clipping.

***Is it just me or does this not sound like the final paragraph in a five paragraph essay that you write when you're in 8th grade. Gah. The English teacher inside me in dyyyyyyyyyyyying.


  1. I think you should email this to the author!

  2. I'm wondering who the author is. I've never heard of the source ... how did you run across it?