I've just recently started cutting coupons. Before, I felt as though cutting coupons wouldn't really save me all that much money and was a pain to do. Plus my mother never cut coupons when we were growing up so I just never thought to either. Since couponing has become sort of the "rage" for mom's around here lately I decided to give it a shot.
The first step was buying a Sunday newspaper. The Sunday paper includes all the price savers and grocery store ads which are key in coupon cutting (so I hear). I scanned all the ads and coupons hoping to find things that are on my shopping list. I cut appx 10 coupons that were worth about 75 cents to 1 dollar a piece. I then went online and joined a couponing club at http://www.coupons.com/. I had to do a little download to make my printer "coupon compatible" and then I was all set. I looked through the coupons offered on the website, but didn't find anything that I needed. I don't want to become one of those couponing hoarders who have 2,000 tubes of toothpaste stock piled in their basement. I promised myself I would only use coupons on items I need, not just buy things in order to use coupons.
The next step was shopping. I do my shopping on Monday's so yesterday I decided to try Schnucks since they advertise "Double Coupons." I brought my usual list into the store, with items listed in order according to the store's layout, that I described to you here. I kept all my coupons in a little plastic baggy.
Shopping started out pretty well, but every time I came to an item on my list that I had a coupon for, I had to open the baggy and double check the coupon to make sure the size was compatible or make sure I had the brand name down. I accidentally picked up a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch and then had to go put it back when I realized my coupon was $1 off Kraft Ranch Dressing. So, needless to say my grocery shopping didn't go as smooth as usual. Once I got to the checkout line, I didn't know if I should put the coupons with the items on the counter, so I asked. The friendly cashier said that they just scanned all the coupons at the end - Genius! So after all my items had been bagged I handed the cashier my coupons. I couldn't wait to see how much I'd saved, especially since Schnucks doubles coupons! Turns out, actually Schnucks only doubles coupons that are for 50 cents off or less, and all my coupons were worth more than that so I didn't benefit at all from the double couponing. I could have gone to Wal-Mart and probably saved a little bit more overall, but oh well. My total savings ended up being $9.75. Not as thrilling as I thought it would be, but still, that's 10 bucks.
Couponing is probably worth it. If you're going to buy an item anyway, why not use a coupon? I don't plan to spend hours every week scanning the newspaper for coupons I can use, but if I'm already reading the paper, I will probably start cutting a couple coupons every once in awhile. And as far as the coupon website, I'll probably just check it the day I do my shopping. If there's anything worth cutting, then I will.
What about you? Do you frequently use coupons? Do you feel it's beneficial and worth your time?