What do you think of coupons?

With food prices rising so quickly, I thought I would look into using grocery coupons more often. I usually print out coupons for a few items (7th generation products, for example) and peruse the market's advertisements before making my grocery list/weekly menu. This usually saves me a few bucks on groceries. Some people save a LOT of money (or even get free groceries) by using coupons at different stores.

The more I read about these coupon divas, the more I realize it's not for me. It seems like a full time job: hunting for all the coupons, figuring out which products you need, which stores accept competitors' coupons or have double coupons, driving around to different stores, etc. And honestly, it seems like most of the coupons are for processed foods, paper products, and toiletries.

For now, I'm sticking to my regular plan- coupons that I come across without much searching, shopping the sale items or store brands, and sticking to my list (the biggest money saver!). If anyone has tried heavy coupon use and found that it really is worth the trouble, do tell!


nea said...

the only time coupons have paid off for me is with monthly free-after-rebate programs. i have been thinking i should post about this, actually. walgreens, for example, is one of several stores that offers free after rebate items monthly. pair the item with a coupon and you get money back, even after tax is taken out. mostly toiletry items and you have to be brand neutral. otherwise, store brands are generally cheaper for us, or shopping at bulk places like costco. we generally just don't buy the products they make coupons for!

BookyG said...

I don't use coupons as much as I comparison shop. For example, our big chain grocery store will ocassionally have deals that make purchasing items, liked canned corn, great! But if you go in when those cans are not on sale, you are hosed. But the locally owned, smaller grocery shop has regular prices that beat the chain, though they can't compete with the sales prices. We also have a Smart &
Final that sells in bulk, but it isn't necessarily cheaper. I always look at the ounce price on everything. I think Nea taught me that.

What has actually really distressed me, is that I've spent 30% less on food over the last two months because I stopped cooking. (pregnancy nausea) I go out more, which isn't cheaper, but Tom and I have had a lot of dinners of cheese and crackers. I know cheese isn't cheap, but it is cheaper than potroast.