An article called “8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Coupons” appeared on Yahoo Personal Finance yesterday and a few of my friends sent me the link. Some use coupons, some don’t, but most agreed that the reasons stated aren’t very good.
Here are my thoughts on the author’s reasons for not using coupons:
1. You have to buy a newspaper.
The Sunday paper is $2. That $2 investment typically can save me $50 at the grocery store. I think that’s a pretty good return. Bonus: I enjoy reading the newspaper.
2.Clipping coupons takes time.
I only spend about 20 to 30 minutes a week clipping coupons, and, yes, I watch tv while I’m doing it. Sure, I could “mop the floor, prepare a week’s worth of meals or actually let yourself relax and not do anything for once,” but I think it’s a very productive use of my time. I probably save about $1 per minute I spend clipping coupons. My full-time job doesn’t get me 60 bucks an hour.
3.Getting a newspaper invites lots of additional advertising into you home.
Apparently the author doesn’t watch tv, listen to the radio, drive down the highway or surf the internet. Advertising is everywhere, but I’m happy to invite the newspaper into my home because it provides me with advertising that saves me money.
4. Many of the coupons will be for things neither need nor want.
From food to toiletries, almost everything I use each day was purchased with a coupon. If I don’t want something, the coupon does not force me to buy it. When a coupon can get me something for free that I don’t necessarily need, I can donate it to charity.
5. Coupons can tempt you to spend your grocery dollars on things you shouldn’t.
I love that coupons help me spend less on organic and natural foods. If anything, coupons give me extra incentive to buy healthy foods that I may otherwise shrug off as too expensive.
6. The same coupons tend to be offered over and over again.
Yes, this is true, and it’s a great thing! When I run out of a product for something I use often, I’m happy to have a coupon to replenish it. I’m always going to need things like toothpaste, lotion, cereal and yogurt, so keep the coupons coming. Plus, I only clip coupons when I’m ready to use the item, so I’ve never wasted time clipping coupons I don’t need.
7. You might become a slave to coupons.
I prefer to use a coupon when I can, but I’m not going to avoid buying something just because I don’t have a coupon. I’ve never gotten stressed over paying full-price for something that I really wanted. Knowing that something goes on sale about once every six weeks makes me plan ahead, so I can stock up on items I regularly use AND buy them with a coupon during my (once) weekly trip to the grocery store.
8. Shopping takes longer.
I take a few minutes to plan my trips to the store and that translates into quicker trips for me. I use my list and it never takes me longer than 30 minutes to get in and out, coupons and all.
Coupons are worth my time! I made a trip to CVS earlier this week and got $28.85 worth of stuff or exactly 60 cents. It took me 10 minutes to clip coupons and 5 minutes shopping in the store to save almost $30, and I enjoyed the process. I understand that using coupons isn’t for everyone, but they can result in huge savings.