Author Topic: Is Couponing Still A Thing?  (Read 1570 times)

coachfrigo

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Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« on: March 16, 2018, 09:55:31 AM »
Always trying to save money wherever I can, and I know that many people used to go couponing. I have a few questions:

1. Is it still possible? I know many places have stopped allowing you to double-up coupons. Are there any big chains like Wal-Mart, Sam's, Kroger, etc. that still allow you to?

2. If so, is it worth it? A few hours per week, let's say 12 per month, nets you about $200, far from a great return. At the same time, at least that's not time spent at work to make that money.

3. Lastly, if it's both still effective and worth it, how do you do it? And if maybe going all-out isn't worth it, how do things like iBotta work?

asiljoy

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 10:03:05 AM »
My husband works at Target, which means we get a discount significant enough that we buy 90% of our groceries there. I use their weekly ad to meal plan using items that are on-sale and then stack with Cartwheel/their coupon app; sometimes we use manufacturers coupons if they're already on items we purchase, but not frequently. We bulk purchase stuff like toilet paper/detergent from Costco when that stuff is on sale, but again don't really 'coupon'.

Our family got away from couponing when we realized it was forcing us into eating a lot of prepackaged/crap food because it was 'cheap'. Our grocery budget went down when we stopped doing that and started eating more 'real' food actually.

coachfrigo

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 10:06:19 AM »
Our family got away from couponing when we realized it was forcing us into eating a lot of prepackaged/crap food because it was 'cheap'. Our grocery budget went down when we stopped doing that and started eating more 'real' food actually.

This would be my biggest concern. I mean, I can eat relatively cheap (under $125/mo.) eating things that are good for me and I like (beans, rice, broccoli, sometimes chicken, peanut butter, eggs, etc.).

Khaetra

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 10:34:57 AM »
Not really.  The show Extreme Couponing kind of killed it, plus many of the coupons I see now are a joke, like $.25 off three boxes of Kleenex.  Big savings there! /S

meghan88

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 10:41:58 AM »
Answering from Canada, where we can't do extreme couponing.

I still use them when I can, when it's convenient, and when I actually remember that I have them in my wallet.  I only bother to collect coupons for things we use, such as organic yogurt, cheese, OJ.

Disclosure:  I have sometimes biked the 3 km (one way) back to the store to return and re-purchase items I just bought in order to redeem the coupons I stupidly forgot to use at the time.  Bonus:  6 km additional exercise on the bike!  And a few less coupons in the wallet, not to mention the $ saved.

Your neuroses may vary ...

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 10:55:47 AM »
We do the majority of our grocery shopping at the commissary on a nearby Air Force Base. They will often have bundles of coupons all over the store right next to the product that say they are valid in military stores only. Our typical shopping trip every two weeks is between $250-300 (family of 7) but usually we only end up using 4-5 coupons and saving a few dollars. Most are $0.50-$0.75 off a $3-4 product which isn't bad, but nothing huge. Sometimes if it's a product we buy every time I'll grab 4-5 coupons and we'll use them over the next couple of months.

Sometimes we'll flip through coupons that come in with our junk mail but 9 times out of 10 it's products we're not going to buy anyways (random beauty products, shampoo, pet food, cookies, etc.).

J_Stache

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2018, 11:03:52 AM »
Our family got away from couponing when we realized it was forcing us into eating a lot of prepackaged/crap food because it was 'cheap'. Our grocery budget went down when we stopped doing that and started eating more 'real' food actually.
I watched one episode of Extreme Couponing and came away thinking, "Yeah, you got $500 worth of food for $4, but now you have a lifetime supply of unhealthy cereal in your basement."

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2018, 11:12:03 AM »
1. Yes it is still possible, just not on a huge scale
2. It is worth it if you have a baby or a pet
3. It doesn't have to be time consuming. There are websites that put together the deals for you and tell you exactly where to find the coupons. There are more deals that are not posted on the sites but you quickly reach a point of diminishing returns on your time if you try to chase every deal.

For you I would probably not start getting newspapers, but would look for deals that involve printable coupons and/or rebate apps like  Ibotta. If you shop at Target, get the cartwheel app as well. I got half price ham once  just by using the cartwheel. Start with one or two easy deals until you get the hang of it.


An example of a deal I found: buy 2 packages of Schick razors at Target for 5.99 each, make sure to get 1 men's and one women's. Get a $5 gift card for buying two. Use two $3 coupons from coupons.com. Then submit for two separate $1 ibotta rebates for men's and women's razors . So instead of spending $12 on razors I got two free packages and made $1 (less after sales tax). If I actually need razors it is worth the time.

Sometimes ibotta has a free item, no coupon needed, just buy the item and take a picture of your receipt. These are most common at Walmart.
 You can cash out to PayPal  every time you accumulate $25.

Sites I check are KrazyCoupon Lady, Hip2Save, and Totally Target. Some of the deals posted aren't that great but it is worth it to occasionally find a great deal on diapers or pet food. You can also frequently get shampoo and toothpaste for free, but again, diminishing returns once you have enough.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 11:17:05 AM »
Our family got away from couponing when we realized it was forcing us into eating a lot of prepackaged/crap food because it was 'cheap'. Our grocery budget went down when we stopped doing that and started eating more 'real' food actually.
I watched one episode of Extreme Couponing and came away thinking, "Yeah, you got $500 worth of food for $4, but now you have a lifetime supply of unhealthy cereal in your basement."
I haven't actually seen this show but have heard it was completely unrealistic. Stores were willing to break their own coupon policies just to appear on the show.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 01:58:45 PM »
1 person household here. 

2 things:

1.  I suck at it.  Much better with cc hacks.  Whenever I have coupons, I forget to use them...
2.  Just an opinion:  Most food item coupons are for overpriced processed crapola. 

Cranky

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 02:04:56 PM »
You can get some pretty great deals on non-food items.

I mostly use CVS, as it's within walking distance of my house, and I go every week from about March to November (because that's when the weather is decent enough to enjoy the walk.)

I check the deals site, pull out my coupons and match them up, and I aim for shampoo at $1/bottle or less, and toothpaste at .50/tube or less. I roll my ExtraCare Bucks over every week and they mail other coupons to me. It's not going to make me rich, but it only takes me a few minutes and I get a free walk out of it, too. By the time the weather gets bad I have a bin full of shampoo and body wash and toothpaste, and we're set for the winter.

sparkytheop

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 02:16:15 PM »
I used to be able to easily do some crazy coming stuff, and not just processed crap, but milk, nuts, household goods, etc. Once I got a decent stash, and the show made stores start changing their rules, it got harder.

Now, I check the ads for the stores we have (Fred Meyer and Safeway) and download their digital coupons. FM will send me coins every quarter for things I tend to buy. They'll do $2 off $10 produce purchase, or $2 off in the meat department, stuff like that. They also send a reward coupon for an amount based on prior spending, which is good for most anything.

This week, Safeway has a milk coupon, $1.99/gallon, limit two. I use the digital coupon, and grab a couple ads (they keep them by the front door) do that I can use the coupons from there on a later trip. I make a latte for myself every day, and my son likes milk, so we use quite a bit. Between the coupons and sales to get milk for the same price at FM, I can usually keep it stocked without paying full price.


Laserjet3051

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 02:29:34 PM »
Yes, it is.

But I don't let coupons that I come across influence WHAT I buy. Coupons influence WHEN I buy things. I know what I want in terms of food, clothing, services, etc and will wait to acquire such goods/services when the price plummets due to sales and coupons. Combining a good coupon with a solid sale price gets me lower prices consistently. By signing up for "email alerts" on many retailer/manufacturer web sites will land you an additional solid coupon, which can often be combined with other coupons and sales. Recycle this approach with a different email account to get multiple coupons as you need them. Then combining the sales and coupon approach with a 5% cash rewards back for using my credit card even further deepens the savings. Tactical approach like this is working well for me.

Rosy

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 05:51:15 PM »
Every little bit helps and adds up over time, but we do keep time and reward in mind for the selective couponing we do.
When coffee is BOGO plus I have a $2.50 coupon on top - it's a good deal.
When Mr. R. spots one of his fav beers on sale and I have an extra $1 coupon - it's a good thing.

We cut coupons from the paper over Sunday coffee (10 min max). We usually accumulate 2 weeks worth. Then put all those 25 and 50 cent coupons in an envelope to keep handy in the car. When coffee and tea and our favorite oatmeal gets low I do occasionally look for coupons online. (5 min tops).

Mr. R. uses expensive eyedrops for dry eye - recommended by his doctor. So I went online and found that the mfg gives out $3 coupons every three months - which is about how long the bottle lasts. $12 annually - not bad.

There are a couple of good apps like Ibotta and Receipt Hog that will eventually net you $25 - takes a while though. Be great to have your kids involved in the apps...

sparkytheop

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Re: Is Couponing Still A Thing?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 08:05:26 PM »
Oh, I didn't think of it earlier, but I use coupons a ton for fabric shopping.  I try to never buy anything at Joann's at full retail, but take advantage of sales and coupons.