To Clip or Not to Clip?

Happy Shopper

Dad goes to the grocery store.
Dad goes to the grocery store.

One Afternoon in the Hub Forums . .

Some poor, unsuspecting Hubber asked whether or not it was a good idea to clip coupons.

The first answerer stated that she did sometimes clip coupons, but didn't get into it a lot.

The second answerer wrote ---- in a similar vein --- that she clipped coupons sometimes, especially for baby things --- by which, I surmised, she might have had a baby in her household.

(Hey, am I a great detective, or what? And you've been wondering why I read and review all those cozy mystery novels.)

I Agree, But . . .

I agree with the two previous answers.

I do clip coupons once in a while, but most coupons I've seen are for things I could never use anyway.

Or, could never afford, even with the coupon.

Or, don't even need, like, or want.

I also find that lots of times the generic or store brand is a better deal without a coupon.

Sometimes I do only want the name brand, for certain things that I'm used to and like a lot. Coupons are good for that. It depends on the item --- and on how much I like something.

With some high-quality, name brand coupon items --- which are few and far between --- you have to be careful, because they have a very short expiration date.

What Are They Trying to Prove?

I've had the misfortune of standing at the checkout counter while the shopper in front of me had so many coupons, that the "savings" ended up coming out to over one hundred dollars ($100) or something (seemingly) awesome.

I say "misfortune" because the bill would still be some astronomical amount, like two hundred ($200) or so, and it was way too much to carry, and it looked like some of it might melt before they got home, and it looked like a bunch of pre-pack and prepared foods that aren't so good anyway.

Had it been a contest to see how many coupons one could clip and use in a day, these folks might have won it. But, really, I just felt that it wasn't such a useful exercise as far as the real world goes.

Don't forget that expiration date!!

I've never used this program before, as you can probably tell :-)
I've never used this program before, as you can probably tell :-) | Source

Two For One - "Buy one, get one free" - BOGO

I appreciate two for one (BOGO) sandwiches and things like that, for certain low-price restaurant or sub chains.

I depend on the bus for transportation, so I have to think about which restaurants or fast-food joints are on the routes of the buses that I use.

The thing you want to look at, most, in your whole assessment is --- value.

Bless this bus driver's heart.
Bless this bus driver's heart. | Source

What Has the Most Value For You?

Right now?

Today?

It's not just about money, either. It's about what has the most value to you right now.

You want to look at time, nutrition, how much you like or enjoy a thing, how much storage space you may have, what kind of transportation you're using . . . etc.

Sometimes I even factor in what the working conditions are at a particular grocery store, or how much I can carry on the bus. Just be sure to include all the things that make a difference in your own life. Otherwise, you won't be really making the best decision FOR YOURSELF and your family. That's the most important thing.

Source

Too Many Coupons?

I buy a lot of locally-grown and raised foods, also. The best coupon for those is to get to know the farmers and have a relationship with them. They usually give lots of nice discounts to regulars anyway.

And --- the main thing --- this way, you know exactly where your food is coming from, how it was raised or grown. If you have any questions, you can ask the farmer directly.

No Cold Cereal

Many coupons are for cold cereals.

Cold cereals are already grossly overpriced, so it can be tempting to use coupons for cold cereals. We've been conditioned --- by cereal companies --- to believe cold cereal is good for us. I used to believe that the main problems with cold cereal is the sugar that is added to them, or perhaps the artificial coloring.

Those are problems, also, but the Weston A. Price Foundation believes that the extrusion process by which cold cereals are made renders the cereal very unhealthy, no matter what grain the cereal is made of, and no matter how little sugar is on it.

My most humiliating coupon story.

This story is highly indicative of what can happen when one goes crazy for coupons.

This story is also very embarrassing, because I am the perpetrator of this mischief myself. I can't point the finger at another idiot.

I was the only idiot involved in this lunacy.

Embarrassed by My Own Stupidity!

Once, I had a store coupon from a flyer in the store, which I combined with a manufacturer's coupon from the Sunday supplement in the paper.

I was very proud of myself when I realized I could combine these two coupons, and get two boxes of Hamburger Helper for eighty-three cents (0.83¢.)

I did not have any cash with me, so I wrote a check for the 0.83¢

Unfortunately, I only had about eighty-one cents (0.81¢) in my account when that check hit.

Those two boxes of Hamburger Helper ended up costing me, all told ---- due to overdraft fees from the bank AND the store, plus other fines and fees --- more than $120.

By that time, the mere thought of Hamburger helper made me sick with shame and regret, but I realized throwing them away would have made the cost even higher: $120.83.

So, I had to cook and eat those two boxes of Hamburger Helpers--- along with a large helping of crow.

My dear friend, the crow.

Actually, I love crows. I'd never eat one. They are the most highly evolved of all birds. Some researchers have even concluded that crows can count!! I think it might be true. I've heard it.
Actually, I love crows. I'd never eat one. They are the most highly evolved of all birds. Some researchers have even concluded that crows can count!! I think it might be true. I've heard it. | Source

Make your own.

What exactly IS Hamburger Helper anyway?

If you boil some egg noddles, sauté some burger meat, then mix them both with some sauce (which you can also make by mixing some flour in melted butter, then gradually mixing in some liquid while stirring) --- you got yourself a nice stovetop one-dish meal, just like Hamburger Helper, but without the packaging, or preservatives, MSG, artificial flavors, colors, energy for shipping, et al

I really don't have anything against Hamburger Helper (well, ok, except the preservatives and MSG) I just like to keep things simple --- and cheap.

Please don't think I'm saying coupons are bad.

Below is a nice couponing website by a young mom with three kids, to prove that I don't think coupons are bad.

It's a matter of balance. Use them wisely and well.

Perhaps this young mom can help with that. She has a free newsletter you can sign up for.

More by this Author


Comments 19 comments

frugalfamily profile image

frugalfamily 5 years ago from Houston, TX

I'm glad I was able to spark a new hub for you! I was actually after all of the blocks people have that are keeping them from saving money. Today was my second shopping trip involving coupons. I actually saved $40 on things I ALREADY BUY...none of it cereal. Shampoo and toothbrushes were among the free items we got this time around. I thank you for the miriad of objections, I'm sure to answer one or two in my book:)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, I always seem to collect coupons and stuff them in my bag! everytime I forget to use them, and by the time it comes to using them, they are out of date! lol I really must try to use them and save money, and I am sure you are totally right about breakfast cereal, by the time they have cleaned it, disinfected etc there is nothing left! don't eat it myself, just toast, cheers nell


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Hey, thanks, Nell, for reading and for commenting.

LOL, yes, I do the same thing --- let the coupons expire before I use them :-((

. . . Another reason I have to be very selective about what I clip in the first place.

Yes, I have also stopped eating breakfast cereal, as well. I agree about the toast. It's great with coffee or tea.

I feel kind of bad about all the cold cereal I fed my kids when they were little, thinking about the "convenience". I realize now that it used to give us all tummy aches --- which we always blamed on other sources.

Take care, Nell. Thanks again for commenting, dear. It's always so nice to hear from you.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I am not very consistent with using coupons - sometimes I can save loads and loads, and other times I just don't want to mess with them. I love it when I can use $100 worth of coupons! I agree with you, though, that it is about the value. How much is your time worth, and how much do you want the item? Each person has placed a different value on these things, and for me, it varies day to day.


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Thanks for the comment, MT. Yes, it does vary from day to day, I agree. I would also be ticked pink to use $100 worth of coupons on stuff I really needed, wanted, loved, and used --- and if I had a way of getting it home. LOL


2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

So people are addicted to couponing, I see them in the market, with their binders of coupons! It is really a savings if you are buying 10 of something you don't usually buy? I always forget them or leave them home. For those to use them. How many cans of raviolios dose one need?


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Yes!! Thank you. That's my point, exactly.

So glad you stopped by to read my Hub, 2besure. Thanks for your comment.


ReemBymnfam 3 years ago

When i used to acquire high on lifestyle yet of late We have piled up a resistance.


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Thanks for your comment, ReemBymnfam. I feel the same :-)

Thanks for reading my Hub.


frugalfamily profile image

frugalfamily 3 years ago from Houston, TX

Huntgoddes, you need to delete her comment. It is porn.


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Dear frugalfamily, OMG!! So sorry I did not see your comment before. Thanks so much for telling me. I deleted it.

I mean, I deleted the comment from Futamarka.

I probably should have noted the IP first?

Thanks again, dear. So sorry.

So, you know Russian? Nice.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas

I used to be that person with a wad of coupons at the checkoout. I never bought anything just to use the coupon. If it isn't something you will use it isn't a savings. If it's still more costly than other similar brand products after all is said and done, it isn't a bargain.

Grocers used to double and triple coupons. Then there was the mail in rebate and yes, the postage and cost of the envelope has to be considered. Many a time I carried products out of the store that were not only free, but I was actually paid to take them out.

I never had hundreds of dollars in coupons at any one time. Maybe $20 at one grocery visit and usually between $30-50 a month in savings total. I never used a coupon just because I had one.

Couponing isn't what it once was so far as I can tell. No more doubling and tripling to my knowledge. I no longer buy or cook for a family. There's only me, and once in a while I use a coupon, but I don't hunt for coupons anymore and I don't do rebates, etc. For just one person, there aren't that many deals out there. I probably use half a dozen coupons a year these days.

It was great while it lasted, but I think manufacturers determined that it wasn't really getting them more long term customers and and so I don't think they push coupons anymore like they used to. Then again, since I'm out of it, I may just not be aware that they are . . .

Manufacturers try to cultivate loyalty and that just doesn't work well with couponing if a person wants to really take advantage. Loyalty is discouraged in order to benefit the most from coupons. Same is true in just taking advantage of sales.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas

Coupons can save if the product is something a person was going to buy anyway. If it won't be used or if it is being purchased for the sake of using a coupon, then it makes no sense to buy it.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 21 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

You make some really good points here. I only clip the coupons for things I already use, otherwise I spend money on things I don't use or like.


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 21 months ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Au fait: First of all, dear, you are NOT "out of it." Please do not think that about yourself.

You are a great, intelligent, insightful writer, and your Hubs help all of mankind.

Regarding the coupons, I do know exactly what you mean. Things are all weirdly different now. I do occasionally glance at the coupons from the Sunday supplements --- when I can afford to buy the Sunday paper! LOL There is almost never anything I want or need.

I have to try to give them away to people who might use them, or sometimes I just leave them in the grocery store shelf. Not sure if that's ok? (Well, who is going to stop me, right?)

I prefer to buy in bulk from those "hippy" stores where you take your own container and fill it up.

So nice to hear from you, dear Au fait.

Have a great St. Pat's Day!


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 21 months ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Dear sgbrown, Thanks for stopping by to read my Hub, and thanks for your comment.

Yes, I think that is the main thing --- what you use and like.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean

I am among these who shop for most items for which there are no coupons. Your insights are very wise, in my opinion.


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 19 months ago from Midwest U.S.A. Author

Thanks so much, Ms. Dora, for the great compliment. You are very wise yourself, dear, so that is quite an honor.

I do think that is probably the best way to shop anyway. You actually probably get better savings in the long run.

Just buy real food and cook at home. It's fresher anyway, and no preservatives are needed.


gepeTooRs 7 months ago

Excellent weblog here! Additionally your website rather a lot up fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate link for your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working