Clipping coupons may pay off after all
One of the universal tenants of Lazy Man and Money is, well, laziness. I try to find ways that I can maximize my dollar without sacrificing quality – or at least finding a good balance in value for my dollar. One of the things that I’ve been against in the past is coupons. I simply didn’t see the value in buying a Sunday newspaper (I get my news for free online), and spending time clipping coupons. The coupons are always for brand name products, which cost more than generics. I figure that by the time I’m done using coupons, I’m back to paying the price I was before.
Things changed two weeks ago. On a Sunday shopping trip a representative of the local newspaper offered a free edition of the Sunday paper. It was part of a promotion to get people to sign up for the long term. I was about to reject it as I had no real intention of reading it, when I realized that it’s worth looking for the coupons. You see, I’ve started shopping at military commissaries, because their prices for most brand name products are even cheaper than generics at my closest grocery store. Suddenly coupons have value because generics are no longer the cheapest option for me.
On Tuesday, I set out to the commissary with a pile of coupons in hand. I was a little overwhelmed, it was difficult keeping each coupon straight. It was also difficult finding and matching up all the coupons. I ended up spending twenty minutes more than I normally would have. I also ended up with a lot of non-perishables. I don’t think we’ll need toothpaste for quite a few months. My final savings at the end, $6.90. I felt I should have saved more, but when I look back on it, a number of the coupons weren’t for expensive things. In the future, I’ll look more for coupons that deliver bigger savings.
I think if I’m going to continue to use coupons, I’ll have to start buying coupons on Ebay. I don’t think I want to spend the time clipping them myself. Plus I’d rather not buy a newspaper I won’t read.