Poll: Do You Use Coupons When Grocery Shopping?

The news continues to showcase stories of people having trouble with the rising food prices, and one common theme that is showing up is the use of coupons. Unfortunately, the media usually uses a headline with words like creative ways or resorting to when talking about the measures people take to save money. These almost always include something as simple as using coupons.

Have we really gotten to a point where people thought negatively of using coupons and that having to “resort to” using them is a sacrifice or bad thing to be seen doing? I just find it odd that people might easily wait to buy something until it goes on an advertised sale, but the thought of clipping out a small piece of paper to save money is something out of the ordinary.

That being said, we are not avid coupon users. While I do flip through the weekend paper to see if there is anything we might be able to use, I generally only find a useful coupon or two every few weeks. But I’ve heard some talk about coupon websites where people can print off their own. I haven’t really looked into this, but I’m sure a lot of you know about, or have used these sites in the past. If you know of any, please share in the comments below. Otherwise, the poll is simple: do you use coupons or not?

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Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle

My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

20 comments
Nicole
Nicole

Chad- We just get Sunday delivery and it's $1 a week delivered to my front door. I save WELL over $1 a week in the coupons I obtain from it. I reuse the paper to wash my windows. Win, Win.

Jason Simon
Jason Simon

My mom is known as the Coupon Queen, but I haven't caught on yet. I shop at Trader Joes, and I'm actually not sure if they accept coupons. I recently wrote a post with some of the tips she provided me.

Connie Smith
Connie Smith

Coupons at clothing retailers really pay off. Some of these don't mark things down and to pay full price would be absurd. However, at the grocery store it sometimes feels like you put more work in looking for the coupon and remembering to take them to the store than it adds up in savings.

Genesis Bible
Genesis Bible

HMMM ... I WOULD HAVE TO SAY NO ... IT TAKES TOO MUCH TIME TO GET THEM OUT AND STUFF ... BUT I DO USE THE STORE CARD AND STUFF

Urban Frugal
Urban Frugal

I use coupons whenever and wherever I can. I agree with the other commenters who have said fresh vegetables and meats do not have coupons. But personal items and cereals often have coupons available. Even if you can’t save on fresh food items there are other things that you can money on.

I quickly go through the coupons on Sunday and then check the stores I shop for additional savings. If I have to spend too much or make a larger purchase than I would normally make, then I skip the coupon.

If you are a hobbyist, some supplies can be bought less expensively with coupons.

http://www.urbanfrugal.com

komodo dragon
komodo dragon

i will admit that i do dot use coupons ... they are a bit of a hassle.

Jeremy
Jeremy

You know, I never knew how important it was to have Jif peanut butter until just recently. We're not huge PB eaters, so a jar lasts quite a while. Well, the last one we bought was just a store brand, and at the time it seemed just fine. But last week, Jif was on sale, so I picked that up instead. One taste, and I was shocked at the difference. Needless to say, peanut butter from now on will have to be Jif.

LMJ
LMJ

Oh yes, and store brands have improved in quality over the years. Granted, my peanut butter still has to be Jif, my paper towels Bounty and my toothpaste Crest (both parents worked for P&G), I've found that in most products, the store brand is more than adequate.That does, of course, depend on the store. I have both Super Target and Super WalMart out here, in addition to Safeway, Albertsons and King Soopers (owned by Kroger). There are more store brands I'd buy at the latter three than the former two.

LMJ
LMJ

My mother never went shopping without coupons. And of course, when I was very small, grocery stores still offered those stamp booklets, which she also collected. I personally am pretty miserable at clipping coupons, partly because they're rarely for anything I want, partly because it's just not something I've gotten into. I know I could save a considerable amount of money, and as I'm still looking for a job after, oh, 9 months, I suppose I should be into saving. Ah well.
To that end, I did join couponsurfer.com in the hopes that I would actually use the darn things.

Spendthrift
Spendthrift

We routinely use coupons, trimming 30% or more off of our grocery bill. Also, there are coupons for other things besides processed foods, what about deodorants, dish liquids, washing powder, toilet paper, lotions, tooth brushes, toothpaste... Those fifty cents here and dollars there add up to $aving$!

Chad @ Sentient Money
Chad @ Sentient Money

I never use coupons. The two main reasons I don't use coupons:

1) A newspaper is useless expensive and wasteful.

2) Most of the stuff I buy doesn't have coupons, because fresh produce and meat isn't packaged from huge marketing corporations like Kraft.

ammbd
ammbd

you're not the only one Lizriz ;)

kathleen
kathleen

I'm not too big on coupons - they tend to encourage a lot of "stocking up" and buying things when they are on sale, not when I need them. I have a small, city kitchen which I share with a roommate - so I have one not-so-large cabinet in which to keep ALL my nonperishables, including spices, baking supplies, dried beans & pasta, etc.

That said, I might try it once in the next few months to see if I save anything - oh, and I'm definitely factoring in the cost of the newspaper in my calculations because I wouldn't buy one otherwise.

Matthew W.
Matthew W.

I do 75% of my shopping at Trader Joe's, which doesn't accept coupons. The other 25% is for items that TJ's doesn't carry, which is stuff that you won't find coupons for.

christine
christine

We don't usually use coupons, but only because I don't see coupons for fruits, veggies, or fresh meat. We don't do a lot of pre-made or processed foods and those seem to what most of the coupons are for.

Molly B.
Molly B.

I was an avid coupon-clipper for about a year, but I realized that I wasn't ever using the coupons because they were for things I didn't want or need to buy. A lot of times name brands were still more expensive than store brands or whatever brand happened to be on sale, even with a coupon.

I mainly use them now for pet food (it's expensive, and coupons tend to be $1-$2 off) and books--if you sign up for the free Borders rewards card, you get coupons by email. I rarely buy new books anyway, thanks to Paperbackswap, but if there's one I really want, I wait until I get a 30% (or sometimes 40%!) coupon from Borders.

Momma @ Tales From The Road Less Traveled
Momma @ Tales From The Road Less Traveled

I use coupons all the time. As a matter of fact, I did my grocery shopping today. I saved $100 by using coupons, and only spent about $65 out of pocket. That's not bad when you're feeding a family of 5 and 2 dogs.

Amy
Amy

I only use internet coupons now because I could justify the cost of buying a newspaper just for the coupons inside it. That being said, it does take a little while but the return on your time is well worth it I've found. When I use coupons and buy on sale I typically chop 30%-60% off of my grocery bill.

Sure, it takes a couple of hours to organize and such but if you save $50 then you just made $25 an hour. I'm willing to cut coupons for $25 an hour.

lizriz
lizriz

Clipping coupons is a giant pain in the butt and nothing I have time to deal with and I would practically rather starve then to deal with them.

But perhaps that's just me. ;)

Lisa
Lisa

I just started using coupons again after years of ignoring them. I'm striving to be more frugal in order to meet my financial goals and I figure every 50 cents off helps.

I print free coupons from coupons.com and pull them from those little dispensers in the store, plus try to tailor my purchases to what's on sale that week. I saved $9 with coupons and a bunch more on sale items last week alone...and I didn't even try hard. :)