When I was growing up (40ish years ago), coupons were clipped from the Sunday or Wednesday Courier Journal (or Louisville Times, depending on how far back you want to go). Women would make their grocery list based on the family needs and the coupons they had. Clutching their list and their coupons they set their course for the grocery store. Depending on how savvy a shopper they were, they might wait for double coupon day; but that was about as extreme as it got.
Now I’m the mom going to the grocery and would love to save a little on the bill, but somehow it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried – couponing has become something of a sport and the rules keep changing. First of all, there are coupons in the paper, but who wants to buy 5 of something to save .25 cents? Recently though, a friend tried to explain to me how you take those kind of coupons, save them for a day when the item is on special and you go on double coupon day. WAY TOO MANY THINGS TO REMEMBER, while trying to use the coupon before it expires.
Oh, that’s the other thing, the expiration date. I can promise you any coupon I attempt to use, expired the day before. While my couponing friends will tell me that the date doesn’t matter many stores will take them, I can also promise you the cashier in my line will have just graduated from cashier school and will read every coupon and find the one that is expired. “No exceptions, lady.”
The sport of couponing takes on new dimensions with the likes of coupon websites like, www.livingsocial.com, www.groupon.com, www.couponing101.com, and www.thekrazycouponlady.com. When I share with my couponing friends an item I’m looking for a coupon or good deal on they immediately send me to these sites or sites like www.slickdeals.com, www.skoreit.com or www.Deals2buy.com. Ok I think, I’ll play, millions of people are simply jumping on-line, finding the deal, printing the coupon or finding the site and saving money. I tried this recently as puppy food was added to our grocery list. Here is how my adventure went, I Googled “coupons for Science Diet puppy food”. Found the site that promised coupons and “big savings”. From that link I had to register my email address, download some kind of toolbar, and go to my email to activate the account, go back to the site and print the coupon. The process took the better part of 20 minutes, but the coupon promised was several dollars in savings so it would be worth it until…I printed the coupon that was not for puppy food, it was for the lite version of Science Diet. I have a puppy, not an old fat dog. UUUGGGHHH!
Although I agree with the preface that you can save money and have what you need when you need it, I really don’t have the need to become an extreme coupon player. But I would like to be able to just save a little money here or there. I am open-minded enough to take suggestions, but I am not going to create a binder of coupons that I have to review and rotate based on expiration dates.
Can I join the coupon-using team? I will settle for second-string…