For a while I really got into that reality show from TLC called:
I was so excited and on fire to try this out in my area. I made phone calls to stores to find out their coupon policies, asked friends and neighbors to save their papers, scoured the internet for couponing tips and ideas, and even ordered coupons from ebay. I gave this a very fair attempt.
So what were the issues then?
First of all, I struggled to find coupons for products our family even used. With us being an all natural family, we discarded all coupons for laundry soap, body soap, toothpaste, cleaning products, etc. Okay, so that left us with coupons for prepackaged name brand foods. Well, with our size family we don't use prepackaged products, and even if we did the savings were just not there. None of the stores in my area do double coupons, and even with the coupons on the name brand it still was not as inexpensive as the generic brands. In many cases you'd have to buy 2-4 products to save $.75.
Also, they portrayed on the show that you could get more value from your coupon by getting the smallest size possible. Guess what? The retailers have caught on to this little trick and now put size minimums on most coupons.
Last of all, but by no means least, is the coupons I got for a clothing store saving me 50-75% on any item. We got an entire booklet of similar coupons at one of our favorite clothing store. However, after reading the print we realized each coupon represented a different day. I mentioned before that we live 20+ miles one way from shopping. We would have to travel 40+ miles on each day to save a pretty good amount on ONE item. Sound worth it to you? I've mentioned before that my time is precious to me.
So the conclusion? Coupons ended up taking up my time, telling me how many I had to buy, what day I had to buy it, what size I had to buy, and what brand I had to buy. It sounded more restrictive and controlling to me. Please don't think I'm bashing the couponers. I am sure there are areas out there that make couponing worth people's time. If you live in a "coupon friendly" area and don't care what you eat, drink, and put on your body, then couponing may be for you.
For a family who does not eat meat, prepackaged foods, and uses all natural products, couponing just isn't worth it. So for our family, we will be finding other ways to save.