Couponing. For Real.

The other day I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients for a birthday dessert for my husband. His favorite is chocolate mousse. Pretty simple: heavy cream, semisweet chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs.

So I head over to the dairy case and am about to grab a quart of heavy cream off the shelf. Then I looked at the price and nearly pooped myself.

Are you ready for it? EIGHT DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. For heavy cream.

I audibly gasped as I put the quart back on the shelf and reached for the pint.

Seriously, groceries. What is going on?

Okay, so I'm married to an economics major, so I have an idea, but that doesn't make the sticker shock any less, erm, shocking. I mean, between food and gas, I feel like we are bleeding cash.

All I've been hearing about these days is couponing. The show on TLC baffles me. Those people walk out of the store with a thousand dollars worth of groceries for like, thirty bucks.

Part of me would love to try couponing and be successful at it but I have to point out a few things:

- Anyone else notice that these people fill their carts with a bunch of processed food? I spend most of our grocery budget on unprepared food.
- I feel like I'm watching a glorified version of Hoarders. Cause really, who needs 65 bottles of mustard?
- Couponing seems to be a full time job. Honestly, these people are making 5 hour shopping trips, on top of clipping newspapers and printing stuff online and sorting and organizing. Yuck.

So, I have to ask, is couponing a valid option for someone like me, who doesn't do a lot of processed food and is short on tome? Is it worth the effort?

I'm totally curious, but I also have a short attention span. I need to see results, asap.

Anybody have any luck? Advice? Success? Or is it a huge waste of time? Talk to me.


jaime said...

We use coupons, but not in the get-me-on-a-tv-show kind of way. We have a newspaper subscription, so most of our coupons are from the Sunday paper (which, by the way, do not have coupons on Sundays of holidays or leading up to a holiday - so you won't find them this weekend.) I also check coupons.com or our newspaper's site for free coupons.

We only clip coupons for products we know we use. Occasionally you will find coupons for non-processed foods. Our local grocery store does triple coupons (they double always 50 cent coupons or less) about once a quarter, and I may stock up on things then - like dryer sheets.

And check online for the products you use to see if their sites have coupons.

We do save a good amount of money with coupons - some weeks more than others - and eat relatively healthy. Our local health food store also emails us coupons once a week. Very convenient!

AnnG said...

I'm like you, Heather. I've tried couponing before but it seems lke most times when I do clip coupons I buy a bunch of crap that I normally wouldn't buy. The only things I really save money on are the toiletry items but it seems the brands I use they rarely offer coupons for. I gave up...and just shop as economically as I can!

Christy M. said...

I agree with you, Heather. When I see people 'saving' so much with coupons, it seems like they are mostly buying processed items that I wouldn't buy anyway. I will use a coupon if it is for something I would normally buy or want to try. I agree with Jaime, you can go to websites and get coupons for stuff. I get Horizon coupons like that occasionally. Sadly, I'm just not invested in saving with coupons (but HELLO, I should be!), so I don't go out of my way......

Anonymous said...

I don't cut coupons anymore because I very rarely shop at typical grocery stores. When I was a "clipper", it was only for stuff that I used. I would only stockpile if it was a REALLY good deal. At most, I would have five boxes of pasta or rice or several boxes of cereal.

Anything beyond that is hoarding in my opinion.

*Lissa* said...

I am not a couponer... it really does seem that I would just buy a bunch of shit I would never use. If I happen upon a coupon I will use, I save it, though, and usually forget to use it.

Dr said...

I coupon a bit. For our fam of 2, I save about $5 each week. I only get them from sunday paper and Monday our mail has a coupon flier too. Don't bother online because I fall into the internet time suck. Most are for processed crap I don't buy but I always clip ones for cleaning supplies and toiletries. Things like tortillas, tortilla chips, and cereal always have coupons too so I clip em and just take my little book in with my reusable bags. Most stores double coupons up to a dollar so each coupon is basically 1 buck...not bad for 5-10 min of sitting on the couch with some scissors. But given how busy you're going to be, it might be a feat that will have to wait.