Friday, August 27, 2010

The Dangers of Coupons

Growing up, my dad always complained that my mom never cut coupons.  "By cutting coupons for an hour, if you got $30 worth of coupons, you would be paying yourself $30 an hour" he always said.

The original owner of our house had paid for a 1 year subscription to a large, local paper, so we get the Sunday paper for a few months.  I decided I would start clipping coupons to help us out with the grocery bills.  Wouldn't you know it, our food bills increased.

Now, granted, this is my fault.  A coupon is not a magical "cheaper than all" card.  I found that by having a coupon, I allowed myself to purchase things I never would have before.  Specifically, I bought name brand.  In the last couple of months, we've had a fair amount Kraft Mac and Cheese, lots of frozen, pre-cooked chicken tenders, and more shampoo than I can count to name a few.  The only coupons that have actually helped us save are cereal coupons - I'm addicted to Frosted Mini Wheats and Cinnamon Toast Crunch on alternating months.

I imagine that it takes an immense amount of time to ensure that one saves the most on food.  I would think that's why homemakers are so very busy.

So here's my question to you:  Working women (or men - I don't judge), how do you keep your grocery bills down?  Do you keep a pricebook?  Shop generic in one store only?  Clip coupons?


  1. I hate coupons. They make me buy brand name snack food I would not normally buy. I am not a pro at saving on groceries- but I do like stores that have gas points. So I am not saving in the grocery line- but feel a little better when I save at the pump.
    Liked your zucchini story.

  2. With coupons I always follow the rule that (unless it's free), never buy something that you wouldn't need otherwise. I find that name brand items with coupons are usually still more expensive than store brand.

    I shop at one store and buy store brand. I also try to plan relatively frugal menus. We could probably spend less if I really played the coupon game (I know there are people who do really well), but I don't feel that it's something I want to do right now, as I have limited time and all errands I run are with two kids.

  3. I think I'm going back to my store brand shopping at Food Lion. They have the best prices within a 15 mile radius, and I could always get food for a decent price. Thanks for the input! I love your comments :o)