Why I Don’t Coupon

If you didn’t notice by now, I am ALL ABOUT saving and making money whenever I can. I save so that my family can spend on what we value most. Which if you’re not a regular reader to the blog it’s adventures, eating, and making sure Addie has a bright future.

While I’m pretty open to trying anything to save some money, the one thing I can’t get myself to do is couponing. Unless the coupon is right in front of me or is something I can quickly Google for online, I’ll pass.

The Simpsons homer simpson lisa simpson season 10 episode 18

Here are a few ways that couponing just doesn’t work for me:

I’m Lazy
This might surprise you, but I’m actually pretty lazy when it comes to saving money. Even though I am OBSESSED with spending less, figuring out the best way to get free or cheap stuff with coupons makes my head hurt. Constantly looking for coupons, clipping them, organizing them, and going to multiple stores to score all those deals does not sound like a pleasant outing for me.

coupon stack
Ooingle.com

I wouldn’t mind if my wife decided to be a couponer. She tried it once but gave it up because she didn’t feel like driving around town so we can have enough toothpaste to survive a zombie apocalypse.

I Hate Going to the Store
In this world of Amazon Prime and Target Redcard free shipping, there aren’t that many reasons for me to want to go to an actual store these days. Besides groceries, I try to do like 99.9% of my shopping online. I buy everything from toilet paper, my tech gadgets, and gifts for the wife online. For the most part, everything is cheaper.

Coupons1
this is a weekly occurence at my household

Buying online also helps me save money by eliminating all those random impulse purchases that tend to happen whenever my wife and I step into a Costco or Target. Anyone else go to Costco planning to buy just a few things and end up spending $200+ when you check out?

I End Up Buying Stuff I Don’t Need
A few months ago my wife had me buy a Groupon for this fancy pants ice cream place called Creamistry. Four $5 groupons for $14.

Sounds awesome right?

Coupons

The thing is, we don’t go to Creamistry that often. So anytime we were stuck on something to do, I would always mention Creamistry because I just wanted to get rid of the Groupons. When we did go, we would spend more than the $5 each time getting extra toppings.

You’re not really saving money if it’s not something you never intended to buy in the first place. So saving $6 at Creamistry on groupons just meant we spent $14 (and then some) on expensive ice cream when good old fashioned Rite Aid would have done the trick.

The Simpsons marge simpson season 20 episode 20 mom

I Would Rather Buy Cheaper Stuff
Most coupons are for name brand items. In my experience, alternate brands or store brands which are often less expensive work just fine.

Coupon Beats
Beats by Monoprice – $40

You know why most Pediatricians recommend Enfamil and Similac? It’s because hospitals get bombarded with samples ALL THE TIME. Doctor’s aren’t going to go out of their way to compare Similac to Target’s Up&Up brand. If you look at the ingredients, it’s the same damn thing.

Cheaper doesn’t always mean inferior. When it comes to Costco, Fellow blogger Jim Wang writes how Costco’s Kirkland brand are pretty much identical versions of their name brand counterparts.  Kirkland vodka is Grey Goose, beer is Gordon Biersh, dish washing detergent is Cascade. These brands are often cheaper because stores don’t spend any money marketing but rely on the quality of the products themselves. If Kirkland batteries sucked, I’d be less likely to buy Kirkland wine (which isn’t too shabby).

Name brands are all about marketing. Most times your paying for the pretty label on the outside. Even if the store brand is inferior (which it usually isn’t) it doesn’t hurt to try it once.

Exception – don’t buy Kirkland shoes. They’re the worst. I tried it for a week and it felt like running on cardboard. They’re also not the most fashionable shoe.

Coupon Kirkland

I Focus on Other Ways to Save
Thanks to the awesomness that is budgeting, we find ways to automate our savings as much as possible by looking at regular expenses and figuring out a way to get them cheaper.

dancing 30 rock money tina fey cash

Some of the ways we save or make a few bucks:

My wife also does a great job of keeping track how much our regular groceries cost and stocking up whenever something is on sale.

99 Ways to Save (and Couponing Ain’t One). 
Don’t get me wrong – couponing can be a decent way to save a buck or two if you have the energy to do it. I know quite a few people that have saved a lot getting cheap toothpaste, toilet paper, and other essentials.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like way too much effort for so little reward.  I know you can get super crazy with it and score a bunch of free stuff like the people on Extreme Couponers, but from what I’ve seen it takes a lot more work than it’s worth. There just isn’t all the time in the world dedicated to saving money everywhere. I would rather focus on bigger savings goals than clip coupons each week.

Jay-Z said it best…

“If you’re saving money I feel proud of you son,
I got 99 ways to save, and couponing ain’t one.”

At least, that’s what I think he said. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Am I wrong? Is couponing the beez-neez? If so, can you tell me how to save a crapload of money where I don’t have to spend a whole afternoon clipping coupons?

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24 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Coupon

  1. I’m on the same boat as you in most cases. We normally do look and print out coupons (coupons.com) to see if there are any each week for the items on our list. It doesn’t take long and it might save us a few dollars for just a little bit of work. I don’t think I could ever get too insanely into it because I don’t think I would get to the level where the savings was worth the work and time commitments.

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  2. Totally with you. I did the full couponing bit for a time, with lots of effort and trips to many different stores, and all it resulted in was us eating a lot of crappy junk food. Sure, we saved money, but we spent a lot of sanity in the process. 😉

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    1. I think my wife did it for a few weeks and said how stressful it was. You had to compete with other couponers who try to clear the stash of product so you’re racing from place to place. I remember waking up early Sunday morning and buying a stack of newspapers so she could clip coupons. Sometimes I’d rather just pay the $5 for paper towels.

      I buy a whole bunch of discounted gift cards for CVS since it’s down the street. Every time I need something random like milk or batteries I usually go there. It might be a bit more expensive than a Walmart or Target, but I don’t got time to go everywhere! 😉

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  3. I think the Kirkland shoes LOOK fine (so, never ever take fashion advice from me) but if they don’t feel like heaven on your feet, noooo thank you.

    I was an avid couponer when every penny counted but now I don’t do the old school Sunday papers, scissors, and coupon list thing anymore. It’s just not safe with a toddler running around, for one, and I need better returns on my time, for another. My husband stays on top of the Safeway specials on his phone, and I do all the online shopping where I combine online cashback sites plus online coupons plus promos. Division of labor FTW!

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    1. haha. I HAD to try the Kirkland shoes. I wanted them to feel like clouds on my feet. I did try it a little longer than I would normally because I didn’t want to see my wife’s “I told you so” face. 🙂

      Sounds like you and your hubby have a good plan!

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    1. We do the same with the Costco coupon book. We’re pretty good buying things we only need, but occasionally we buy something that we don’t plan to just because it’s on sale. It’s all in the budget haha.

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  4. My husband uses them, but I don`t, for pretty much the same reasons as yours. It`s not really saving money if you get a fiver off something that you wouldn`t have bought otherwise…

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  5. I don’t coupon but sometimes when I see a coupon I can’t help but cut it out. Old frugal ways that have been ingrained in my head die hard. Once in awhile we’ll use it but most often, like you mention, it’s for products we wouldn’t buy anyway. We often buy generic Target “Up and Up” or “Market Pantry” brands. I used Target Cartwheel app…it’s kinda like a coupon I guess. Speaking of Target…I do use the coupons they give me. As you can see, I’m a Target fan.

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    1. For sure! If I see a coupon I might use we’ll hold on to it. Usually it’s something like oil changes.

      I love Target! It’s dangerous though. Cartwheel is awesome – just a quick scan with the app. Do you have a Redcard? That 5% savings add up!

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  6. You should start a Jay Z cover band but with personal finance songs.

    You know, I couponed years ago, and I found that it really didn’t take that much time, but it also really didn’t save that much money, so I stopped. I also didn’t like the clutter. Like, I would pay an extra $10 or whatever I saved on groceries every week to just not have that clutter in my office.

    On the other hand, when you’re broke, working as much as you can, and STILL struggling to make ends meet, you do whatever you can to get by, and that might include couponing. But I do think there are plenty of easier (and more efficient) ways to be frugal, so I’m glad you listed some comparable ways to save!

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    1. Whenever I do karaoke I love doing a Jay-Z, Ludacris, or Eminem song.You should come with next time!

      I totally get couponing if you’re broke. I get that saving a few bucks each time going to the grocery store can really add up.

      Couponing can be great if it’s part of your saving strategy. I just don’t think it’s worthwhile if it’s your ONLY strategy like on TV.

      BTW – I got Honey from you – I need to edit the post to give you a shout out!

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  7. I couldn’t stop laughing after I read this post because I wrote a similar post with the same headline! The only difference is that our headline said “Why We Don’t Coupon”! Lol! Where I didn’t publish it yet, I’m definitely going to be linking it to this one! 🙂

    We can’t stand couponing! Unless the coupon literally falls into our hands and happens to be for an item we actually need, we’ll use it. But neither one of us has the patience or sanity to hunt down and spend hours on end so we can score 90 packages of free corn puffs. Like you, we much prefer to shop in bulk at Costco. We also don’t mind spending a bit more on things like good quality produce so we can support our local farms. We are so much healthier for it in the end! 🙂

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    1. Can’t wait to read it!

      Yep – I don’t really don’t care to stockpile a bunch of cereal or toothpaste. Even with Costco, sometimes I hate using a lot of space to store all that toilet paper! Sometimes I’ll just go with Target and get less so we don’t feel like hoarders 🙂

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  8. I agree with you Vic! Couponing seems like so many hours of my life for so little savings.

    And I also agree with the points you’ve listed – I don’t want to drive around town and end up having a crapton of groceries/supplies for the next year stored away in my basement (just sounds like a lot of clutter and a lot of things I’ll forget about and will then end up buying more of just because I forgot it’s buried somewhere in the basement) and it’s true, I’ll probably end up buying something I don’t really need just because I have a coupon for it and I’m already in the store.

    Although I did go through a period of time in my life where I binge-watched Extreme Couponers and was inspired for a little while to go for it xD Needless to say, it didn’t quite stick… haha!

    Liked by 1 person

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