For the past couple of months, I’ve been noticing a subtle shift on coupon blogs and message boards. I couldn’t point to one specific indication, but I have been getting this feeling that the time of the “crazy couponer” may be fading away from popular culture.
And then today I read this article which lays out a decline in coupon use and blames it on shoppers being savvier. One comment in the article I completely disagree with. Phil Lempert, the “Supermarket Guru,” speaks of coupons as:
“It was like the training wheels … to teach people how to save money,”
Anyone who has done a serious couponing trip, one where you save over 60% on your grocery bill, knows that couponing is not for newbies. It’s hard work, and you need to be hyper-organized.
However, the stats tell us that fewer coupons have been released and redeemed in 2012-2013 than in previous years. I know I personally use fewer coupons than I did in 2008-2010, but it has nothing to do with coupon availability or low value (two reasons cited in the article). I’ve simply been doing less typical grocery store shopping.
What do I do instead?
::I get my meat from a local farmer and buy in bulk to get the very best price.
::I use my coupons strategically. For example, I know Trader Joe’s has the best prices on Applegate lunch meat. So I print my Applegate coupons and use them at TJs to get the best price on nitrate-free lunch meat. I also know where to get coupons for the products I use most. Mambo Sprouts has a great selection of organic coupons. Organic brands come up frequently on Coupons.com, like Yes to products, Muir Glen, and Cascadian Farms.
::I make stuff. Some of my best stockpile items like chicken stock, face soap, and cereal, are all things that I have been making myself. It’s just not as fun to stock up on these things whenthe stuff you can stockpile for free is full of chemicals and you can easily make your own healthy versions for very little money.
The day when I don’t shop at Wegmans on a regular basis is not going to come. That’s pretty much a guarantee. But I am using coupons at Wegmans as only 1 way to save money on groceries and household items, not the sole strategy. You’ll still see Wegmans coupon Matchups on the blog to help you save money every week. In addition, you can see my Trader Joe’s Matchups.
What do you think? Is the time of “Extreme Couponing” coming to an end? Or is couponing still going strong? I’d love to hear your thoughts.Pin ItThis post may contain affiliate links, which help support this site.