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Eight Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Coupons — oh really?!

Yahoo Finance released an article earlier this week on 8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Coupons. Articles like these always leave me shaking my head.

No offense to the author, but I believe she is very misinformed. A quick internet search would have proven most of her points invalid.

Of course, I’m biased as I believe everyone should use coupons in some way, shape or form. Unless you make half a million dollars each year and own an island, I believe you could benefit from using coupons — if even just to casually use them for a few products each week and shave $40 off your grocery budget every month.

Andrea did a great job of responding and rebutting each of the author’s points in her post. And, just for kicks, I thought I’d do the same. So here are the eight arguments for not using coupons from Yahoo along with my rebuttals:

Argument #1 You have to buy a newspaper.

My Rebuttal: Actually, I use lots of coupons and haven’t purchased a newspaper in over two years. Check out my article on 10 Ways to Get Coupons for Free.

Argument #2: Clipping coupons takes time.

My Rebuttal: Yes, clipping coupons takes time, but in most cases, it’s time very well spent. I mean, where else can you find a job you can do from your home that earns you $30-$50 per hour in tax-free savings?

To be honest, I really don’t spend any extra time clipping coupons. I bring my coupon box each week to a regular family gathering and clip and file while engaged in our discussions. I figure if my mouth and brain are going to be busy, I might as well keep my hands productive, too.

If you want to save even more time, try the no-coupon-clipping method of using coupons.

Argument #3: Getting a newspaper invites lots of additional advertising into your home.

My Rebuttal: Who says you have to bring the whole newspaper into your home? We don’t. We only bring coupon inserts to be clipped.

Argument #4: Many of the coupons will be for things you neither need nor want.

My Rebuttal: Yes, and that’s why there’s this thing called a trashcan. No one says you have to clip and use every coupon — especially if you didn’t pay for them. Use the coupons which work for you, toss the rest.

However, I’d also argue that if you’re willing to try new things which are free, almost-free or more-than-free, you might discover some new products you love! Or, if you have the time and energy, you could also consider buying things you can get for free or more-than-free with coupons and donating them if you won’t use them.

Argument #5: Coupons can tempt you to spend your grocery dollars on things you shouldn’t.

My Rebuttal: If coupons are tempting you to spend your grocery dollars on things you shouldn’t, you might consider not going grocery shopping because just walking down a grocery store aisle can tempt you to spend all sorts of money you shouldn’t spend. One reason you need to learn self discipline is that, otherwise, you’ll likely spend money on things you shouldn’t all the rest of your life.

My advice is to create a grocery budget and shop with cash in order to help encourage self-discipline. After all, it’s pretty hard to spend a lot of money you don’t have at the grocery store when you have a budget and pay with cash!

Argument #6: The same coupons tend to be offered over and over again.

My Rebuttal: Seriously, has this author ever even clipped coupons before? Yes, there are some coupons that you see regularly, but the whole point of coupons is very often to introduce new products. So there is a wide variety of coupons offered — especially with the advent of printable coupons and coupons offered through Facebook.

And at any rate, I like it when great coupons which net free or almost-free products appear again and again. It enables me to keep my pantry and stockpile filled for pennies on the dollar!

Argument #7: You might become a slave to coupons.

In explaining her point, the author says:

“It can be very difficult to buy something without a coupon once you get used to using coupons. Knowing that you can get ice cream for $2.50 might make it difficult for you to spend $4 on it…”

My Rebuttal: Okay, I admit it. I’m a Coupon Slave. Because seriously? Who pays $4 for ice cream? It’s very rare we ever pay over $2 for it!

Jesting aside, she does have a point here. It is possible to become so obsessed with coupons and bargain-shopping that you spend excessive amounts of time planning and shopping.  That’s why I always suggest you consider how much time you realistically have to invest and how much you are saving per hour.

If your other priorities are suffering or you are saving less than $15 per hour, you need to step back and take a look at how to streamline things so couponing is more effective and rewarding for you and your family.

Argument #8: Shopping takes longer.

My Rebuttal: It can, but it doesn’t have to. If you take the time to plan a menu and plan your shopping trip, you can actually save time on shopping and meal prep.

How? Because having a plan and following the plan is always going to save you time and effort when compared to having no plan and just flying by the seat of your pants. Instead of waiting until 5 p.m. to figure out dinner and then running to the store to pick up things to make dinner, you can write out a menu for the whole week and make one big shopping trip to buy everything.

Now, of course, if you enjoy couponing and see it as your hobby (a hobby that saves your family money, too!), you can spend more time grocery shopping than average folks do. But usually, the savings you’ll reap is also very significant. (And if it’s not, then you likely need to see my point above about re-prioritizing!).

Whew! There’s so much more I could say on each of these points. It was hard to condense my rebuttals to a paragraph or two. But I figured I’d leave it at that and let you chime in.

Do you agree with any of the author’s arguments for why you shouldn’t use coupons? Why or why not? I’d love to hear!

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225 Comments

  • Jennifer says:

    I have to say I agree with you on almost everything … the exception argument number 4. Please please please please please do not throw away your coupons you do not use, or your expired coupons for that matter. You can send them overseas and our military families can use them (even expired ones). I collect and mail off thousands of dollars in coupons a month familes overseas can use. It doesn’t take much more work than what you are doing for yourself and helps our soldiers and their families.

    • JuliB says:

      @Jennifer, And here’s a great site to determine where to send the coupons:

      http://www.ocpnet.org/News/News1.htm

      • Laura E. Walker from Camp Pendleton says:

        @JuliB, THANKS SO MUCH, WE ARE A MILITARY FAMILY HERE IN CAMP PENDLETON!!!!!!!!!! WE COULD ONE DAY RELY ON YOUR EFFORTS . OVERSEAS WE WOULD BE ABLE TO USE YOUR EXPIRED COUPONS. it does take effort, but its very much appreciated.

    • Kate says:

      @Jennifer, can I send you my unwanted/expired coupons? I have like 200+.

      I just don’t have the time to do all the tallying required (based on the FAQ of the link provided below) with a full time job and school just around the corner.

      Thanks.

      Let me know if anyone else wants them. 200+ Probably half are expired or expiring this week.

  • Lisa says:

    This just seems silly to me. We are grown-ups, we have self-control. Coupons don’t convince me to waste my grocery budget on unnecessary items. I pay for my yearly subscription to the Sunday paper in just one week and I have definitely not seen an increase in the amount of junk mail I get. My pantry is more well stocked than it ever was and I spend less on groceries than I have in years. Yay, they do offer some of the same coupons over and over, that’s bad? I am not a slave to couponing and maybe I spend an extra 10 mins shopping each week but when you save over $26 on coupons like I did today, it’s worth the 10 mins. Oh, and who can “mop the floor while watching TV” ???? I certainly can’t.

    • Heather says:

      @Lisa, Sadly, lots of grownups do not have much self-control . . . . Nonetheless, if one can’t have self-control while couponing, one probably won’t have while NOT couponing either.

  • Challice says:

    Journalism largely consists of saying ‘Lord Jones is Dead’ to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.
    G. K. Chesterton

    I guess the same could be said about Journalism and coupons. 😛

    I dont save to the extent everyone else does. I only have a Stater Bros and an Albertsons and we have to be Gluten Free and limited dairy. That means most boxed items, we cant eat. Ice Cream, I think the cheapest has been $2.50 because we only do the Breyers All Natural. 🙂

    But I know I can save so much a week.

  • JuliB says:

    I am not a great couponer, but I save between $5 – $10 a week. I buy processed foods a bit. I travel for work, and weekends are busy. My fiance loves to eat out, so I need to be crafty in order to get him not to waste the money.

    So I will buy a Macaroni Grill (just add chicken) boxed meal when I have a coupon for it. The sauce is wonderful, and it doesn’t take too long since I freeze pre-cooked, sliced chicken breasts (bought on sale). For those of us used to eating out a lot, going the processed food route is a baby step towards saving money.

  • heather says:

    as a 23 year old, I spend $45.00 – $60.00 every two weeks, on groceries for my husband and I. That includes toiletries and pet supplies, for a 6 month old growing puppy(that eats everything!!!) and a cat. I use coupons every where I go, and always have my binder with me. I save a lot, and I love it. But I will admit, I will pay around $4.00 for my ice cream. I have to have my Grooms Cake and Great Divide Ice Cream by Blue Bell!! YUMM!
    Your Rebuttal was great Crystal, and as someone posted before you should look into submitting it to Yahoo, for them to publish! I am sure they would in a heart beat.
    Also, Congratulations on paying your 100% on your home. My husband and I are aiming to at least have 45-60 percent down by december 31, 2012, we will see if it happens. We are followers of Dave Ramsey, and are working on getting our cars paid off right now. Thanks for all your hard work in compiling deals for us. It was has really helped lower our costs every month!

  • Emily says:

    I only subscribe to the Sunday paper and otherwise read online. The coupons every week usually do pay for the paper anyway. Plus I love reading the magazines and funny comics so it is worth it.

    That was a pretty stupid article and while I agree you should only use them for things you use anyway sometimes they are also good for introductory offers on new products.

  • Kimberly says:

    I think the only reason to BE CAUTIOUS when using coupons is because sometimes brand name with a coupon is still more money than no-brand without a coupon. You have to really know your prices.

    I also find it frustrating that coupons seem to mostly be for prepackaged junk that I don’t use (but like you said, that’s what the trashcan is for). With a large family that includes 4 teenagers who seem to do nothing but eat these days, I buy everything larger. I mostly only use coupons for toiletries, cleaners, and condiments, and it does save me quite a bit.

    I was thankful this past month when Kroger gave me a coupon for money off of buying Produce. Thank God for that. More stores need to help us save on healthy foods, instead of just the unhealthy stuff.

    • Laura E. Walker from Camp Pendleton says:

      @Kimberly,
      I often find brand names cheaper whenever I do combine a sale, and a coupon. And I always edit my price book. Do you often do the same thing?

      • Amanda says:

        @Laura E. Walker from Camp Pendleton, My store often has buy one get one sales. They also double coupons. When I pair a coupons with a BOGO sale, the name brand item is almost always cheaper than the generic. But, at other stores who do not double coupons and have less impressive sales, it is better to buy the generic item.

        Buying generic items and ignoring coupons is a perfectly good way to save money on your grocery bill. The money saving strategies that you use are personal to your time, family needs, dietary restrictions, life situation, and the stores that you have available.

      • Kimberly says:

        @Laura E. Walker from Camp Pendleton, Laura, yes I do. I live very rural, so we have a limited number of stores available to us. Kroger seems to do the best if I’m using coupons, but unless the item is both on sale and I have a coupon for it, the coupon alone doesn’t make that big of a difference (usually).

  • Kristen says:

    I just started couponing this month after going to a class taught by someone from my church. She had great examples of her savings and I have been praying for guidance on how to make our budget go further as we now have two kids. When I saw this article I had to read it and laughed through most of it, I too found it incredibly weak!
    Through the class I took and awesome websites such as this one, I have not bought one source of coupons but have already seen great savings for my family after less than 1 month of doing this even though I know I am slow at the whole process still. But I am getting better every week!
    My favorite argument had to be #7 about being a slave and not letting in to things you will crave like ice cream. This was my first SWEET deal I made actually, as we were out of ice cream and when I was shopping I was going to buy a different brand but saw the more expensive tastier brand was on sale and then I remembered I had coupons, yeah I was very excited about the score! My husband was too, and every time we eat that very yummy ice cream it is all the sweeter as I think of how cheap I got it. Thanks for addressing this pathetic article, at least it was good comic relief and it reassured me to stay with couponing!!!!!!

  • Travis says:

    I can not believe this article. Maybe some of her points would be valid in an age where there is no internet and no near-infinite pool of knowledge to borrow from at your fingertips, but today couponing couldn’t be easier!

    I hardly spend more than an hour a day on coupons. Some days I don’t even think about them! Typically, I will check the few couponing blogs I subscribe to in the morning to see whats new, and then check them again before I go to bed and make sure that I print out coupons that are posted for things I will definitely buy. When I get my paper on sunday, I’ll clip the coupons out while I watch TV, then put them into a dated envelope, and then be done with them.

    When I have to actually go shopping, I’ll write my list first, and then spend between 10-15 minutes running my list through a coupon database ( i.e. http://shopperstrategy.com/coupons/coupon-database/ ) to see how many of the things I am planning to buy have coupons I can use. Then, I’ll decide what stores I’ll be going to and then look at the ads with matchups for those stores to see if there is something good I can buy I didn’t know of, and if so then I’ll add it to the list and print/find the appropriate coupons.

    Then when I am at the store, if the item isn’t on my list, it doesn’t go in my cart. No temptations, and no wasted time because I already know what I am getting ahead of time, and had already found the coupons. It couldn’t be more convenient to save money!

    • Andrea Q says:

      @Travis, “I hardly spend more than an hour a day on coupons” actually supports her argument. How many people have an hour a day to invest?

      • Travis says:

        @Andrea Q, The past three days I have spent all of 5-10 minutes/day on coupon related internet browsing. The last time I spent a full hour doing anything coupon related was when I made shopping lists for 3 stores so I could refill my pantry/fridge after moving into my new apartment, and that was months ago.

        I guess my point was that I hardly spend a sizable amount of time doing this kind of thing, but the way I worded it sounded right in my head, but I guess gave people the wrong impression.

        But, to answer your question: the people that have an hour a day to invest are the people who sit in front of the TV for an hour after dinner doing nothing productive.

  • Jennifer says:

    I agree with some of her points, but have found ways of working around the negatives that have made couponing critical to keeping my budget. I don’t subscribe to any newspapers, but all of my coworkers who do bring their unused coupons in every Monday for anyone to take who wants them. I scour them every week and yes, there are many coupons I leave untouched because I don’t use/eat the product, or find the generic to be cheaper. But on the items I do buy regularly anyway, getting free coupons for them is a huge money saver!

    My greatest source of coupons is the internet. Sites like coupons.com are a goldmine. I will often just google a product to find a coupon as well, or go to the specific manufacturer’s website. It’s true, I won’t pay full price for things like spaghetti sauce now that I know I can find a coupon for it online anytime I want to buy spaghetti sauce! I guess I’m a slave too. I’m okay with that. 🙂

  • I don’t think all coupons are a waste, and really, it depends on what you are getting the products for/what your life situation is. I’m a SAHM with two young children who were for awhile in diapers at the same time. I would say coupons for diapers coupled with drugstore/grocery store sales and coupons have saved us the most money (like the amazing clearances that CVS was having awhile ago).

    I agree that everyone needs toilet paper and toothpaste, but I also haven’t found the toilet paper coupons to save us all that much money. I try to stock up on toothpaste for free or a low price when it looks like we’re getting low, but really, we don’t use so much toothpaste (don’t worry, our breath is fine :)) that this is making a huge dent in our grocery budget.

    Beyond that, most of the deals I get are from the local loss leaders in our grocery store ads. They don’t require coupons that are outside of that ad, so I think that you can still save a lot of money without clipping coupons for the most part.

  • Lonnie Faith says:

    People who report on things they know little or nothing about, should do as my brother says…….. SMILE AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
    My wife and I save money every week with Q and unless, as you say, you have a very hight income, Q will help with your family food budget.

  • Claudia says:

    Someone should email this girl a link to this blog.

    The only point I will only remotely agree with is the Slave to Coupons and I’ll admit that I am one. However, I have been unemployed for almost a year now, and although I have been actively searching I have been unable to find anything. However, because of my couponing, our way of living hasn’t changed much and we are still able to enjoy everything we did before, however we now just spend less on it.

    Example: My trip to Target yesterday, I bought 12 items and had $19.64 in coupons, only coupons, not counting the savings of buying on sale. My total bill was $14.02, I saved more than I spent in coupons. She better believe that I have every reason to use coupons.

  • AmyLauren says:

    I read that. The only one that I can see might be valid is the one about being a slave to coupons. I admit it, that sometimes I can be that way, that I won’t buy something then because I have a coupon at home and can come back and get it later to save like $1… which isn’t always worth it. Plus, I do CVS and with it generating ECBs that expire, I have to spend them buy a certain date, so I have to keep shopping there. I’ve thought about quitting CVS for a bit while I’m planning my wedding and moving in with my fiancé later this year/early next year… after all I have enough stuff stockpiled to not shop for 2-3 months and get by.

    Couponing is addictive but I think there’s a lot worse things I could be addicted to! I do mostly CVS type stuff more than grocery store but it gives me more money to budget and buy things like fresh produce, vegetarian foods like tofu, etc that are more expensive and rarely have coupons.

    • Laura E. Walker from Camp Pendleton says:

      @AmyLauren,

      I agree with you a little, but thats all up to the person, Being a couponer is also being flexible. We know we are not perfect, and whenever I see something , and i have a coupon for it I wait, but just will forget about it. The more you coupon the more practice you do get. Now I don’t go anywhere without my binder, and sometimes you should just tell yourself “i don’t need that” thats the opposite of impluse buying. Or Just go ahead and buy it, who cares just do what makes you happy inside. ‘
      I don’t see it as coupon slave, I see it as just learning process.

  • Carla says:

    I would challenge YOU to write to Yahoo! and ask them to publish a rebuttal article. There is nothing in this article claiming any sort of financial background of this woman. I too plan to write a complaint. This was ridiculous. I am a new couponer. I maybe take two extra trips to the store per month, but it’s to do those *special* purchases that end up being freebies or nearly freebies. I do not feel inclined to purchase more. Within her article she contradicts herself….becoming a slave to coupons directly conflicts with spending more than planned on unplanned purchases. If I’m not willing to spend an extra $2 on ice cream, what would cause me to spend an extra $20 in uncouponed purchases (and I totally think I just created the word “uncouponed”! lol!)…it’s just silly. Sounds like she’s a cashier who hates to take the extra moments required to allow us to save! 😉

  • Katherine says:

    I noticed when I read that article that there was conveniently nowhere to comment on it…it’s like she knew there might be feedback that disagreed with her. I agree with what you’ve said in your response, especially about doing the amount that works for your family. I got really into couponing last year before the birth of our son, and would take trips around town to 4-6 stores to pick up deals. Not gonna happen now that he’s around, but I still have my coupon box and I still get deals at a couple stores when I have time.

  • GREAT POST! I agree – it seems the author really didn’t do her research and/or has never used coupons before. Maybe she should have visited here first, before writing that article. Can’t wait to share this one!! Have a great day!

  • Kasey says:

    I think the author is just saying that complete morons shouldn’t use coupons. I’m pretty sure her “reasons” are invalid for the rest of us. 😉

  • Shannon says:

    That was hilarious! Sounds like to me that that was someone needing to justify why they don’t use coupons. Seriously? If you aren’t a ‘couponer,’ and don’t find it worth your time, that’s your choice. (And frankly, I don’t think anyone cares!) However, to go as far as to say that we ‘shouldn’t’ is just laughable. As has been mentioned before, especially for us stay at home moms, it’s a way for us to bring income to the table. Yes, that’s right, by saving money, we are bringing in income that would have initially been spent otherwise.

    Now, if I was working a full-time job outside of the home, getting involved in tons of other activities, and THEN coming home and pushing my kids aside to cut coupons—I would say that’s not the best use of my time.

    You have to ask yourself…

    1.) Do I have time to clip/search for coupons?
    AND
    2.) Is it worth my time to clip/search for coupons? (As in, are the most important things, aka, family still going to be front and center.)

    Whether the answer for you is yes or no is an answer for you and your lifestyle alone… no one else’s.
    (Not to mention that’s going from using no coupons to really investing time each week to search them out. Using coupons doesn’t mean investing tons and tons of time. It can, but it certainly doesn’t have to!)

    I am new to couponing and have found it to be a great way for our family to save money and for me to feel I’m doing ‘my part,’ to help with the finances from home. Not to mention, it’s enjoyable! I have found several things already on my regular list I can get coupons for.
    (I still get sick thinking about all the diapers and wipes that I have bought FULL PRICE!)

    Anyway–thanks for the laugh. That article is totally and utterly ridiculous!

  • Laura E. Walker from Camp Pendleton says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I LOOOOVE this post because I totally agree with everything you say. Unless you actually coupon how can you even imply things. Its like saying I don’t like something without having done it. I had my aunt over yesterday and she was amazed at my coupon binder, and now I have made her interested, and enjoy teaching her the strategies that i’ve learned. Many people do feel its a waste of time, but in reality it does take some dedication, and you do acquire skills that will help you for the rest of your life. We live in a society where people will make fun of you if you have a hole in your jeans, I say so what, these jeans are good, and I don’t care because these jeans don’t define who I am spiritually or mentally. Only special people have the capacity to think outside the box, and I believe couponing has made me a better consumer, i’m not a consumer slave…LOL…because I control what I spend. I believe that if a natural disaster occured I would be a little better than I was before, because who’s to say it can’t happen. Or if something horrible happens and I can’t go out to work, and neither does my husband, well, I have skills that can help me cope, and deal with something like that. Plus, I believe its just being smarter about everything that occurs in your household.

    I believe the author is like most people, ignorant to couponing, and just may be intimidated by the whole thing. Of course, being a psychology student, I know the easiest thing to do when you don’t know of a certain subject, you tend to criticize first, rather than being open to it. You make an assumption. And I also believe that in America most people want things at a lightning speed, and therefore don’t want to put any effort into things they don’t see as beneficial. Look at television commercials, and even stores, all the things in the store aim to making things convenient for people. Everytime I am in a store I look around and say, wow, do people really buy this. There is a beauty to being frugal, and there is a special feeling when you do find excitement whenever you do realize that you just got all these groceries for half off. (or more) . And there is this a nice feeling whenever I can give away things, I love doing that. But most of all, I get more joy whenever I can teach someone something that I love to do.
    So do I believe everyone should coupon. ABSOLUTELY YES, I truly believe that the difference in people who coupon and who don’t isn’t
    time, more access to inserts, diet restrictions, or any other excuse and reason i’ve heard, I think the true reason is will power, and this can be said about life in general.

  • Andrea Q says:

    Yahoo! has a specific target audience and it is *not* the same audience of this blog. The author is speaking to a lot of mainstream people that already believe many of her arguments (and probably have experience to back up their beliefs); the article just collects them into one place. Many of us may disagree with the author’s argument, but it isn’t necessary to call her names.

    • Sherri says:

      @Andrea Q, No, actually she is a very smart lady, because she has figured out how to sell an article like this to Yahoo, while she also sells articles espousing the opposite viewpoint to other publications. Just google her name and see what you find- I’ve read another article she wrote that we would all cheer over. Apparently you can have your cake and eat it too. 🙂

  • Sue says:

    Is she for real?
    I bet she only shops for one .:o)

    Sue in NJ

  • Barb says:

    Crystal- I completely agree with all your points. That author was very misinformed, and has probably never used coupons herself.

  • Johnny says:

    The newspaper argument is irrelevant as there has NEVER been coupons in a newspaper that I have seen…. I always assumed that was a city thing since I’ve never seen one in a paper… the only way to get coupons here was in magazines and that was defiantly not worth the money spent on an over priced magazine with two articles and five billion ‘commercials’….. thank god for the internet and printable coupons! before I had to rely on coupons manufacturers put in their products…. now I actually have access to coupons! and with companies that mail or email them to you or printing them off their websites… I’ll actually start using coupons if it’s for something I already buy or something I’ve been wanting to try! and it takes seconds to print off and take to the store, sometimes I don’t even cut it out! guess they’ll argue now that it costs too much more to print them off the internet because you have to factor in your ink and wear on printer!!!! sheesh

  • gina says:

    Not to be ugly but whoever wrote “8 reason not to use coupons” does not know what he/she is talking about and must not have done research on the subject….I have only been using coupons for a couple of months and oh the difference! I even get free stuff I would not normally have bought and now like after trying the product. I also give stuff away and I really love doing that! I basically am sharing my time since most of the stuff is free or close to it. So coupons are truely wonderful!

  • Sia Hills says:

    I am an avid coupon user and promoter. I love the savings I see and strongly encourage coupon use. Having said that, I did in fact find some of the authors points valid.

    Most notably #5 – Coupons can tempt you to spend your grocery dollars on things you shouldn’t. I have found this true both personally and through blogging. Manufactures distribute coupons as part of a marketing effort to get people to buy their products. If it did not work, they would not continue to make coupons avaiable. The best example of this is catalina coupons. This is a genius marketing play to get people to feel like they are getting something for free….when most often they are really getting a 50% discount. I see frugally focussed blogs post register reward deals as free all the time, when there is really an out of pocket expense. I realize some couponers are able to do a great job of rolling these and then they are truly getting items for free…but many are sucked into purchasing something they probably would not have except that it seems free (I have fallen prey many times). I actually did a post on my blog about how catalinas really work and got some feedback that I was spoiling all of the fun by putting an honest spin on the marketing ploy).

    The difference for me is that point #5 is not reason to stop couponing, but a wake up to be more deliberate in my spending (even coupon spending)!

  • Chris says:

    I don’t know how many she shops for, but she has saved money in the recent past … she’s a couponer; a “binder” lady.

    http://www.torontosun.com/money/savings/2010/02/26/13047476.html

    • Amanda says:

      @Chris, This makes me really angry. I can understand if she does not use coupons and does not think they work. Sadly, she does coupon! She knows they work! Why is she writing an article to discourage coupons usage? How much was she paid to write this article and who payed her?! Ugh.

  • Some weeks I spend a lot of time (when the kids are asleep) planning my shopping adventures but I look at couponing as my hobby. I like numbers and it is fun to me to match up sales with coupons and write out different scenarios. I save my family a lot of money doing this so that I can be a stay at home mom. If I weren’t using coupons I would be working at least 20 hours a week at a traditional job so even if I spend five hours a week on coupons, etc. I am still coming out way ahead and I get to be home with my kids which is my dream.

  • Martine says:

    I agree with you. I think this author had nothing else to write about. I spent about 20 minutes last night gathering some coupons to go shopping and save $11. Maybe she makes a ton of money and can’t afford to save money. I purchases 2 26 week subscriptions of a newspaper for $20. I already made that money back.

    I love coupons and all my friends know about it. This is the exact reason why so many people misuse coupons and think they are a waste.

    To all the couponers and extreme couponers, I look up to you guys and am working my way to saving so much more. I started couponing in February and so far save about $700-$800. (I haven’t updated my excel spreadsheet since May so it may be more.)

  • Erin says:

    The author even has a finance blog where she talks about couponing and tells people who to do it! She got most of her ideas from Couponmom.com How can you write a finance blog and ay couponing doesn’t save you money?
    http://twopenniesearned.blogspot.com/search/label/couponing

    • JennyManley says:

      @Erin,
      I saw this too! I Googled (actually, I SwagBucks-ed) her name and found my way to her blog. What a fraud. She even has a couponing section! I totally think Yahoo was trying to stir up a hornet’s nest in order to boost their viewings for the day.

  • Chad says:

    I fully support the article and the interntions that couponing is a waste of time. Everyone should stop now!

    Frugal

    P.S. (It will leave more for me when I bring our coupons in to get the free/almost free items and feed a family of 5 on less than $150/month) So again everyone stop using your coupons

  • Spendwisemom says:

    I think you can save a lot of money with coupons. But, I think if we want respect for shopping the way we want, we should also respect others who choose not to use them. Some people may prefer to work outside the home and skip the coupons. The important thing is finding what is best for each of us with our values and our individual situations.

  • Stephanie says:

    I used to think like the author b/c I was deep down jealous of people who couponed and who knew the system. But once I took the time to learn and took a free couponing class offered by a local guru, I’m totally hooked. In this economy, I need to find all the ways to cut back I can. I’m glad some people don’t mind spending $4 for ice cream and can afford to do so. Unfortunately, we aren’t those people. If we want to splurge on a luxury like frozen dessert, it had better be cheap. Without coupons and great sales, we would seriously have to do without a lot of stuff. To be fair, I still think of couponing like a hobby, but it’s the only hobby I know of where you can save money by doing it.

  • Andrea says:

    Yes! I’m a willing coupon slave and shopping has never been easier as I enter the shop each week with the intention of clearing expiring coupons in my little pack (and grab fresh produce of course). And since ice cream coupons don’t appear in winter, I’m not buying them simply because there’s no coupons. Now that’s a good thing isn’t it? 🙂

  • Crystal L. says:

    I don’t think the article is necessarily intended to say “DON’T EVER COUPON FOOLZ!!!!!” Especially since the writer maintains a blog in which she states she personally uses coupons. I think she was simply stating the downsides of couponing – which I personally agree with. However, I feel the benefits outweigh these negatives so I deal with the not so great things about it.

  • Courtney says:

    Regarding argument #4: Yes, I have bought things I do not want or need…case in point:

    Recently I needed to buy Fixodent for my daughter (she has a retainer for an open cleft palate but is 4yo and can’t keep it in ;).

    Scenario #1: Buy two small tubes of Fixodent for $4 total.
    Scenario #2: Buy the Celsius Tea drink at Wags for $3.99 with a $3 coupon and get a $3 RR back. Use $3 RR to buy Fixodent for $1. Total spending: $2.

    I have no use for the Celsius Tea drink, but I spent $2 LESS by buying it than I would have had I bought the Fixodent by itself.

  • Crystal says:

    I have to say that I somewhat agree with the “slave to couponing” thing. There are a TON of people who are literally addicted to the deals to the point where they are compromising ethics and building up HUGE HUGE store rooms of stuff that they or anyone they know will never use, just because they can. I think that is taking it too far, but at the same time it’s a deeper issue besides the coupons.

  • Jen T says:

    I think the general feeling is that the author is misinformed. I don’t think she ever came across one of these awesome blogs, because it’s changed our financial lives! Maybe she went through the Sunday paper and tried it as an experiment, but it didn’t work for her because she’s super busy with all of her responsibilities. It’s understandable…. I figure I work over 100 hours a week between full-time college classes, working at home, working outside of the home at a company, housework, taking care of two kids under 2, etc. etc. I admit to not having the time to sit there and match ads with the coupons. I’m thankful that I found a group of really intelligent, hard-working moms that compile these lists for us as a “living,” and allow me to spend relatively little time making a list, printing and pulling out coupons to match. The most time I spend is compiling lists together of different transactions that maximize my ECB’s, RR’s, 5/25 cpns, yada yada. I sometimes calculate that into my “working hours,” because I save us a ton of money and a lot of times I even make money from rebates and in-store coupons. (I missed out on the Neutrogena because my stores were oos – darn!) I’ve had transactions as low as $0.50-$2.50 for 3 bags of items, and then received “money back” in their store coupons. Add me to the list of Coupon Slaves, and give me a t-shirt while you’re at it. =)

  • Mel says:

    The benefits to couponing more then out-weigh the negatives. I save at least $60 a month on our grocery and household items for maybe two hours worth of work, and I get to watch T.V. or talk with my husband while I do it. A job that “makes” $30 an hour is okay by me. ^_^

  • Erin says:

    That was a horrible article on a number of levels, but the thing that really leaves me scratching my head is her issue with buying the newspaper and inviting unwanted advertising into your home. Seriously? Some people actually *read* the newspaper, and the advertising is far tamer than what you find on TV, which she clearly endorses, and the Internet, where her “article” was published.

  • Jenny B. says:

    Wow, how clueless! I can’t believe this article was even published! To add to the rebuttal for argument #8–my shopping takes much LESS time when I use coupons! It is pretty obvious that the author of the article does not use coupons. Too bad someone so misinformed is misinforming so many others!

  • Joy says:

    Wow! Those are the stupidest reasons I’ve heard yet. I wanted to read them to see what logic there was to them, and I’d have to say none! I can refute each one as well. How interesting someone would publish those types of silly statements. I guess they have never really researched what works best.

  • suzie says:

    Well using coupons is awesome like u said has she ever even done it beforr? Before last year I wouldn’t even thought or cared to use coupons then lasst yr my husband got laid off for 10 months then I started and now he’s back to work and I’m still doing it nd saved 300 this month what’s not to like bout that . There could b wprse hobbies

  • I look at it this way. I could spend a couple hours a week with a hobby that gives me nothing in return, OR I can have a hobby that actually gives me a return.

    Here’s a true story:

    A man’s mother drove a luxury car, and he teased her because she always “had to” use coupons. He said to her, “Ma, you drive this kind of car, so why do you have to use coupons?” She replied, “It’s because I use coupons that I can buy this kind of car.”

    I heard someone share that story in a devotional or chapel service, and that story stuck with me!

    Rock on with the coupons! 🙂

  • Julie says:

    That article is funny. Everyone has their own opinion and my opinion is coupons are very useful. I cannot get some of my friends to jump into couponing either because they think it is the waste. Well, in the end all of us couponers can laugh as we walk into the bank depositing our savings.

    While I am not as good as Crystal or some of you, I am learning and getting better and better. I must admit that I used to use a lot of time clipping and organizing and search but as my stockpile grows shopping trips are less and I am making less trips. Now I just watch the sales cycles.

    I seen a lady at CVS the other day spend $93.00 on three small bags. I don’t like to spend more than 93 cents on three bags. To each their own.

  • Nancy says:

    I am sort of glad that misconceptions like this exist. I want to help all the motivated people I can, but on the other hand, let’s face it: if everybody coupon-ed, then such great deals would be history. In other words, if some people don’t pay full price, how can the manufacturer make enough profit to offer coupons?

    I used to go crazy when people said couponing wasn’t worth it. Now I just smile and shrug and say, “You may be right.”

    I also leave my “coupon clipping mama” T-shirt at home. Now I am StealthSaver. 🙂

  • Beth says:

    This was an interesting post to read. (both the article and the rebuttals) I respect and admire those who use coupons and save money by doing so, and I have used coupons in the past, but I don’t think its necessary for couponers to implythat those who don’t use them should have to “justify” or “make excuses” for not using coupons. I personally know moms who have confessed to me that they “feel so guilty” for not using coupons-even though they have their husband’s blessing not to do so. I personally felt quite liberated when I threw away my coupon binder. I have found that cooking simple, from scratch healthy meals, making a menu plan and shopping at one store works for our family.

    • Beth says:

      @Laura E. Walker from Camp Pendleton,
      Laura-I order almost all tolietries from Alice.com-I’m not brand loyal, so I always get whatever happens to be cheapest at the time. Sometimes there are coupons on that site, and I have ordered specific items b/c it had a coupon. Plus there’s the added benefit of it being on my doorstep. (LOVE that!)
      We hardly ever eat out, but there have been a few times that I’ve used coupons @ resturaunts that friends or family have forwarded to me. 🙂
      I spend $50/per week for a family of five-and this includes toiletries. I’m happy with that amount-other than that no, I don’t clip any coupons..

    • Crystal says:

      @Beth, Okay, I already responded to this once but got deleted. not sure if it’s because my opinion is in the minority or if it’s because I referred to another blogger? Anywho I’ll try again by saying that I’m sorry for the attitudes that you are talking of–the very ones that are even being expressed toward you right now by some people, and I do think it’s sad that we come to that towards one another. Good for you taking charge in the way YOU see fit. That’s all we can each do is what is best for our own families.

  • Ben Cable says:

    Maybe this article should have been entitled “8 plausible excuses for not using coupons.”

  • Nina T. says:

    Awesome article!!!! I’ve linked to it on my blog!

  • Leigh Ann says:

    Oh…she is not misinformed! Check out her personal blog…. http://twopenniesearned.blogspot.com/search/label/couponing
    I think she just got paid to write this horrible article! She is a hypocrite.

    I LOVE the rebuttals!

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