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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

  • Excellent post! I’ve actually been taking a couponing break, but this article just makes me want to PROVE her wrong! 🙂

    Thank you for inspiring me and refuting myths!

  • Shelli W says:

    TOTALLY agree with your rebuttal for #8 and would also add by planning your shopping trip, you don’t make needless trips down aisles, which obviously saves time. 🙂 I find that my shopping trips have been greatly reduced since I started using coupons and actually planning out my trip. If I only need items in certain sections, I cut off at least half of the store that I don’t need to peruse for items. On the (rare) times I have a little more time to shop (if the kids aren’t with me) then I will go down the aisles to find some unadvertised sales to pair with a coupon, but I’m ok if I miss those sales too. 🙂

    Great rebuttal piece altogether!

  • Kels says:

    I cannot believe this article! I started couponing in February when I found out I was losing my job as a way to stretch my buck a little further. I have since been rehired, but the couponing has continued. I do not get a newspaper, but hit up a local newspaper recycling bin where Sunday newspapers that aren’t distributed are dumped. I’ve saved over $500 this year just by using coupons and menu planning! Who wouldn’t want those savings with just a little planning and coupon cutting? I know I can think of a lot better things to use my $500 saved for!

  • Rita says:

    i emailed yahoo…that article was horrible

    • Melissa says:

      @Rita, I was so flabbergasted when I read this article as well- it was seriously terrible. I thought the same thing as Crystal, “has she ever couponed before?” It was almost comical to read. 🙂 I

      • Bonnie says:

        @Melissa, The funniest thing is that if you take the time to google the author’s name, you will find that she runs a money saving blog and advocates the use of coupons. What a fraud. This article was written to get all of us couponers in a rage reading it. It doesn’t matter to yahoo whether or not you like the article, just that you read it. Hits are hits.

        • MaryEllen says:

          @Bonnie, I was thinking the same thing. It almost seemed that they wrote something ridiculous on purpose just to get everybody buzzing about their site.

        • Brandi says:

          @Bonnie, I emailed Yahoo last night blasting them over this “article” and telling them they should print a rebuttal from a writer that actually researches what is to be published and that they should apologize to their readers. I can’t believe in this economy a financial site would promote such nonsense. But WOW! that you googled her name and found out that she has a money saving blog! Sad that they will be rewarded from so many hits (mine included) on this. Great rebuttal Crystal!

  • Cari S. says:

    Uh….wow. Sure it takes time. Saving money is WORK, it’s not just something you can do on a whim. I can tell you that it IS worth the thousands of dollars I have saved my family so far this year.

  • This is going to sound crazy but I don’t use them because I’m sick. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the brain fog sometimes is so bad I literally can’t remember how to spell my husband’s name.

    I can’t think straight when I’m sick. I tried several times to use them and when I went to the store, I got the wrong product and had to go back and it was a big mess. (For those of you who don’t have CFS or FM fog it’s like going to the store and shopping on your very worst day of the flu.)

    When I tired to use RR I then had to take the product back because it didn’t work and lost my RR.

    Yes, these are all learning curves but that’s mostly why I don’t use them. I would rather just go to Aldi’s (which I am VERY thankful for).

    BTW, I can’t say that I don’t use any coupons at all but it’s only about 1-2 a month if that many.

    • Olathe Mom says:

      I think you are wise to know your own limits.

      I also think it is worth noting that Amy Dacyzyn, author of The Complete Tightwad Gazette, regularly beat coupon moms in shopping contests simply by cooking simply/from scratch, having flexible meal ingredients, bulk shopping, avoiding restaurants, and staying out of stores. 🙂

      • @Olathe Mom, Yeah, we spend about $75 a week ($100 on bad sick weeks) for 6 people so I don’t think that’s too bad. 🙂

      • Tammy says:

        @Olathe Mom, Interesting that you bring up Amy Dacyzyn and coupons.I know that what she did on many things and coupons is a good example of what is now out dated.Just look at the deals that Crystal blogs about and those didn’t exist in the 70’s-80s.Times have
        changed.

        Good for you Tawra on knowing your limits.Your blog does show many ways on how to get out of debt.

        Back when Amy was writing remember there no internet coupons,very few store coupons-no catalina deals and I do beli

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    As with so many other things, couponing is a choice. It’s a choice to make the most of your money and give generously. For some people it’s a choice to waste both time and money, but I believe those people haven’t learned how to use coupons the ‘right’ way. Since we buy mostly produce, I don’t use a ton of coupons – mostly the ones I use are for toiletries, yogurt and cereal. And it’s saved me a ton!

    Additionally, I spent a total of 1 – 1 1/2 hours per week shopping – all errands at 2 grocery stores, Target and Walgreens, with an occasional stop at Kohl’s or JoAnn Fabrics thrown in as well. No way I could have done that before couponning and meal planning!

    Thanks Crystal for teaching me how to coupon the ‘right’ way! It’s made a big difference! (And I think you should write that author a note and ask her to check out your web site – she might just be surprised!)

    Lea

    • Aimee says:

      @Lea Stormhammer, Completely agree with everything you wrote. We also eat mostly fresh foods so I don’t buy a lot of the boxed items that so many of the coupons are for. We use them for toiletries, medicine, and cleaning supplies.

  • Molly says:

    I thought the author was very misguided and that her arguments against coupons were pretty stupid to be perfectly honest. #7 is the one that I thought was the stupidest. Maybe she would have made a better point if she had not used ice cream as the example. Yes, it does get hard to pay $4 for ice cream when you know you can get it for $2.50… but here is the ting… ice cream is not a necessity… you don’t HAVE to have it at $4… you don’t have to have it at all… you can wait for the coupon or for the sale… it’s ice cream… its not water or air. Also the whole argument about coupon clipping taking up a lot of time (#2)… Apparently she has never actually done it… I don’t think I spend more than 10 minutes a week clipping coupons. If we followed her “logic” through then we would never be cooking from scratch because that takes too long, we would be driving through fast food joints because that is much quicker.

    She might as well have added a #9 You’ll have to carry something else in your purse or a #10 you’ll look silly… I say if you’re going to be ridiculous go all the way.

    • DEIRDRE says:

      @Molly,

      Molly, I love your response and agree 100%.

    • Andrea Q says:

      @Molly, Is it really necessary to call her arguments stupid and ridiculous?

      • Molly says:

        @Andrea Q,

        Necessary? probably not, however since Stupid is defined as, ”

        1.
        lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.
        2.
        characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless: a stupid question.
        3.
        tediously dull, esp. due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless: a stupid party.
        4.
        annoying or irritating; troublesome: Turn off that stupid radio.
        5.
        in a state of stupor; stupefied: stupid from fatigue. ”

        I think that it is appropriate. I also happen to feel that her “reasons” are ridiculous. You don;t have to agree with me, but it is the way I feel 🙂

  • It amazes me that Yahoo published that article!
    The points seem very weak and unresearched.

  • I can’t imagine NOT using coupons! LOL! Great rebuttal, Crystal!

  • She has no idea what she is talking about. I picked up couponing, and grant it is time consuming for me because I’m a planner, but it is worth investing my time in since I have saving well over $200 a month and sometimes more, plus I am getting free stuff that I would’ve never tried before, and I am buying name brand products (instead of store brand, which I don’t care either way), but I’m paying less for the name brand product than I would if I bought it the same store brand product for full retail or even on sale retail.

    I agree with Care S. — Saving money is hard work!!! I would rather work hard to save my money than to throw it away frivolously and be forced to make more sacrifices because I’m never saving my money on any of my purchases 🙂

  • With the change in our family’s diet towards local and organic/organically-grown, I don’t use coupons on the level I once did when I the double/triple coupon queen! I will still use coupons for non-food items if I have them and come upon a deal for something we need (like diapers, paper products, razors). Scaling back couponing has resulted in me finding other ways to save – cooking from scratch with simple whole ingredients, meal planning, buying in-season, growing my own, visiting u-pick farms, cooking more meatless meals to help counter the cost of grass-fed and pastured meats, etc. And my grocery budget is not much more now than when I was couponing.

    Mary Ellen

    • AJ says:

      We are having a similar experience. Cooking from scratch is so much better for our family, but the price of some of the ingredients, especially meat, is high. We do similar thing to try to counter that. And I remind myself that feeding my family this way is a choice I made knowing it would cost more. Thanks for the ideas and for a different perspective!

    • Kristy says:

      @The Working Home Keeper,
      I completely agree! We, too, have made the switch from couponing to eating local and fresh as much as possible. The few extra dollars I am spending each month in groceries is totally worth it to me know that my family is eating healthier, as well as supporting local farmers. I rarely use coupons anymore, except for things like shampoo, razors, etc. Its been amazing to me that I can still feed my family on approximately the same grocery budget I had when I was couponing and yet still manage to buy local and organic! There was a learning curve at first, but once you learn the new mindset…what an amazing revelation!

      • Julia says:

        I too try to cook from scratch most of the time and with all or mostly organic/local ingredients. We are very blessed to have great grocery stores in our area that supply us with local and organic produce (Central Market and Whole Foods), as well as several farmers markets. Along with MSM, I also follow another blog which helps so much with finding organic deals:
        http://organicdeals.blogspot.com/
        If you don’t follow it yet, hope it helps you all as much as it’s helped me!!!

  • This article got me really steamed as well, so I posted a rebuttal on my couponing blog on Monday. The saddest thing is that there are many people who read that article, with no one able to comment and actually CORRECT the misinformation- and this is supposed to be a financial article? I can’t believe that they are trying to talk people OUT of one of the best ways to save money for your family! Most of her points were outrageously incorrect- or just plain ridiculous.

  • Laura says:

    I have been using coupons for about 6 months now and I’m spending less and getting more for my money since I’ve started. Sure there are a lot of coupons that I don’t use but between 2 or 3 friends I can find those coupons a good home. It might take a little longer to shop in the beginning but it’s well worth it.

  • Lake says:

    I have been couponing for a year now and I am still working on getting more efficient in my use of them, but I have saved so much money this way. I used to spend way more on groceries and never had such full pantries and cabinets as I do now. I also feel I am more able to give generously and serve others when situations arise. The pros outweigh the cons in my opinion.

  • Cherie says:

    I use coupons to save our family tons of money, more so on baby and health and beauty items than groceries. I agree with all of the rebuttals except item #1. There is nothing wrong with buying (and reading) the paper. I don’t have time to read the paper every day right now, but I subscribe to our local paper for Wednesdays (grocery ads) and Sundays (coupons) for about $1.50 per week. And our local Dollar Tree has Sunday papers for $1.00 so I can get more copies if the coupons are really good.

    Not only do I save way more than that $1.50 per week by using coupons, but I think it’s so important to read your local paper to stay informed of what’s going on globally and in your community. I was raised in a home where I saw my parents reading the paper on a daily basis (and watching the evening news) and I want the same for my son. Reading the paper is an important part of caring about and being actively involved in what’s going on both in your local community and the world as a whole.

    • Crystal says:

      I hope it didn’t come off as if I were saying you shouldn’t buy the newspaper! You can totally do that if it works for you. I was just refuting the argument that you can only use coupons if you buy the paper.

    • Heather says:

      @Cherie, I agree! Getting news off the Internet (which I do also) is just not the same for me. We get the local paper because it is essential for staying on top of local politics.

  • Christine says:

    The other thing about couponing is that it’s made me more mindful of my spending over all. Since I started couponing I probably spend about a 1000.00 less each month. Granted, it’s obviously not just with coupons. My mind boggles now at the thought of how much “stuff” I used to buy. I don’t anymore and I’m much happier for it!

    • Molly says:

      @Christine, WOW! $1000 a month in savings??? That is impressive!

    • Alyssa says:

      @Christine,
      I totally agree with you! I’m blown away now looking back at how much ‘stuff’ I used to buy that I didn’t need! I grew up with a mother that loves to shop and spend extravagantly and spoiled me by taking me shopping multiple times a week for clothes, shoes, makeup- whatever! I would buy tons of clearance clothes and such too growing up just because they were on sale (learned this from my mother too- she’s a clearance queen!)- and never wore them. Now that i’ve moved out I realize how much money I wasted on stuff that I didn’t even need, and now I have boxes and boxes of stuff that I don’t know what to do with (and i’m a bit of a hoarder- so I have a hard time getting rid of things- but that’s another story!). Living simply is much more fulfilling for me now. Now that I live on my own I still get that urge to go out and ‘shop’, so going coupon shopping and playing the ‘drugstore game’ have been a great way to go ‘shopping’ but still save money, buy stuff I need, and get out of the house!

  • AJ says:

    I do partially agree with her on the point about coupons being for things you shouldn’t really eat. There are occasionally coupons for truly healthy items, but they are few and far between. Our family has made the personal choice to break our reliance on processed foods. I’d say about 90% of food coupons are for processed foods, so that cuts my clipping time by quite a bit. We also like to use more natural products for personal hygiene and household cleaning. We mostly use vinegar and baking soda to clean our house. Thankfully both are usually cheaper than the chemicals with a coupon. Also there aren’t many coupons for natural/organic products for the body.

    This doesn’t work for every family, but these choices lead me to agree a bit more with her on this point. Perhaps she has this same perspective as well. A coupon for .50 off cookies doesn’t do me much good. It is more of a temptation than anything else. One I’m able to withstand, but it’s frustrating nonetheless. Where are the coupns for farm fresh eggs, grass-fed meat and local produce? 😉 Maybe some day.

    • Rebekah says:

      @AJ,

      Agree. 🙂 The healthy food coupons are definitely the minority. And that excellent Del Monte pineapple coupon we had recently?? Yeah… my Wal-mart stocks Doles. Argh!

    • Ginger says:

      @AJ,

      I can certainly see your point, although I had to take issue w/the article for the average American family. We also eat only grass fed beef, local chicken, local milk and eggs etc. However, I do use my couponing to “buy” health and beauty products, cleaning supplies (I don’t use all natural cleaners), paper products (don’t know anyone who makes their own toilet paper!) etc. I also am able to use my stockpile to benefit those less fortunate, whether in the form of organzied charities or just making baskets for people I know personally who are going through a rough patch. Couponing allows me to be much more generous than I have the actual cash funds to be w/our giving. It also frees up those dollars I spend on more healthy food choices for our family.

  • I stumbled this. I mean what was that lady thinking!

  • Windy says:

    I rarely comment, but subscribe and read MSM daily. And this blog was great! You’re so awesome Crystal Paine!! 🙂

  • ann says:

    In my world, Every Coupon is an Opportunity! Its up to us to make use of that opportunity wisely. Strike the right balance between Time and Effort and that will save a pile of money for the rainy day.
    I was amazed at how unresearched the Yahoo article was.. Coupons are money! You give a few pieces of paper at checkout and get a deep discount for the products you need…What can be better than that?
    Yahoo was probably running short of articles to publish… lol

    • Pamela says:

      @ann, you bring up a good point. I am a manager at one of the drugstores we all coupon at and at the end of the day, if I’m missing coupons that should be at the register, then I’m missing “money”. I also know of several people who have been fired for stealing catalina coupons that customers didn’t want. The stores consider coupons to be money–we should too!

  • Joy says:

    I love using coupons as it saves us around $10 a week , especially when using coupons at stores that match coupons up to $1, I usually save 25-40% off of our groceries from using coupons on sale products and buying items that match coupons. Even though with using ink for printing Internet coupons or purchasing a newspaper the coupon amount that you save is usually higher than you spend ultimately saving you money. I love using the Sunday Coupon Preview website before purchasing a newspaper to see if it is valuable to buy a newspaper, most of the time it is because I pay $1.50 and end up saving up to $5 or more.

  • Carrie says:

    i save time clipping coupons by clipping selectively. if it’s a coupon for something i don’t like or would never by i just skip on past it.

    i’m very fortunate that the San Jose Mercury News is only about $0.80 a week for a Sunday only subscription which means i have to use a minimum of only 1 or 2 coupons out of it for it to be worthwhile to pay for the subscription.

  • Rebecca P says:

    Honestly, I think her arguments are weak. With all of them I thought “but you will save money!!” I think it really comes down to excuse making for putting in the time and effort to saving cash and not living like everyone else.

  • Unfortunately I do know a few people who prove some of these ridiculous points right, but it’s sure not me…LOL I haven’t bought a newspaper in so many years I can’t even remember. In fact, most of my coupons don’t even come from the newspaper. I could take on each argument as well, but you’ve done a marvelous job of that~I love your rebuttals! 🙂

    • Reba says:

      @Lora @ my blessed life, I buy the paper and print coupons. However, I think that if I printed the majority of my coupons – rather than buy the paper – It would cost me more than buying the paper! Ink cartridges are expensive! (paper I get cheap via sales, rebates etc.) And now with so many stores wanting coupons in color – it’s that much more expensive. I’d rather buy the paper for $1.00 – $1.50 and clip the coupons than spend $26 a month on ink! I only print those that I will use that have not come in the paper. – besides you have the paper than to READ also! 🙂

      • @Reba~
        Very good point! The only ones I print online are the ones that are only available there. To be honest, I don’t use just tons of coupons b/c I mostly buy store brands. That is the main reason that buying a newspaper would not be cost effective for me. I do like it when my mom passes the coupon sections on to me though:)

  • Olathe Mom says:

    Whoa, get the tomatoes ready. I am prepared to be the lone wolf here. 🙂

    I don’t necessarily agree with the article, nor am I a rabid coupon shopper. 🙂

    I’m going to try to gently suggest something that may be very controversial. It is couponing IN ADDITION TO many other wise, money-saving ideas that actually saves families money. The biggest money saving idea? Stop shopping. With coupons, or otherwise.

    I think there is a trend, when women discover coupons, to disguise spending LESS money as “saving” money. Also, I always feel a bit disappointed when I introduce a friend to a great site like Money Saving Mom, only to find her spending Saturdays running from store to store to stock up on thousands of “deals.” Here’s the jist: a deal is a deal, but only when someone is already shopping with cash, within budget, and with plans to employ other strategies (i.e. cooking at home.)

    I definitely consider myself a “sane coupon user.” I use a few coupons on my planned, regular shopping trip to about 2 stores. That takes me about 1 1/2 hours every week in shopping time, and about 10 minutes a week in couponing time. I think my savings is somewhere in the $20 a week category.

    Our sweet family is on Step 5 of Dave Ramsey’s plan, mostly due to the fact that we have stopped spending money altogether– with coupons or without. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      No tomatoes; I fully agree and don’t think you’re being controversial at all. 🙂

      In my view, couponing is only one part of many parts to having a better grocery budget. (Which is why my series on 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget isn’t just all about couponing and why it’s not the first point I make in that series. https://moneysavingmom.com/31-days-to-a-better-budget-series And by the way, one of my last posts in that series is going to be on not shopping — one of the most effective ways to save money!)

      But I think the points made in the article were really off-base when it comes to excuses for not using coupons, so that’s why it bothered me.

      • Olathe Mom says:

        Crystal,

        Yes, and as a longtime reader I applaud you for frequent admissions that you are not a “deal chaser.” I think I recall one post where you admitted to only using a handful of the deals posted here.

        I’m always pointing folks in your direction when they ask how we have managed to save cash for our van, live on a budget, etc. (Dave Ramsey, Tightwad Gazette, and MSM are my three “list toppers!”)

        However, I suppose I’m always hoping they catch the spirit of your blog (spending little, saving lots, giving lots, living counter-culturally) rather than spending all day Saturday buying massive quantities of body wash with coupons, paying with a credit card! Ha!

        As an aside, if Amy Dacyzyn weren’t retired, I might pay a small sum to see the two of you go head-to-head with shopping carts and $40 cash. 😉

    • Allison says:

      @Olathe Mom, You are totally right…coupons should not be a disguise for spending more. And while not shopping can save a lot of money, we all have to eat, and most of us don’t have gardens, wheat fields, and milk cows at home. =) I found MSM a year ago, when my family’s grocery budget consisted of WIC and $329 on food stamps. It was all gone every month, usually forcing me to spend cash we couldn’t afford. The first month I got organized, not only was there money left on my card ($.25!), there was still meat in the freezer and the beginnings of a beautiful stockpile in my pantry. I still have to be careful with cash items, but now I don’t have to worry about how I will afford laundry soap, because I have a dozen free bottles in the closet. For me, coupons are not an excuse to spend more, they have merely been a means of provision.

    • Laura says:

      I don’t see how this is controversial. I think Crystal would agree with what you said about how many women “disguise spending LESS money as ‘saving’ money,” and she would definitely discourage against that. Also, I don’t think she spends Saturdays running from store to store all the time. Sure, she may do that from time to time, but it doesn’t seem that she spends the majority of her weekends trying to find deals. And, since I have followed her blog for quite some time, I would have to say that what you have stated is not anything Crystal would argue with. As she has said, couponing is ONE of the many ways to save money on your grocery bill.

  • Leighanne Johnson says:

    I agree with this post completely. Since I am a stay at home mom, it’s sort of my way of “making money” – by couponing. I have made mistakes, and I’m not perfect at it, but we have gotten so many things for free or ridiculously cheap, that it’s almost offensive telling us that coupons are a waste of time. Besides, with great websites like yours, it cuts the time in fractions by having all the information in one place. 😉

    • Angela says:

      @Leighanne Johnson, I think of couponing the same way as you, Leighanne. Couponing is one of my own personal duties as a wife and mom. Of course, it’s not for everyone, but his is how I can contribute to the family pot. It is work, but worth it! I tell my husband that if our “ship suddenly came it,” (not likely since he is a pastor!) I think I would still coupon…it’s work that is very satisfying.

    • Allison says:

      @Leighanne Johnson, Exactly. As a SAHM I have the time, but I don’t have the money!

  • Jessica says:

    I like that part about buying a newspaper. So is buying a paper bad because we are not sitting at our computers reading articles like this? We buy one paper a week, I take the coupons and my husband reads the paper, then I recyle the paper (plus it’s always nice to have on hand for arts and craft projects.) But I save enough in one week from couponing to pay for the 4 newspapers we buy a month. She should have done more research before writing this article.

    • Reba says:

      @Jessica, I agree with buying the paper – if I printed all my coupons I would be paying WAY more in ink costs! Even spending $12 on papers a month is less than half what it would cost me to print the same coupons from my home comoputer! And we actually read the paper – and I save some for painting and gluing projects – makes clean up so much faster!

  • Gloria says:

    Your rebuttal was excellent. That article and the author was completely ridiculous. Obviously, she didn’t do any research and just pulled those reasons right out of her ____. 🙂 I do buy the paper, but only on Sundays and at the Dollar Tree for $1 instead of the newsstand price of $1.75. The time I do spend collecting coupons, shopping, and planning is well worth it. I have saved so much and can stretch my single mom budget so much further. I can actually make it from paycheck to paycheck now instead of scrambling 2 weeks out of the month for grocery money. My cupboards have never been as full as they are either. Of course there are the same coupons offered all the time…have they really invented some new kind of foods? Not really, we pretty much eat the same things all the time, so it makes sense to have the same ones. Duh!! I could go on and on…

  • Sheila says:

    Wow. That article was laughable. Seems to come from the point of view of someone who has never tried couponing and wants to make excuses not to, and very weak ones at that. I have cut our grocery budget in half and get easily two- to four-times the product to feed my family of 6 through couponing. Sure it takes time and planning but how else could I gain $400 a month for my family all without leaving the house? Those results speak for themselves if you ask me.

  • Penny says:

    I am going to have to go ahead and encourage folks to subscribe to their local Sunday paper.

    If everyone goes dumpster diving for “free” coupon inserts, it hurts EVERYONE’s chances of even getting a newspaper in the future. Newspapers are struggling against the internet—-support them in their efforts to stay viable!

    There’s a diff between being frugal or cost-conscious and being a cheapskate (hint: one lifestyle choice does far more harm than good)

    • Crystal says:

      I guess you’re saying I’m a cheapskate. 😉

      I get coupons from plenty of other sources than a dumpster — the internet, free product samples and more.

      And I have nothing wrong with subscribing to your local newspaper. That works for many people. I’m just encouraging people to realize you don’t HAVE to subscribe to your local paper to get coupons. 🙂

      • Bonnie says:

        @Crystal, I’m all about the dumpster diving. Why should I pay for a paper, whose views I totally disagree with, when their are 50-100 sitting on the top of the recycle bin every Tuesday waiting for me to come and sort through. Maybe if most newspapers weren’t liberal garbage more consumers would buy them . . .to read. Last time I checked a newspaper wasn’t meant to be bought for the coupons, but was instead intended to be read. The advertisements ie coupons were an add on.

  • Sommer Emery says:

    Too bad the article doesn’t allow you to leave comments!

  • Diana says:

    She says, “Plus, if you have a monthly grocery budget that you stick to no matter what, coupons will only get you more food or different food – they won’t truly save you any money.” If you get more food for the same amount of money, isn’t that a good thing? It’s in your budget, why not stretch the dollars?

    Also, I do agree that many coupons are for boxed, processed foods that I don’t want to feed my family. So I don’t use those coupons. No temptation.

    Thanks for the great rebuttal! 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      @Diana, I agree Diane. Personally, my grocery budget has not lowered since starting coupons, but I am able to buy more food and often times better food. We are able to regularly donate to the church food pantry. We don’t eat beans and rice *all the time* anymore, and the growing children are not yet forcing me to raise the grocery budget. Coupons have been a huge help in my household.

  • ashley steele says:

    I disagree with the yahoo blog! Im pretty new to coupoing but from the blessings i have recieved from couponing i cant believe i just learned how to coupon! I do believe that it can take a little time but its benifical to my wallet! Im completely with money saving mom!!!! I love my coupons and I hope this blog will help people use atleast one coupon per transaction when shopping or grocery shopping!

  • RaeAnn says:

    I think how you respond to the article will be determined by your personal situation/circumstances. If you seek to buy more local and avoid processed foods, be it due to personal choice or food allergies within the family, coupons are ALMOST worthless. You just have to look harder to find ones for produce or organic/all-natural products. The hunt is (sometimes) worth it. I prefer to cook from scratch and beat a lot of the deals I see posted on blogs all the way around! It’s a game for me. Since doing so we also have avoided dr. offices for anything but well-care visits for the last two years. Especially important given that my husband has been out of work during that same time period. Best part is that I still haven’t had to go to work and continue to parent my children from home!

    • Crystal says:

      Cooking from scratch is an excellent way to save a lot of money — and one I highly encourage.

      However, I believe that even if you make everything from scratch when it comes to food, coupons still aren’t entirely worthless. Unless you use reusable toilet paper and don’t brush your teeth. 😉

    • Jennifer says:

      @RaeAnn,

      I just had to comment here, because I also strive to cook from scratch with local, organic produce as much as possible and I used to feel the same way. Yes, finding coupons for the healthier stuff is more of a challenge, but I have found them. Really, once I figured out that the greatest part of my “grocery” budget every week wasn’t food but toiletries, couponing became a no-brainer!! I can’t believe what I used to pay for toilet paper. Never again!

    • Amanda says:

      @RaeAnn, If you do not use many coupons for grocery, consider being a “part time” couponer. Use printable coupons for organic items and for toiletries. It takes less time than more intensive couponing, but is usually a good return on your time investment.

  • Jennifer says:

    I tell my friends who want to know about couponing that it’s a matter of time vs. money. If you have tons of money and don’t need to worry about saving or paying off debt without much time than couponing might not be for you.

    However most people I know need to save money. There is some time that goes into couponing but once you get used to it it goes pretty fast and the money saved is worth it. I think people who just walk into a store with no plan are going to also waste time. When they get home they might not have ingredients for meals for example.

    Also I don’t know many people who don’t waste time somewhere. If you can spend 15mins a day on couponing that you would have spent on your favorite time-wasting website you have the time to coupon and save your family a ton of money.

  • Rebecca R. says:

    I just think it’s kinda funny. I wonder what the writer of this article spends on her grocery bill.
    more coupons for us! ; D

  • blue-eyes says:

    That author is an idiot. Enough said.

  • Julie M says:

    As for the agument that clipping coupons takes time…. apparently the author isn’t a multi-tasker (a skill most Moms I know have mastered). I clip coupons in the evening when the kids are in bed and I am watching my favorite show. It makes me feel not quite so guilty for being parked in front of the tv 🙂

  • Kassi says:

    I agree with her on the fact that coupons can tempt you to spend money on things you wouldn’t usually. However, with time and experience I have learned that if it isn’t something I am going to buy already then I don’t clip the coupon. I look for coupons on items that I use regularly. However, if I can get it for free and give it away or would use it at some point then I get it no matter what.–it’s free.

  • Carisa says:

    There is not one reason for not using coupons! I used to have the idea that people were saving money with coupons by buying things they did not need. Around March we gave couponing a try. We love it. Not only does our family save money and get a few free things BUT we get lots of totally FREE things that we are able to give away. Someone told me, “What you do is really a ministry.” Reflecting on that statement I find that it really is. Using coupons- both from newspapers and printable ones we are able to get totally FREE things to use for:
    ~Our Widows Ministry at our church- 31 widows. 15-20 ladies attend the monthly meeting in our home. At our June and July meetings they have each been able to take home 2 free things. Previous to that we had drawings for 6 or 8 names and they chose one item.
    ~ Master Clubs- our Wednesday night kids program at church- for our Christmas and end of year Goody Bags, for prizes and for using for object lessons (flashlights and Ivory soap- each child will get one to take home as a reminder of the lesson).
    ~ Our church’s annual ladies seminar- coupons for a freebie were put in random “Goody Bags”. The ladies then redeemed the coupon for their choice of a freebie.
    ~ This month we were able to send a good sized box of toiletries to BATA- Baptist Ambassadors to America in West Virginia for their distribution program.
    ~ Toothpaste and Dental Floss donated to Jubilee Bags- really nice goody bags with toiletries, journals, candles, etc. given to Pastor and Evangelist wives who attend our July Jubilee at our church.
    ~ We give to people that we know can use the freebies.
    ~ If we get enough excess free stuff we will donate to our church’s food pantry. So far we have had plenty of outlets for our freebies.
    Our family taking the time to use coupons allows us to bless others with our FREEBIES. We love couponing and are grateful to those who save coupons for us so that we can be a blessing to others. Our extra coupons are passed on in a ziplock bag- they circulate around church passed from couponer to couponer. After a bag has made the rounds at church we pass them to two ladies who work at CVS.

  • Courtney says:

    Oh no, I now realize that I, too, am enslaved by coupons! 🙂

    I’ve seen a few silly articles along these same lines, but this one takes the cake!

  • susan says:

    Google the author and you will find that she is a coupon user. She is a freelance writer so it seems she can argue any side of a subject.

  • susan says:

    MSM. You wrote a good rebuttal. You might be able to get paid by Yahoo Finance if you send them your rebuttal. Just a thought. Or even if you don’t care about being paid, you could send your rebuttal and maybe they will print it as a rebuttal.

  • Jenny says:

    Wow, that article was just plain silly! With all the blogs and message boards out there now dedicated to coupons/deals/saving money its ridiculously easy to use coupons effectively. Plus (I’m sure you’ll all agree with me) its fun!!!

  • maggie says:

    ARGUMENT NUMBER 9:
    I don’t really know how to use coupons, so I’m just writing the article to vent.

    I’m a journalist and that is the most bias 8th grade paper I have ever seen.

  • jennsquared says:

    Crystal, I cannot begin to even wrap my head around the idea of NOT using coupon! Like you said, who pays $4 for ice cream anyways?

    I admit, I’m not as religious as you. I admire you and quite a few others that you are able to plan so well. I work a full time job, a part time job and have a less than one year old, so I’m struggling a bit, but I still try to bring my coupons with me. Just last week, I wasn’t able to bring my coupons, but I saved 120 dollars just by buying things that are on sale and taking advantage of the super coupon from the grocery store! I got Italian Sausage for 99 cents a pound, which is super good in my area (CT – it is usually 3 or 4 dollars a pound!!!) But I can just imagine to save more if I have been clipping coupons!!!!

    Thank you for all your inspirations and ideas!!!

  • Alison says:

    I’m only 23, but when I was younger I thought coupons were a waste of time. It wasn’t until my best friend was telling me how much she was saving that I was like what?!? “Why am I not doing this?” I buy my newspaper, use your sight as a great guide and help, and take 30 mins to cut out and organize my coupons. I have cut my grocery bills in half and get a lot of things I wouldnt usually buy for a lot cheaper because I am willing to spend the discounted price on the items instead of the sometimes insane regular prices. My husband is amazed with how much I save with coupons. Before I used coupons and made grocery lists, we could never get things like ice cream and cookies or yummy extras because it was already way expensive with the stuff we needed. Now I dont have to think twice about buying yummy things because I manage to make dinner for $2-$5 a night for the two of us plus I always have leftovers for lunch. The lady who wrote that article must be crazy or impatient 🙂

    • Kate says:

      @Alison, I’m with you. I’m 22 and a college student. I make dinners for me and my boyfriend for about $2-$5 for the both of us as well.

      I recently received a full ride to my Masters program and a VERY generous stipend… doesn’t change my desire to keep couponing!
      I’d rather save the money on food and toiletries and take vacations and buy electronics.

      Since I started playing the Drug Store Game (I discovered from THIS blog) – I get all my NAME BRAND toiletries for PENNIES. I just keep rolling ECBs and +UP rewards and use coupons.

      • Alyssa says:

        @Kate,

        I’m right there with you! I’m 19- and am getting ready to go move to NYC this fall to start college. I’ve been ‘seriously’ couponing since March and playing the drugstore game and have created a stockpile of toiletries, household items, and non-perishables that will last me atleast one year, that way I won’t have to worry about running around for deals when I should be working on school work. Then next summer, I plan on hitting the coupons hard again! I’m taking a 2-month supply of goods up with me (my 1bd apt. in Brooklyn is tiny!), and keeping the rest at my parents house so I can pick up what I need when I come home. Thankfully, a good chunk of my tuition was paid for through the military, and I was given a nice housing stipend, so the money I save can be spent on really experiencing the city and all the costs that come along with it!

        • Margaret says:

          @Alyssa,
          Wow, it’s kinda cool to see girls my age commenting, I’m 22 and I always feel like such an old lady when i go in with my stack of COUPS. But if I can get stuff for cheaper or free that I need anyway then why not?, plus I also roll my ECB’s to buy Bumble&Bumble at CVS, and even places like Lord and Taylor they always have coupons online you can print. It’s kinda of silly but if you can get things for a lot cheaper or free it leaves more money for the fun things like you said.. vacations, shopping, etc.

  • Autumn says:

    Nice rebuttals Crystal! Coupons have saved me a nice chunk of money so I have to disagree with her article. I do admit I have slowed down a bit because when I first started strategic couponing I would get so excited by all the deals (not just the FREE & super cheap ones) that I had a stockpile a little too massive for a household of only 2 adults. I quickly started donating to the women’s shelter or even helping families I would read about in our local paper that were either out of work or just needed a small hand up. Even after donating I have not had to purchase a laundry list of items and probably won’t for another 2 years. Toothpaste, razors, shampoo, body wash and cleaning supplies to mention just a few. Yes, I went a little overboard in the beginning but learned from it and now pace myself. I know I saved a lot of money and it’s fantastic knowing each time we run out of something I don’t have to use my grocery budget money or pay full price if I can’t quickly find the needed q’s. With so many people struggling I too think it’s sad that they could now be discouraged from even attempting coupons after reading her article.

  • Jennifer says:

    I disagree with the majority of her points, however, #5 is the reason that I rarely use coupons. I try to buy locally and cook from scratch as much as possible, so the majority of coupons are for products I wouldn’t buy anyway. However, if I find coupons for butter, produce, meat, etc., I always use those because every little bit helps.

    I am not saying this to contradict any of your points. I think you make great rebuttals, and I agree with you. I am only saying this to offer another point of view. Like you have said before, you have to make couponing work for you and your family.

  • 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!

  • Sarah says:

    Great post. I have yet to read the full article but enjoyed the summary of arguments and agree.
    I shared it with a co-worker and she said that the manufacturers should quit offering coupons and make the prices lower for all. Good point, even if wishful thinking in today’s socitey. I went on to tell her about Aldi. 🙂
    Now I’m off to find consistent sources for free newspaper coupons as “mom” is about to become my full-time job title (losing access to said co-workers coupons.)

  • I’ll just add my comment to the other 150 🙂

    Seriously!?
    You should always do what’s right for you and your family but actually telling people not to use coupons is crazy. Particularly since it seems as if the author has never used a coupon.

    I liked your rebuttals and have to save that I do spend more time in the store. Why? It is my hobby. It’s fun and challenging. PLUS I spend under 1/2 of what I used to on groceries and that was when it was just 2 adults and an infant! Oh, the extra savings and family fun we get to have with the extra money.

    I wrote a quick list post yesterday on 10 reasons why I love coupons 🙂

    http://www.thecouponchallenge.com/2010/07/10-reasons-why-i-love-using-coupons.html

  • Julie McClung says:

    Great post!

    I save TONS of money using coupons. I don’t have anyone around to bum coupons off of, and I don’t know where there are any recycling bins (rural area). So, I use a coupon clipping service. Talk about time-saved! I plan what I want to buy for the week, and order my coupons on Monday, and receive them on/around Thursday. I shop on Saturday. I love this. I used to buy multiple papers, but I get as many coupons as I want (sometimes in multiples of 10-20) without having to buy a paper for every single one, and for a way better price (usually around 10-15 dollars, sent priority). This week, Lord-willing, I’ll save over $100 just in coupon savings, much less grouping it with the store deals!

    Your site has helped me in the journey, and I am ever so grateful!

  • franki says:

    read article -got stuck on could spend the time mopping the floor while watching TV instead of couponing.
    Many coupon-ers are stuck at home and need the mental gymnastics of figuring out the best way to use a $5 off $25 or pre-determine your total to absorb overage. Better than doing crossword puzzles.
    Once read article on keeping the brain alert and noted one activity that doesn’t help is housework. In my house, it could absorb my my time unless I had something useful to change my focus- like reducing costs for groceries, et al.

  • karen says:

    AMEN!

  • Allison says:

    Good grief– I thought the article would have some sort of GOOD reason, something morally unacceptable, like maybe coupons are printed on machines run by toddlers in sweatshops in third world countries. But these aren’t even good reasons! I guess if you read between the lines it makes the point that if you are undisciplined or uninformed you could overspend just for the sake of using a coupon. But other than that I can’t see much value in the article.

  • Rhonda says:

    Actually, someone might have commented on this already, but the author who wrote that post actually had a saving money blog where she advocated the use of coupons. So something up there, huh?
    Anyway, I found the excuses for not using coupons pretty lame and thought originally it was written by someone who had no knowledge of coupon use~I think it’s actually the opposite of that. So maybe she just put these “arguments” together to write an article to support the opposing view? Funny…………hmm

  • I can see both sides of this issue. I’m all for anything that will save money. On the other hand, I no longer shop for food in the supermarket, since I don’t want to feed my family all the chemicals, salt, and sugar that are in all the commercially processed supermarket foods. I do, however, see nothing wrong with using coupons for paper and cleaning products and toiletries – although I do get a lot of that at the 99 Cent store.

    I also often use the restaurant coupons, which offer considerable savings for those of us who like to eat out.

  • Lee says:

    Fabulous rebuttals!!!

  • Kara says:

    I read a little about the article on Hip2save and her rebuttal. Then I went and read the article, I wanted to reach through the computer and yell at the author. I do agree that you can become a slave to couponing, but it can be a good thing, with time management.
    I told my husband about the article, he thought she was nuts. If I can save my family at least $100 a month on items we need, we’re all for it.

  • Yahoo has been posting some really awful articles lately….did anyone see the one about feeding your baby solids last week?
    Just misinformed or badly written….
    Anyhow, I live in a smaller town and while other people here manage to find alot more coupons than I, I simply do not have time, but i do use coupons whenever I can and find i save alot when I combine them with markdowns generally.

  • Erin says:

    regarding argument #1 – because there could not possibly be any other reason in the whole world to buy a newspaper? How about… for the news?? Or for upcoming local events, or a chuckle at the comics or sports updates? I think we should look at it like… I would buy a Sunday paper anyway (which is true) and I end up MAKING MONEY on it!! Our paper is like $1.50 on Sundays (my hubby always goes and buys it for me on Sunday mornings so I’m kinda not sure of the price) and end up saving at least (AT LEAST) $10 with coupons. And that’s if I don’t “try” very hard. Oye. There’s a lot more extravagant things we spend $1.50 on!

  • Betsy Durand says:

    Lots I could say, but it’s already been said by many of your loyal readers….however, as to her argument on having tons of coupons that she would not use and the “problem” of what to do with them, let me say thank you to you, Crystal, for pointing me to a solution to this problem. And I am not referring to the trash can! You posted an article last year on sending coupons to military families who can use them on bases around the world. I have been doing this now for almost a year and it has been a blessing to see how they can help others who use products that I may not use and can help save them $$. It’s really not all about us anyway, is it?! Couponing or anything else should not be about me (1 Cor. 10:31). Even couponing can help us think about how we can help others….

  • Letty says:

    Love this post!!! I was offended my the feature article as well- and thought- wow- this lady really doesn’t understand the whole point of couponing!

  • Susan S. says:

    AMEN SISTER!!

  • Rose says:

    This woman is probably making sooooooo much money with here book, that she does’nt need to use coupons. I just love it when the so called experts try to make others look like they don’t have a mind of their own.

  • Jeana says:

    I think that article was horrible! I am so blessed to be a person that makes nearly a half million dollars a year and I still use coupons! If it wasn’t for coupons and my frugal ways, our family would not have all that we have now. I will be a couponer until the day I die!

  • Lauren B says:

    Hi Crystal,

    My friend sent me a link to your ‘savings for the week’ column from one of the parenting sites (I don’t even remember because I went straight to your blog). I knew immediately that your site would be a huge resource for me.

    I really enjoyed this post – and I wanted to comment because I relate very much to argument #7. I recently discovered the joys of discounts, and more importantly, how readily available they are. (Especially online!)

    Long story short, I have no desire to buy anything at full price anymore! Although I wouldn’t call myself a “slave”, the habit led me to your blog, and I wanted to express my appreciation for sharing all these great deals with us coupon-clippers!

    Thanks! Lauren

  • Liz Dorsey says:

    I have 3 kids and cereals are always changing, so coupons give us a cheaper way to try new cereals. Plus, I can send my older kids through the store to try and find stuff with the coupons, they are learning grocery shopping (yes they are boys!) and some savings stuff too. I love to find out where the Total Cinnamon Crunch cereal went, seriously, can’t find it anywhere now… And candy coupons are great when we (um, I mean the boys, hahaha) need a treat.

    Liz

  • I’m not crazy about coupons, myself, but I would never tell my girlfriend that she’s wasting her time when she helps us to save money. We do need to buy those paper towels, laundry detergents, sooner or later!

  • Anne says:

    Easy enough. If the same amount of money fell down on the ground – would you pick it up ? Most of us would say yes. It’s all about the respect of money and personal choice.

  • Krystal says:

    I think the point that irritates me the most is that “most of the coupons will be for items you neither need nor want.” I clip ALL the coupons. I save the ones I want to use and then I mail the ones I don’t want or ones that end up expiring to military bases for military families to use since they can use expired ones. Sharing coupons is a very easy way to help out other families.

  • Tania says:

    As I posted on Facebook, I think the article is true. Couponing is a way for some people and some items but not all. For example, a strict macrobiotic that avoids all sugar, processed foods, and the like and promotes ‘stranger’ foods that normally don’t get marked down or sold at Kroger can’t benefit from heavy couponing. Product couponing (like shampoos and papers, etc.) but not from food. For some people in cases like that, scouring to find a handful of $.50 coupons isn’t worth the 10 – 15 minutes of effort.

    We shouldn’t be critical because others have ‘their’ way of doing things just because we have ‘our’ way.

    • Crystal says:

      If you use coupons for household and beauty products only, and 15-30 minutes of effort reduces your grocery bill by $15-$20 per week, I’d say it’s every bit worth it. And the article completely discounted that — which is why it bothered me so much!

      But, of course, that’s just my opinion. 🙂

  • Carrie says:

    Crystal~
    You are so right!

  • Angel says:

    I think the only thing I can say is….bwaaaahaaaahaaaahaaaahaaaa!!!! I got such a good laugh out of this! No one will ever be able to tell me that couponing isn’t worth it or doesn’t save me money. I spend an hour each week clipping and organizing my coupons. From that (and a few other shopping savvy behaviors) I have reduced my family of four’s grocery budget to $30-35 a week. Not worth it? Haaaahaaaahaaa!

  • Kim says:

    My biggest peave of what she said is her example in #7…
    I mean WHO CARES IF YOU GO HOME WITHOUT ICE CREAM BECAUSE YOU WOULDN’T PAY $4 FOR???????? Your family is better off nutritionally for it anway. That’s just dumb. If she had said “you won’t buy lettuce or tomatoes or bananas or apples or “…any other healthy essential to health veggies fruits or whole grains. I would have agreed with her at least somewhat, but ICE CREAM????? As if ice cream is an essential nutrient!!

  • Pamela says:

    I read that article when I was posted on-line and had all the same thoughts as you did. I think she is just a coupon snob and just had space to fill that day ! Most everyone who does couponing knows the real deal!

  • I couldn’t believe this article when I first read it over the weekend. It was very condescending and almost, rude. What a crock of cr@p this woman writes about though. My mom and boyfriend are continously AMAZED at how much money I am able to save and how EASY it truly is! I cut coupons at night during commercials when watching TV with my bf (at his place, of course, b/c I cut off my cable to save more moolah!)…Not to mention my time at stores is literally cut way down because I only go in for what I have coupons for and then I go home! YAY FOR COUPONING AND LIVING FRUGALLY!

  • Lu says:

    When I first read the title to the article I thought how obsurd”
    But then I read it more in detail and realized the author did have a few good points.
    First she said that the coupons are for mostly for processed foods and this is true except for heathcare/beauty.
    Also when she said that we start to become a slave to our coupons, she is totaly right! I mean back in April there were so many deals on smart balance spread and I can’t believe its not butter and all the butter and spreads. I stocked up on so many and now my stockpile is almost gone and yeasterday I was like panicking and literally had to tell myself thats its ok if I don’t have a coupon for the product. I CAN buy a product without a coupon. Its OK. I can even choose the store brand if I still want to save a little if I dont have a coupon. I had to keep repeating this to myself and I did it. I bought it wothout a coupon. It was tought but I did not want to get sooooo obsessed with coupons.

  • Tracey Snyder says:

    Funny thing is Yahoo had another article back in February stating the opposite…

    http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-108816-4123-3-how-to-save-100-in-an-hour?ywaad=ad0035

  • Anita says:

    My husband forwarded this article to me. After reading it, I commented to him that in this author’s case, her ignorance is certainly not bliss. It costs her a big chunk of change..;). I agree with you, Crystal, definitely not someone who is appropriately informed about couponing

  • Kami says:

    Is this person serious? Sure I don’t save as much as you do, but I figure ANY coupon I can use and DO SAVE is a few dollars less that I spent. Yeah me! UGH! Some people really annoy me!

  • Ann B says:

    Those were all the reasons that I had given up on couponing before, but that is because I didn’t have a good plan, strategy or organization. With the help of your blog, I have figured out how to coupon in a way that works for me.
    And yes, it’s easy to become a slave to coupons, but that is where self discipline comes in. I found myself almost obsessed with getting every deal and it got a little rediculous and not to mention very time consuming. That’s when I reevaluated, reorganized and I now have a healthy relationship with coupons again.
    We’ve had a busy summer so my coupon usage isn’t as high as it had been, but everyone needs a break now and then.

    By the way, I read your article in All You about Drug Stores. I thought I new it all but I learned a few things. Thanks!

  • Beth says:

    It seems to me that a new title, “8 Deadly Sins of Couponing” or “8 Traps To Avoid When Using Coupons” or “8 Pitfalls of Coupons” would make the article something you’d like- her points are hangups that COULD happen-it doesn’t mean they have to, or that the are reasons to give up coupons!

  • diane c says:

    I have to say this article didn’t make me mad. It just simply offended me. She is obviously sitting at a desk, making a lot of money writing nonsense. I live in a very small rural community, where the unemployment is over 10% and my husband unemployed over a year. Without coupons, I wouldn’t have made it. Buying the things I use to cook inexpensive meals, or yogurts, or rice, etc would be a challenge otherwise. Feeding a family is hard. Shame on her for being so condescending.

  • Keira says:

    The arguments are weak.
    #1 – Some of us get the paper anyway, for the news in hard copy form, not for the coupons. Then the coupons are a bonus… but so many of my coupons are printables, or I get right in the aisle at the grocery store.

    #8 “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…”
    This made me laugh! As if this is a BAD thing?? In this scenario, I’ll just wait until I can get it for $2.50 again!
    Oh, the silliness.

  • Beth Moore says:

    I have found the more whole, natural ingredients we use, the less profitable coupon-ing is for our family. We are way more frugal and spend way less money buying whole, fresh ingredients and making our own cleaning products than we ever were with coupons. We also use cloth diapers, no shampoo, family cloth and so forth, so there just aren’t many options for us in terms of coupon usage, other than the occasional meal out or automotive services and things of that nature.
    However, I think it is RIDICULOUS to suggest that the use of coupons isn’t worth it for the average American.

  • Lindsey says:

    This article is so stupid!! If coupons are so bad, why did I just get home from buying 2 tubes of toothpaste for .03? Not only is it great to get things free for obvious reasons, it is really fun for me!! Thanks for teaching me how to use coupons properly Crystal!! 🙂

  • Lynn says:

    If you google the author’s name, she has a personal blog and actually promotes using coupons on her blog and uses them herself. Almost makes you wonder if she is trying to discourage people from using them on purpose and for very selfish reasons. Very sad if thats true….using her “expertise” for the wrong reasons.

  • jean gibson says:

    Thank you for the great rebuttle to this article. She apparently did not interview real people. Does she not know first of all people do not just buy a newspaper for coupons. They buy the newspaper to read the news…duh. I bought the newspaper and threw away the inserts before becoming an avid couponer. What a waste that was. Ok, I will not go on, but thank you again. “You go girl”

  • Marge says:

    The author of that article is a professional writer. She was paid to write a specific article targeted to a specific audience, regardless of what her personal opinions and practices are. Isn’t this eye-opening? Lesson learned: don’t take anything the mainstream media (which includes Yahoo) tells you at face value.

  • Paula Morgan says:

    Hooray for you and Andrea too. Couponing is one of the best ways to help save money on things you normally buy anyway. I think both of you did an excellent job of refuting the 8 reasons WHY NOT TO USE. I will continue to use coupons from newspaper inserts, magazines, blogs, no-print types for my Kroger card, etc. Keep up the good work.

  • Melanie says:

    I had some of the same opinions as the author of the article until just six months ago. I thought it would take to much time, I would get to many coupons I did not need and more paper would pile up around my house. At the beginning of 2010 I decided to give it a try. I found coupons online for the items my family uses and started using them along with store specials. Just out of curiosity, last night I totaled up what I have saved since January, $1, 292.47. I am hooked and I am so glad I started trying to do this. We are self employed, so it has made us have to feel this resession a little less. We will see how the next six months go.

  • Sara says:

    What an inane article! Enough said.

  • Tracy says:

    My only problem with couponing is that many of the coupons I get in the Sunday paper are for products I don’t use. I do clip those on products I do use for my family…..But I often find that they are for the more expensive brands. My personal experience has found that even with coupons, the generics are many times less expensive then the name brands with coupons. I think that coupons work most of the time if you are a brand shopper, but for me, I use them occassionally but find that if I stick to the cheaper items I save money. I do, however, love it when an item we use all the time is on sale and I can pair it with a coupon. Then I get all excited!!

  • Right on! Perfect response. It is obvious that this writer has no idea what a coupon is nor has ever experienced the “high” happiness and joy you get from this “frugal Passion venture” paying pennies for groceries, toiletries and everything else!

  • Kelly says:

    I too was shaking my head when I saw this article the other day. I immediately googled the author and found a way to send her a message. The email I sent her was similar to your list above with a rebutal on all 8 reasons. In addition to the reasons being invalid, she also completely contradicts herself by stating in her Bottom line “you can save a lot of money with coupons” however if you re-read #5 she stated “they won’t truly save you any money.”

    Also let her know how I thought it was great that the article does not allow comments!

    Not sure what Yahoo was thinking when publishing this.

  • Lindsay says:

    Just another example of biased media trying to treat hardworking smart American’s like brainless idiots. I am so tired of media running stories that have not been fact checked! There are tons of people that that could benefit from using coupons as well as other angles to reduce their household spending! I cook almost everything from scratch and still use coupons to contribute to my household budget! Not to mention I work full time, have 2 kids and 1 on the way and I can still make the time to “get paid” $30-$40/hr clipping coupons!!!! Time well spent! Good rebuttal Crystal!

  • Argument 1: Heaven forbid you actually buy a newspaper. Who knows, people might actually read it. Buying a newspaper only costs $1.50 and since my bro-in-law is an editor at a paper, I know that papers need all the financial help they can get. I buy the Sunday paper for the coupons, crossword puzzle, community calendar (so I know what is going on as it is not normally featured on the news), and (Argument 3:) the sale flyers. I don’t shop a lot but the need is ther and I would like to know what is (1) in style, (2) on sale, and (3) available.

    But, like others, I get a lot of my coupons from websites.

    Argument 2: As for clipping them, my 14 year old daughter earns her “special things, like music, phone minutes, etc.” by helping out and one of the ways that she does it is by cutting my coupons weekly. I file them when I am watching our weekly movie.

    Argument 3: It is not inviting additional advertisers into your home if you buy the Sunday paper each week. That would only cause a problem if the advertisers in newspapers, knew you were buying it.

    Argument 4: Possibly, but coupons we don’t want or need are passed onto people who might benefit from them. For example, I give baby coupons to the girl I work with. I also donate coupons to Coups for Troops.

    Argument 5: Wrong for all the reasons stated before mine.

    Argument 6: Wrong.

    Argument 7: Maybe. But as a single-mom, I use some coupons to purchase things that I normally wouldn’t be able to buy without the discount. Nothing wrong with that.

    Argument 8: Not if you plan.

    This woman is just crazy. From what I can see from her blog, she doesn’t have kids or a family to support and if she did, she would understand the benefits of saving where you can.

  • Joey says:

    Here are two articles talking about how couponing is at a all time high

    http://consumerist.com/2010/07/coupon-use-at-record-high.html

  • Tami Montgomery says:

    You have saved me hundreds of dollars on my grocery bills as well as give me so many free items stocked up for personal care and given me the ability to donate items when we could least afford it. Your website ROCKS! This author obviously hasn’t gotten the thrill out of getting things for free and knowing you can help others with the small amount of time you spend clipping and shopping. Plus I get my Sunday newspaper free every Sunday by filling up my van at Kum & Go which gives away a newspaper free with every fill. $1.50 savings each week!

  • Crystal says:

    You know, this is really funny to me! If you look back at another one of her articles she wrote Oct. 26, 2009 titled “5 money saving shopping tips”, (http://www.prlog.org/10388543-5-money-saving-shopping-tips-by-amy-fontinelle.html) she says herself in #3 to combine sales with COUPONS! Oh, did she say COUPONS? Yep! How crazy is that! I believe she just writes about whatever comes to mind at that particular time or what someone tells her to write about and not what she actually believes in. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s what I feel! I just started using coupons in Jan. of this year (after losing my job) and have saved tremendously! Thank you coupons and much thanks to MoneySavingMom!

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