One thing I enjoy is visiting the blogs of people who comment on my site..and especially the ones who link to me! I especially like it when it is someone who is just starting out with using coupons because (and not to get all mushy on you), it just warms my lil’ heart to see that what I write here is really helping people save money!
So when I saw that this person had linked to me, one comment on her site stood out to me, because it is an argument that I see all the time for why people don’t use coupons.
“I also only use coupons for things I’d buy anyway”
(please note: I’m not picking on the commenter …just using her as an example!)
It sounds perfectly logical, doesn’t it? Why would you buy things you don’t need or want?
I have three reasons:
To increase savings
To try new items
To increase my charitable giving
Let’s take these one at a time (although the last 2 are pretty self-explanatory):
To increase my savings:
Today I am running out to Acme to take advantage of some of the deals before many of my coupons expire. The main thing on my list that I want? V8 Splash (it’s pretty much the closest to a vegetable two of my kids ever get and they love it!) and Pretzelfills snacks (for hubby). While those items are the main things on my list, I will also be buying Atkins bars and Zone Perfect bars…neither of which are in my regular diet, but I DID clip and save the coupons for them when they were in the circular, with a shopping trip like today in mind.
Let me ‘splain..
If I were to walk in to Acme today to just buy V8 Splash with my coupons and the deal, I could walk out with 4 bottles for $5. Not a bad deal, considering it is normally $3/bottle.
But looking at the other items in the deal, I would rather buy 2 in 1 transaction and add on 5 Zone/Atkins bars. I get the bars for free because they are on sale for $1 each and I have $1 coupons for each. They become “filler” in order to get me to the dollar amount required for the instant savings. So instead of the $3 savings coming off the $8 I would be spending after coupons, when I split the transaction in 2 and fill each transaction with free (after coupon) items, I now have $3 savings coming off the $4 OOP costs per transaction.
End result? I do 2 transactions, still end up with my 4 bottles of V8 Splash and now I also have 10 Atkins/Zone bars. Instead of paying $5 for just the juice, I am paying $2 for 4 bottles of juice AND 10 meal-replacement bars.
To try new items:
My all-time favorite pasta is the whole wheat variety from Trader Joes. However, I live in a house full of people who seem to be allergic to anything even remotely healthy or that looks “icky”. The last time I tried to serve them “my” pasta, they practically chased me out of the dining room using their forks as pitchforks. Despite that, I am determined to get healthy food in to them. Thanks to coupons (combined with sales, of course), I have been able to introduce new foods that I would not have normally tried...and now my family will eat whole-wheat blend pastas (that I got for $.08/box). Still not as good for them as 100% whole-wheat, but it’s a start! Had I said “oh – that’s not my normal brand”when I saw the Ronzoni coupons, they’d still be eating less-healthy white-flour/semolina pastas.
To increase my charitable giving:
Back to the Atkins/Zone bars…while I am not a big fan of meal-replacement bars, the quantity and variety of bars out there assure me that many people are. I take a bag of food to church each week to donate to St. Vincent DePaul….and in the bag those bars will go! I do this with many other things as well. By clipping coupons and using them with sales, I am able to increase the amount of food in that bag substantially. One person may budget $15 one week for their charitable giving. For many people, that $15 translates in to 5 boxes of cereal. By buying things that my family won’t eat but that I can use a coupon for and get for pennies, I can turn that $15 in to at least $75 worth of food. And no – it’s not just the junk food. I couldn’t pay my kids to eat Kix cereal or regular Cheerios. But I clip those coupons each week and I can’t even count the number of boxes of whole-grain Cheerios I have donated! And in the process of getting those items, my savings were increased…
To sum up….I buy things that I don’t eat/use because it saves me money to do so, I can discover new products that I wouldn’t normally try and I can donate a heck of a lot more food to the food pantry than I would be able to do if I didn’t use coupons
So everybody wins!