In the spirit of helping others learn to coupon, I’ve been posting some Couponing 101 post over the past week or so. Today I want to continue by debunking some myths surrounding coupons and couponing!
Myth #1: There are never any coupons for fresh fruits, veggies, or food for my special diet!!! Au contraire!
You just have to know where to look! There are lots of printable coupons for these items.
- Join the EarthBound Farm Organic mailing list and you can print .75/1 Earthbound organics item. They also promise $50.00 in annual savings with other offers.
- Whole Foods has great coupons on their site too!
- Mambo Sprouts also has great printable manufacturer coupons for healthy foods!
- The California Milk Advisory Board has coupons on their website for California dairy food (cheese and milk!!).
- Weight Watchers website has printable coupons for their Smart Ones frozen entrees.
And don’t forget your couponing and rebate apps! Check out a list of my favs here. Did you know that Sprouts has an app too? They have all kinds of coupons for dollars and cents off stuff you actually buy.
Myth #2: It takes too much time to coupon! By the time I clip all the coupons and visit all of the stores with deals, I will have wasted all of my savings on gas!
I would like to kick TLC in the Butt for “that show”. It portrays all couponers as crazy people with oodles of time on their hands who just clip and file in their binders. When I go to shop, I check the deal sites (I like Grocerysmarts.com, I can make lists, print coupon, and check sales at all of the stores in our area all in one website!), make my list, grab the coupons I need, put the coupons and list in a separate zip lock bag for each store.
I bring a pen, calculator, my small coupon wallet (it lives in my purse all of the time!), my pad of paper with all my deals, lists, and scenarios on it and I am ready to go. It takes me less than an hour to prep for a shopping trip.
I visit one grocery store. That’s it. Sometimes, I’ll go to a drugstore, but only if the deals are sooo good and are free or have a very low OOP. I don’t roll rewards or go to more than one store each week. I don’t have the time.
At my coupon classes the bottom line I teach is: Couponing can take as much or as little time you want to put into it. My blog and classes try to make it as easy for you as possible. I want you to have the tools to make saving your family money easy.
I don’t clip every coupon every week. I don’t have a binder. Here are pics of my coupon wallet!
It’s served me well over the past 9 years. The tabs are in order of the store I frequent, and I stick my sticky backed coupons to the inside front flap. I bought it at Walmart for $1.97.
Myth #3: You don’t really save money with coupons!
My grocery bill has gone down from $200/week to $75/week thanks to coupons and strategic shopping! Once I started using coupons in conjunction with store sales and eating food that was in season, we have saved $6500 in a year. We eat better food than we did before!
Myth #4: Store brands are cheaper.
Here is a recent sale that I took advantage of- this demonstrates that with a good sale and a coupon, you can purchase name brand items for less than the generic price.
*Store brand High Protein Cereal/Granola (Generic Kashi) $2.99
-Coupon for Kashi $1.50 (from Vocal Point)
-Name brand price with coupon $1.99- With a coupon and a sale, I save $1.00 over the identical generic item!
Myth #5: Couponing is for poor people. (this one really bugs me)
Recently, a study on coupon usage was conducted by the Neilson Company, and they discovered that people making $100,000 or more were 25% more likely to use coupons than those making $25,000 or less. It also profiled the average coupon clipper as being a woman earning $50,000 a year. And really, how do you think rich people get rich? By saving their money!
Myth #6: A cashier told me when I use coupons, I am stealing money from stores!
That is a LIE. It’s not even a myth, it’s a lie. Grab a coupon and look at it. See where it says Retailer in bold? Next to it the coupon reads: “Abbott Nutrition will reimburse you for the face value of this coupon plus 8 cents handling when submitted in compliance…..”. The bold is my emphasis.
So as you can see, the store will be reimbursed for the face value of the manufacturer coupon, plus 8 cents PER COUPON. All coupons have similar language. The industry standard handling is 8 cents per coupon.
Imagine how many coupon your average grocery store accepts in one day.
Also, when a store puts items on sale during the time a coupon is valid, the store expect you to fill your cart with other stuff that’s on sale.
When you buy an item that is on sale and use a coupon, you are not stealing, you are being a strategic shopper. Sales and coupons are tools to help you stretch your budget further.
Stores also regularly have items that are low priced to get you in the door, so you will.. that’s right, fill your cart with non-sale, non-coupon items. Those items are called Loss leaders.