Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Do you coupon?

I don't really think that I do, in the mad keen sense of the word.  The use of coupons is going a little crazy in some quarters, and I signed up to "like" someone's page on Facebook in the mistaken thought that I might learn something.  I did learn something - that this lady's idea of a day out is to trek around the city on a series of buses with a toddler, picking up bargains at the various shops.  

Hello!!!! Let's get real...

Some of us have better things to do with our time, and I am not going to get excited about a coupon for cheap kitchen roll - the frugal thing to do is to use kitchen cloths and old rags for mucky jobs and then throw them in the washing machine, or in the bin if they are too bad.  That's just one example!

Many coupons seem to be for branded items, where the shop-brand is usually cheaper that the branded item is even using a coupon.  I am really not convinced.  Don't get me entirely wrong - if I see a coupon for something that we use, then I will make the most of the opportunity, but I don't think that there are serious savings to be made for the frugal family by using coupons.  

When I review items for BzzAgent, I am given a coupon in order to get the item free, but then I also receive more coupons to share with friends or use myself - often for 50p or £1 off the item - but I don't use them if we are already using a cheaper alternative which we like; we just have the free one and leave it at that.

I do like the till-spits at Sainsbury's and Tesco where you are rewarded with the difference if your shopping would have been cheaper elsewhere but I have had less of these lately as they compete with each other and the other supermarkets to keep prices competitive.  

The pantry principle, stockpiling and watching prices will remain my key strategies for keeping our budget under control, as well as controlling portion sizes and comparing price-per-portion so that we remember that a vegetarian bean meal is going to be cheaper per portion than a steak dinner!

8 comments:

Angela said...

I see no point in using a coupon for a branded good, when it still works out no cheaper than the supermarket brand I usually get. And I won't trek all over the place to find the right shop to get it in either. HOWEVER I have got a little plastic wallet in my bag, and put coupons in there IN CASE I happen to find a REAL bargain unexpectedly. I watched the TV programme about the "Coupon Queen", and it did feel as if her menus were dictated by her coupons [pizzas, crisps and sugary cereals seemed to feature highly!] I agree with your comment, that if living a "frugal lifestyle" then you probably don't make serious savings that way!
blessings xx

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

Thy go crazy for couponning in the States apparently, but unless you buy newspapers and magazines with coupons in where do people find them in this country? I rarely see any except the Tesco ones that they send and an occasional one from the Co-op. Nothing through the door in the countryside either

Wannabe Sybil said...

I can't remember the last time that I got a coupon for something where the own brand wasn't cheaper even including the coupon. In fact I suspect that if you focus on the coupon then you can end up spending more than you would normally. I suspect that the best deals with coupons are where you have brand loyalty - and I am very fickle! Well observed. WS xxx

Mrs. Mac said...

I don't normally use coupons for food items as they are mostly full of GMO's which we avoid like the plague.

SarahElisabeth Jones said...

I agree-there rarely seem to be savings from coupons except the ones that Tescos send in the post or occasionally items virtually free using facebook vouchers although I don't think I've had one of those for over a year.
The last few times that I tried to use coupons, the item was far more expensive using the coupon that the value/basic supermarket product.
They are probably for free-good factor more than anything else.

rabbitquilter said...

I quite agree with you about the coupon frenzy! All the ones I ever seem to get are for things I don't normally buy, and won't, just because I have 50p or so off said item!! but the money back next time in Sainsbugs does give me a little thrill!!!! I once had £10 back!!! I'd bought a box of cans of beer as we were having a BBQ, when I handed it in the next week even the lady on the till couldn't believe the amount!!!

Lesley said...

I have easy access and "loyalty" cards to two supermarkets. They obviously monitor my spending patterns, and if I haven't been there for a while I will get coupons for the next visit. These tail off after a few weeks and then I go to the other supermarket! Lesley x

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

You know I used to but the deals have really dried up.I find I just can't get my mind around it anymore and just look for good deals and stock up then.