Monday, April 9, 2012

Couponing

My mother was a big fan of coupons. I did not understand the fascination with them until about a year ago when I left my employment as a attorney to with my husband full-time. Around that time, I began using more and more coupons. We do not get the newspaper and thus do not get the weekly inserts, but I printed a lot of coupons online, and I requested and received a lot of them through the mail. I was saving $1.00 on five boxes of Hamburger Helper. Or saving $0.75 on cake mix and canned frosting. Or maybe $0.40 on Pillsbury pizza crust.

Today, I don't get the fascination. I still clip coupons for soy sauce, baking soda, cornstarch--items that I purchase. But I have actually discovered that in many cases, buying or making the staples to prepare food is cheaper than using coupons. In other cases, using a coupon doesn't make sense if you just take some time to comparison shop. For example, I saw a coupon this evening for $0.75 on sliced bread. (Yes, I could make my own bread, but let's just say we are going to purchase it for the sake of argument.) Sliced bread at our commissary runs between $2.25 and $2.50 per loaf. But if I drive a mile down the road to the bread store, I can get whole wheat bread with whole grains for $0.99 per loaf. Yes, I spend a bit more in gas money, but I usually go that way once a month anyway, and then I buy three loaves and freezer the other two until I need them.

Be smart in using coupons. Yes, they can be very beneficial. But they can also defeat your purpose if you are not careful.

Erin

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