Sunday, July 10, 2011

Coupons Part 1: Barriers and Dispelling Myths

It's been a few weeks since I alluded to the couponing series, but here goes. I wanted to do a series on couponing for several reasons: 1) a lot of people ask me questions about it; 2) I commonly hear "I don't have time for that"; 3) I told some co-workers I would. Over the next few weeks, we'll complete a 4 part couponing series. Yes, I said we, so Kelly will write a couple of the posts.

Here are 3 common reasons I hear why people don't coupon: 1) I don't have time; 2) I don't get a Sunday paper; 3) I am particular about the brands I buy.

And to dispel those myths...
1) Couponing doesn't have to take up all of your free time. It is like most anything though, if you want to be good at it, it does take a little practice. The good news is that many people do the leg work for you. We commonly use several websites that will find and describe the deals for each week. So the only thing you have to do is just to go to the store with coupons in hand. We most commonly use Southern Savers, I heart Publix, I heart Wags.

One of the best ideas I've learned to save time is regarding the coupon section in Sunday's paper. My aunt recommend that I cut coupons for products that I know I use and to keep the ad filed away until it expires (usually 3-4 months). This saves time; plus, Southern Savers references which ad to get coupons from when new deals arise. You simply go back and pull the ad, clip the coupon, and you've got a great deal.
2) No Sunday Paper? Well, that's a hurdle tough to jump. You can use online websites for coupons (, Red Plum, Smart Source, and multiple manufacturer's site like Proctor and Gamble), but you will be limited in your ability to take advantage of the weekly deals. Many coupon classes will recommend getting 3-5 papers each week. The Augusta Chronicle costs $1.25 on Sundays but I purchased a Groupon deal for daily delivery at 94 cents/week. Many newspapers offer a discount if you purchase multiples. The Chronicle will sell them at $1/each if you purchase 5. That may seem like a high initial investment, but the return will show up.

3) My Brand is never on sale! This is the easiest myth to dispel. Whether food, toiletries, snacks, household cleaning supplies, or a multitude of other products, there is not only a discount but probably a coupon for the brand you prefer. A couple of examples...Kelly like YoPlus Yogurt. You might have seen my post regarding the regular deal on this yogurt. It's normally $2 for a 4-pack, but Publix sells is buy one get one free ($1/each) and there is a coupon for 50 cents off which will double. In the end, we only pay food tax for her favorite yogurt. We both like Cottonelle toilet paper. It's normally $8 for the double layer 12-pack. It routinely goes on sale for 5.99. When I use a $2 off coupon, we pay half price. Now, I'm sure there is some obscure product that rarely goes on sale or does not have a coupon, but for the most part, most products will have a coupon at some point.

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