A friend of mine just bought some sort of coupon file. She got it from the dollar store, and while I haven’t seen it, it seems like a pretty cool idea. An envelope-sized accordian folder, with sections labelled “Dairy”, “Produce”, etc., for storing and arranging all your glorious coupons.
So, what’s stopping me from rushing out to pick this baby up, you ask? Well, internets, I have a dark confession: I don’t use coupons. Not that I have anything wrong with them, I’m just not in the habit. Yet.
I just read yesterday’s post on Frugaldad where he talks about the virtues of using coupons, or rather, the danger of shopping without them. And there are many other coupon advocates out there. So what am I missing???
I find that most coupons I see are for prepared items like fancy new sauces, juices, mixes and so forth that I don’t buy anyway. Maybe I’m missing out? Maybe, just maybe, buying these items on sale with a coupon would bring down their price to comparable to the same thing made from scratch. I’m sceptical but willing to test the theory.
But my main barrier to couponing is that I don’t see very many coupons these days. Used to be, the coupons came in the flyers, but not any more. I really thought the days of coupons were long past. However, my couponing friend told me they’re scattered throughout the store, and maybe my eyes just aren’t seeing them. There are also apparently coupons galore on the interweb . . . While I’m not convinced stores will actually accept something I’ve printed out from my computer in lieu of payment, again, I’m willing to test the theory.
The up-side of coupons is that they apparently save you money. And I would add that they introduce you to new brands and flavours (something that has an up side and a down side in my book. What if I decide I can’t live without some $7-per-jar pasta sauce???).
Weighing all these factors, I think I’m going to give it a shot. The benefits (saving $$$) certainly seem to outweigh the risks (addiction to overpriced sauces; the $1 outlay for the “coupon file”). I’ll report back on how long it takes me to re-pay my initial outlay, and whether I become a convert to the couponing cabal!