Couponing: Is It Worth It?


So bottom line up front – FOR ME, the answer is a definitive no, but there have been a few times when I wasn’t so sure. The first time I questioned my aversion to coupons was at a pharmacy. Just as I was about to part with a ridiculous amount of money for a random, over-priced item, a woman behind me asked me if I needed a coupon. As I accepted her offer, I looked back to find her calmly flipping through an indexed, sheet protected, pink coupon binder. I was impressed. I was so impressed that I had to question my disdain for couponing. Time number two occurred at work while I was listening to a co-worker espouse the benefits of couponing. He bragged that he and his wife saved hundreds of dollars a year clipping coupons. Again, I was impressed but I was quickly vindicated when he disclosed that he had to stockpile all the stuff he and his wife purchased for use at a later date. I was not impressed with stockpiling. I dislike the idea of using a coupon to save a mere quarter on two or more pricey bottles of dish detergents that would take me a year to use.

Despite my issues, I did do some research. I am proud to say that I dug deep and delved into the underbelly of the couponing industry (…yes it’s an industry) and I learned all about the good, the bad, and the ugly of couponing.

• The Good: Average coupon values are $2.00 and offers last at least 7 weeks

• The Bad: 23% of coupons require you to purchase two or more items

• The ugly: Savings can quickly disappear with impulse purchases and no strategy

In order for couponing to work, you must have a coupon strategy. The key to success is to make your grocery list based on the coupons you have and you can soar where others have failed.

As a Food Strategist, I can attest that there are much better ways to save money. Look at my example below:


• An online coupon for a name brand 8 oz. box of bread crumbs is $1.99 after a one dollar off coupon

• A generic 15 oz. bread crumb canister is $1.49 with no coupon

By the numbers, the generic option yields better results without the work of couponing. Generic options can really save money, especially when you can’t really tell the difference between name brand counterparts.

So to reiterate, couponing is not for me but it works for some. Maybe you can try your own experiment to see what works for you.