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May 10th, 2004

Grocery Coupons

We’ve talked about online coupons here at the Ping before, but what about grocery coupons?

I’ve got to admit that when I was living by myself, I really didn’t use grocery coupons all that often. If I got something good in the mail sure, but since I didn’t subscribe to the paper, coupons were a rarity. The flipside is that now I can’t imagine going to the grocery store without coupons.

Sometimes the whole process of using coupons makes me feel like I’m 50, but then again, 50-year-olds probably know a thing or two about saving cash. And I like getting free and/or cheap stuff, especially thanks to double coupons: the greatest advance in the grocery store since produce bags.

Please, please tell me I’m not alone in using grocery coupons.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 8:46:22 am
We don't use them often, but that is primarily becuase the stuff we buy rarely has coupons available, and I'm generally not willing to switch brands to save a dime or a quarter.

Also, we shop at SFW, which is the DC area equivalent of Cub Foods. They don't double coupons since they are already the cheapest grocery store in the area.

FROM: Greg
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 9:27:22 am
If it wasn't for coupons, coupled with a grat sale at the grocery store, I wouldn't have been able to buy my 24-pack of Dr. Pepper at a record low price of $2.99. With tax, that's about 13 cents a can! Go coupons!

FROM: Rafael
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 9:35:33 am
When I was living alone many, many moons ago I would cut out coupons, however they never seam to make it to the store when I went grocery shopping.

Now days I do just about all of my shopping at Costco, sad but true. But the good thing is at the end of the year I get 2% back of what I spent the entire year, so that pays for my membership and once in a while I get to shop on them ;)

The only coupons I use now days are the ones I get in the mail from various restaurants, like save $10 on lunch or up to $50 for Dinner.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 10:23:44 am
When I was living alone many, many moons ago I would cut out coupons, however they never seam to make it to the store when I went grocery shopping.

Here's a helpful hint from me (acting as the Ping's equivalent to Heloise): keep your grocery list on the back of a junk mail envelope and put the coupons you want to use in that envelope so that you don't forget them when you go to the store. This allows you to get some use out of otherwise wasted paper in addition to keeping your coupons with your shopping list.

Bonus tip: if I have a coupon for an item on my list, I write (c) after it so that I remind myself to double-check the coupon. This way I avoid missing any requirements like "must be a 10 oz. package of edible widgets."

That said, I only occasionally use coupons. As with Chris, most of the stuff I buy isn't what's featured in the paper. The coupons that print out at the register, though, do often help out since they're related to the purchases I make.

FROM: Rafael
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 1:47:17 pm
Thanks “R”! Those are great tips, however they came 20 years to late for me…I’m sure some of the other young Ping readers that are not set in their ways yet, will get use of the great tips.

Now days I make my shopping list using a program called HandyShopper 2 and do a HotSync and I’m off to the store…well not right away I do modify the list though out the week on my Palm before I actually go to the grocery store.

You know what would be real kwel…you could go to the grocery store web site and down load the coupons and save them to your Palm, then when you get to the register you could either beam them or the cashier could scan the bar code off the Palm…then for sure I would use coupons...yea, dream on right.

FROM: jake
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 4:34:13 pm
I love saving money!!! Coupons are a great way to do it. That opens up a new subject though! sneaking food into the movies to save money. Thats another great way to save a little! Or better yet, using coupons to buy food then sneaking that food into the movies!


FROM: jk
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 8:42:55 pm
Ryan, I do the "c" thing too! Or else I'd probably get distracted in the check-out line and forget to give it to the cashier. Sometimes I come close to handing them my list, as I hand them my Giant Gold Card (grrrr) and coupons. Here, just hold my whole purse!

I find also that the items I buy are often not supported by coupons, but the ones that print at the check-out are handy. I'll switch brands for a week if they give me $2!

That said, Costco is great. I heard that they treat and pay their employees very well, and they have actually been criticized by investors for doing so! (Payroll is one of your few controllable expenses....)

FROM: towinlovinit
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 9:13:41 pm
I never remember to take coupons with me to the store. I am able to save a great deal of money by shopping at the right stores. Between Winco, Costco, and Grocery Outlet, I can feed a family of 6 with 4 which are teens for an entire month with good solid food (no junk) for less than $350.00 per month. Believe me, I have been doing it for years. Sure, I don't buy microwave, junk, and packaged foods though. My kids know how to cook the scratch way. Besides, when you have one teen who could eat 6 boxes of mac and cheese, it doesn't make sense to buy boxes when I can buy a large bag of noodles and dried cheese and make a large pot of mac and cheese that feeds everybody and even has a little left over for the dog.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 9:47:53 pm
Back in the day, my mother was the coupon master. She had boxes upon boxes of coupons, sorted by brand, price..she'd take some with her to the market..walk out with cartloads of food/supplies for next to nothing. It was crazy. WHen the store signs said "Triple Coupons", she made them pay. I can vivdly remember her buying enough stuff to feed the US Army (stocking us for well over 6 months) for chump change.

She saved so much, they put me through private school for 6 years. I can't thank them enough.

FROM: Fiona
DATE: Wednesday May 12, 2004 -- 3:41:54 pm
try this: keep a random pile of coupons in your car. when you go into a grocery store, grab a few and try handing them to the checker. Some places check to see that you are really buying the items, but most don't give a rats behind. Either way you can't loose.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday October 13, 2004 -- 5:26:51 pm
They don't make coupons for most of the stuff I eat. Most coupons are for overpriced prepared foods, which is usually high fat, high salt garbage. For the few things that I would eat, by the time I'm done trolling around to save fifty cents here or thirty cents there, I've wasted two or three hours. There is no job I would work for if it only paid me $1 or $2 an hour for the effort. Why would I sell myself so cheap for food? It's a racket.
My favorite are the coupons that offer big savings but in order to cash in you have to buy five items--so when you do the math you aren't doing any better than you would with the regular coupons.
On the other hand, when the local grocery store offers buy one get two free, which usually includes packs of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts, you can't keep me away.

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