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The Lost Art of Clipping Coupons to Save Money

By Erik Folgate

This may be a broad generalization, but I will venture to say that the younger generations of America do not use coupons the way that our parents and grandparents used manufacturer’s coupons.  I was flipping through a sunday paper coupon book, and I started saying to myself, “why have I not been using more of these coupons?”  I will admit it, I have never sat down and clipped coupons to use at the grocery store.  After finding numerous $1.00 off coupons for items that I buy every other week, I realized that  could be saving some serious money when I go to Wal-mart and the grocery store. 

My charge is to follow me in swallowing my pride and start using manufacturer’s coupons.  But remember that using coupons are useless if you buy something that you normally would not buy simply because you have a coupon.  I think it is easy to fall into the trap of buying foods or toiletries. that we would normally not buy just because we have a good coupon for it.  Also, you need to watch out for coupons that make you buy 2 or 3 of something in order to get savings.  This is okay if you are buying for a family, but if you are buying for yourself, you probably do not need to buy in bulk simply to receive a small discount. 

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Lazy Man and Money

    The problem is the coupons are only on name-brand products. If you buy generics or store brand products you’ll probably save just as much as you would buying the name brand with the coupon. So for cutting the coupon, I get a name? Great, but I’ll pass except in those rare cases the product doesn’t have a generic version.

  • http://pennyfoolish.blogspot.com Kira

    I do get the Sunday paper to clip coupons and since we don’t eat a lot of boxed foods (ie mostly we just buy ingredients) there often isn’t a lot I want. But, there’s always enough coupons to justify the price of the newspaper. I think most people are just too lazy. =) My family made it a regular habit though, so I kind of consider not using a coupon to be wasting money, and get sad when they expire and I haven’t used them – it’s like I went and threw out a $5 bill or something.

  • http://www.wilmingtoncouponistas.com Nani

    I’d have to differ on generics. I’ve been couponing for a while now and I’m not necessarily married to a certain brand but I can honestly tell you that using coupons brand names come out way cheaper (and most of the time free)
    My husband and I are both vegetarians so most people think couponing doesn’t help but you’d be surprised, we’ve managed to cut our grocery bills by 60%.

    Anyways, I just thought i’d share, I was too proud to use them before but it took one trip with a well planned list to turn couponing into a fun game :)

    • Erik Folgate

      Great points, Nani. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.wallanjones.com/articles.php Allan Jones Cleveland TN

    An gripping discourse is worth annotate. I cogitate that you should create writer on this subject, it might not be a preconception content but mostly people are not enough to speak on such topics.

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