Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why I Don't Coupon

Recently I've noticed more and more people getting into couponing. You know, using coupons to save money on groceries.  But this is not just saving 50 cents on a box of Mac and cheese. This saving hundreds of dollars per month on your bill.  There are hundreds of blogs and websites devoted to saving you money. The woman in front of me at Publix yesterday saved $110 on her bill.  She only spent $77. That's impressive.

I love a good bargain so of course I looked into joining the couponing fray...for about 30 seconds.  Here's why I quit before getting started.

1) I'm busy.

Okay, that's a total  lie. More accurately, I'm lazy.  To be a successful couponer you need to spend hours pouring over store weeklies, newspaper inserts and websites.  You have to compare coupons to weekly sales to get the best deals.  Some people shop at multiple stores to save maximum dollars. Those are hours I could spend cleaning blogging, playing Snood and watching TV.

2) I'm not that organized.  

There are special binders to house your coupons.  The few coupons I do use are housed in a beat up business envelope in my diaper bag. To get the best deals you need to keep track of what sales are where.  I can barely keep track of where I left my keys.

3) Successful couponing means buying in bulk. I don't have room for bulk.
The woman who saved $110 dollars had at least 10 boxes of hard taco shells.  That's a hella lot of taco shells. We have a tiny kitchen.  So tiny that we added shelves to our coat closet to store all our appliances. Ten boxes of taco shelves would literally take up 1/3 of my available food storage cabinet space.  We only have room for what will be used in the near future.

 4) My family doesn't eat the types of foods you can get with coupons.
This is the main reason I can't get into hardcore couponing. A quick browse on shows coupons for pre-packaged lunch meat, refrigerated cookie dough, pizza rolls, and juice.  We are by no means very healthy eaters but those are things that would rarely show up on our grocery list.  I prefer cookies from scratch, think pre-packaged lunch meat is scary and would rather rot my teeth with soda over juice.  There aren't coupons for produce, meats or dairy.  Would I actually be saving money if I'm just buying stuff that will never be consumed?

I do see how many of these sale items are geared towards kids and busy families. When/if I have three screaming kids at my feet I might choose to scoop some cookie dough out of a tube instead of combining 10 separate ingredients. With only one child, I still have time to cook from scratch and I really enjoy doing so.  To me, it's not a chore.  As much as I want to be the healthy mom who cooks everything from scratch and banished HFCS from her kitchen, realistically it won't last past Max's toddlerhood. Then maybe I will join the money saving masses.

For now I will admire money saving couponers from afar and waste my free time on the internet. 

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