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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Top Coupon Myths Revealed

Myth #1~ It takes too much time to clip and organize coupons. Yes, there are some coupon users who prefer to clip ALL their coupons and have them with them while shopping; however, Pinching Your Pennies has simplified the process. With detailed shopping lists for local stores, including a dated listing of each corresponding coupon to each sale item. Also, there is a sortable coupon list that tells you when each coupon was published. Together, this system takes about 95% of the drudgery out of couponing! And the best part is that Pinching Your Pennies is FREE and will always remain FREE!

All one needs to do is save your newspaper coupons each week, then when a HOT sale happens, you clip the noted coupons from a PYP list and save. With this system, I can prepare for a grocery shop in about 30 minutes, spend about 30-45 minutes in the store and save at least 50-60% each week. Most weeks more!

Myth #2~ I joined a paid website subscription or follow a little green self-proclaimed guru; therefore, the service must be superior. FALSE! No other website has much condensed information about couponing, is simple to follow, has the best supportive and ethical community on the net. Stick around and you will be a coupon pro in no time.

Myth #3~My family does NOT use the products that have grocery coupons. We don’t eat processed foods. It is not true that coupons are only available for processed junk food! In many instances, there are coupons available for dairy, eggs, milk, cheese, meats and even produce at times. (Just tonight, I saved $4 on fresh produce with grocery coupons!) See Horizon Organic Milk for coupons, for example.

Also, coupons are following food trends, so we are seeing more organic coupons. See Organic Valley for coupons on organic items that change monthly. Plus, there are TONS of coupons available for health, medicines, beauty, laundry soap, toilet paper and cleaning products. Household cleaning products ranked as the largest single coupon category distributed. (see link #1 below)

Myth #4~ It isn’t worth my time to use coupons to only save $ .25. Most of us would pick up a quarter IF found on the ground, and the truth is the average coupon is worth $1.18 in 2006 (see link #1 below). In 2006, food coupons had an average value of $ .82, while non-food had an average value of $1.42. Definitely money in my pocket to me!

Myth #5~ Why use grocery coupons? It is cheaper to buy store brands. Yes, there are times that a store brand item can be the better deal. This is especially true if you need the item and the comparable name brand is not on sale. However, I have never gotten store brand items for FREE! This happens all the time using grocery manufacturer’s coupons and combining store sales on name brands.

Myth #6~ To truly save money, I have to hit every store and every sale. Not so! Grocery sales at most stores cycle every 12 weeks and each store will see similar price points on many items. Simply pick your favorite store and shop there. If you do this and use the Pinching Your Pennies shopping methods (see Coupons 101 to get started), you will to see an increase in the quality AND quantity of food you are bringing into your house for the same or less than you previously were for MORE money by week 12.

Myth #7~ I don’t have time to coupon. Oh how false this is! Back when I started couponing 12 years ago, there weren’t great FREE sites like Pinching Your Pennies that does all the research for you. Never has couponing been so easy and a time saver. On average, I can get $200 worth of groceries for $75 or less. A CASH savings of $125 is worth my time of about 2 hours/week or around $65/hr. Most part-time jobs don’t pay that well and it is still a gameto see how much I can save, too.

Myth #8~ Only poor people use coupons. Just the opposite! Shoppers with household incomes of $150,000 per year or more tended to use coupons most frequently. (see link 2) And over 80% of grocery shoppers with household incomes between $50,000 to $75,000 use coupons. Obviously using coupons is a smart way to pinch pennies, for all of us!

Myth #9~ I can save just as much at Wal-Mart or a warehouse club (Costco or Sam’s Club) as I can using coupons. FALSE! I truly believe that many consumers shop at Wal-mart simply because it is easier and a habit. Wal-mart does NOT always offer the best prices, nor best quality food, espcially produce. Instead by shopping around town and supporting our local markets, we are creating competition amongst stores that keeps grocery prices lower, overall.

Myth #10~ To save anything substantial, I must get a newspaper subscription. While most coupons still come in the Sunday inserts (Smart Source, Red Plum & Proctor & Gamble), technology has enabled consumers to use Internet Printable (IP) coupons, check out coupons and store promotions to see real savings. For time tested ideas about this, check out Heidi's blog entry. But a newspaper is still a good idea. See here for multiple subscription rates/deals in Utah.

So if you are ready? Check out PYP’s forums for shopping lists, tips, strategies and ideas on how to stretch your food dollar. If you are new, be sure to check out Coupons 101. It is packed full of good information that will get you on your way.

Data cited from the following sites:


Anonymous said...

Great post, DeAnn! Thanks for the info.


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