Are Coupon Deals On The Decline?

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Note:  I have to share that I wrote this in the wee-hours of the morning before my kids got up, and then as I worked on getting my deal posts up for the morning I noticed loads of great deals in the regular store weekly ads!  Now, I’m not sure that we’re going to see 95% savings ever come around, but I promise that penny pinching by using coupons is most definitely worth it!!!

 

 

Over the last year, we’ve all watched deals at our favorite stores diminish just a bit.  The Chex Mix that I used to get paid to buy (using a $.50/1 manufacturer coupon stacked with a store coupon), now costs me about $.75 after using just a $1/2 manufacturer coupon. . . those V8 Splash coupons that were always $1 off 2 bottles have now gone down to just a savings of $1 on 3 bottles,  and the value of coupons in general seems to have gone down a bit.

 

Does that mean I’m going to give up couponing, and forget all this penny pinching?  Not for a second!  Instead, I’m going to be a little more creative in how I sav e, and still try to get the very best deal I can on every item that I purchase.  Here are a few tips:

 

Choose one store to coupon at, and get every single deal you need while you’re there.

(DID YOU HEAR THAT?  I mean it!!!) A few days ago I thoroughly planned out my Publix shopping trip before going.  I knew what we needed, took a few extra minutes to print all the coupons that would make for the best savings, and shopped very purposefully without being tempted by things that weren’t on my list.  My girls and I flew through Publix in under 20 minutes, saved a whopping 74% on our grocery bill, and purchased items that we’ll definitely use.  It did take about 20 minutes to prepare that trip . . . which of course was totally worth my $60 in savings!  Shop with a plan in place, find all the information you can about every single deal at the best store to coupon at in your area, and be purposeful in your shopping trip while staying away from items not on your list.

Shop for produce locally at farmer’s markets or at discount stores like Aldi’s or Sam’s Club.

 Our family eats a lot of fresh produce, so if I can find a discount on that, I will significantly lower our budget without even clipping a coupon.  (This week I’ll be swinging by Aldi’s for some $.88/lb. grapes!)

 

Re-think how to do things that might make for realistic savings on everyday expenses.

There are so many ways to cut back on non-food purchases in your home that can really make a difference in your grocery budget.  Do you need need to use a paper towel for that spill? Probably not . . . instead grab a re-usable rag.  Do our kids have to have pre-packaged snacks? Nope . . . divide larger bag snacks and re-use plastic containers when you’re out and about.  There are tons of ways to save out there, you may just need to think outside the box. (See more ideas HERE and HERE.)

 

Know your prices.

I can’t tell you how much I save on items simply because I have a pretty good idea of what’s a good price and what’s not.  If I see a great deal on something that I know we’ll use (and it beats my stock-price), I grab it and know I’m getting a deal! You can check out my stock-up price list over HERE.

 

Be wise by shopping for certain things online.

I can’t get every fantastic grocery deal in the world out there these days. . . they just aren’t as plentiful as they once were. But, if I continue to shop wisely in every aspect of my life, I can save in other areas too!  Always check the prices on Amazon before you purchase elsewhere (I purchased an item there yesterday for $6 that would normally cost me $10!)  If you can find good deals online, use them because any  time you step into a store you’ll be tempted to purchase more than what you need to.  I purchased all of the gifts that I needed for Father’s Day online, and saved myself hauling three kids around town, gas, and the temptation to over purchase. My shopping trip took me fifteen minutes on the computer instead of a few hours heading into town!

 

Don’t give up.

Are you going to save 99% on your grocery bill? Probably not.  Can you still save 50-70%?  ABSOLUTELY!!! I promise, if I can save at the grocery store, you can too.  If you have questions, ask!  Send me an email at contact @ passionate penny pincher.com (leave out spaces), or ask on our Facebook page.  While grocery savings may be down a bit from the last few years, there are still tons of savings to be had, and you can save on our grocery budget every single day.  

 

Have you seen a significant decline in your savings over the last year, or can you tell a difference in the coupons that we receive?  What tips do you have for saving on your grocery budget?  Take a minute to share your thoughts in the comments section!

 

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Comments

  1. I have only been couponing for about three and a half years, but I have seen a definite decline in the deals – especially since that TLC show Extreme Couponing hit the airwaves! Stores quickly hot a handle on the few that try to beat the system by abusing the coupon policies by becoming stricter with their guidelines and manufacturers followed suit by limiting the quality and quantity of the coupons they now offer. It is always a select few that ruin for the rest of us.

    Luckily, I started couponing as a hobby and can afford to spend a little more, but with my only heading to college, it sure would be nice to find the deals that got me ” hooked” to begin with!

    • I know Angela! I really do think there are deals to be had out there, but it’s so much more work than it used to be. I do think eventually people get bored/overwhelmed with couponing, and if we stick it out there will still be deals to be had… just not quite as good as what we’ve seen in the past!

  2. I would say the deals are definitely not as good as when I first started a couple of years ago. O get so frustrated when I read some of the comments on my favorite coupon blogs with people bragging about their deals they got by misusing coupons. Yes, the TLC show did cause some of it, but a lot of the blame needs to be placed on the dishonestly of the many who are abusing coupons. It is so frustrating!!

    • I sooooo agree Mary, and it makes me crazy when I see people discuss their deals that use coupons unethically. Every once in awhile I have a comment here or question at a coupon class about something that’s unethical, and *most* of the time it seems people have good intentions but simply don’t know what’s okay and what’s not (copying coupons is a BIG one I still see people do that just don’t know it’s not okay!) Hopefully things will settle down (I really think they will!), and in the mean time, we’ve just got to get the deals that are still there.

      • Why is it that people think that just because a coupon scans, it is OK to use it? Example-last week’s Publix sale on the Tyson Grilled and Ready REFRIGERATED meat. There were no coupons for it, but their were for Tyson Grilled and Ready FROZEN product. I saw post after post and picture after picture with people using the $1 and $1.10 coupons for those and they were not a match. If a coupon says save $1 on Cheese flavored whatever, you are supposed to buy cheese flavored, not ranch and feel OK about it just because the coupon doesn’t beep or the cashier doesn’t catch it. I’ll step down off my soap box now-just appreciate the opportunity to vent a little.

        • I understand completely Mary, and posted the Tyson one before realizing it didn’t work here too! (What was hard about that is that our store doesn’t carry the frozen item…so I kind of wondered if maybe it was a misprint but then checked out the site and saw that they do make a frozen version.) I do think people for the most part just don’t get it, and when I first started couponing I was completely clueless, but I’ve come to learn the marketing behind the deals, and I don’t want to cheat a company. There are too many great legitimate deals to ever have to!

          (And feel free to vent, I know you’ve been at this forever and seem to keep up with every single coupon out there!!!) :)

  3. Linda Burgoyne says:

    Hi Laurie: I have actually been using more coupons over this past year than I ever did before. But even I have noticed that some manufacturer’s are not offering those high value coupons as they did when I first started. There are some still available, but they are few and far between it seems. What I dislike is that you have to go to face book and be number so and so in order to MAYBE be eligible for a coupon. I do that only if it is a product I am really gonna buy. Otherwise, I leave those deals for someone else with more patience than me. : ) I have a budget of $35.00 a week (that is just for one). I find most often I can stick to that amount using coupons. I generally save 50-80 percent and have much more to show for my efforts. I am also eating better than I did before I started couponing. I don’t watch Extreme Couponing show. I don’t have cable tv…ha ha…but even if I did I believe that I would skip that program. Once people realize that it really is work to collect the coupons and figure out the deals and make a grocery list, there will be those who will get tired of it and quit. I won’t be one of them though… : )

    • I’m glad you’re finding some deals Linda, and think sticking to a $35/week budget is fantastic! It’s definitely worth leaving some deals to those who have more patience (that’s a great way to describe it), and in the end I think there are still plenty of deals for all of us…. even if they’re not all that extreme!

  4. I gave up…. It just wasn’t worth the hassle to me esp. since the best deals were for items that I didn’t care to purchase. I just started cooking more from scratch. I’ve also gone back to work; I can’t swing a job and couponing.

    • I know Jen! You already know though how to get best prices and watch for sales…. so I’m betting it hasn’t hurt quite as badly! :)

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