Are Coupons For Everyone?

I have a friend who doesn't love using coupons.  She doesn't get an adrenaline rush when she walks in the store :), figuring out how to print a coupon on Facebook makes her eyes just about fall out, and clipping through months of coupons just isn't for her.


Now, I've couponed diligently for quite some time (at least the last eight years), and most of the time I still get a little rush each time I walk in the grocery store (I know, weird.)  I've watched the deals go from so-stinkin'-amazing-that-you-can-hardly-stand-it to not-so-amazing-but-still-pretty-worth-my-time.  (Thank you TLC . . .ahem.)  Buy I've come to a place where I recognize that couponing is not only a way to save money, but also something I just enjoy doing.


However, it's not for everyone, and there are still ways to save money even without using coupons. (Gasp!)  Shopping your store's sales ad faithfully, purchasing produce & meats seasonally, using  Amazon to purchase groceries, and knowing your top prices on pantry staples can work for people who are either too busy or just plain ole' not wired to use coupons.


BUT, if you need to use coupons to stretch your family's budget and more easily make ends meet, then I encourage you to suck it up get over it and start clipping.  (Eek!) If you've been in a rut, and just don't want to do it any longer (but need to use coupons for your family. . . ) there's no way to make it work except to jump in and do it.  And, if you're discouraged by the lack of rock bottom prices due to increased coupon usage, remember that while your savings may not be what they once were, there are still some pretty amazing deals to be had.


If you just can't stand to clip another coupon (and are blessed with some extra expendible cash. . . ) consider making lifestyle changes to pinch a few extra pennies at your home, and still watch for deals on items your family needs when you have the time to do it.  Be conscientious about getting the best prices even without using coupons, and you'll likely pinch an extra penny or two.


Do you feel that coupons are something you're up for right now?  Are you worn out and just can't stand the idea of clipping another coupon?  If you need to clip those coupons:  Just. Do.It.  (Even though you don't want to – sometimes we don't get to choose if we like it or not!)  But, if your budget can survive it, consider finding alternative ways to save.  


I'd love to hear how you're feeling about using coupons right now (especially how long you've been at it . . . everyone tends to get in a rut once in awhile and maybe you'll encourage someone else!)

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  1. To me it is more of a rush ! I like to save & have always enjoyed saving money. I get a thrill out of going to the register and it only being 3 cents or they have to pay me. There are better weeks than others, but there are more good than bad sale weeks. I tell lots of people it almost begins to be a game. I like to play the game ! As of right now I enjoy helping others learn how to coupon. There are so many people who come to me for help. I do thank the Lord for the wisdom to do it ! It is nice to help people out of your stock pile and not even miss it. I meet so many people who say I just don’t understand it. I always tell them it is very time consuming , but so worth it ! I believe you have to be willing to want to do it. If your not willing you will hate cutting coupons & organizing deals. This is what takes time. Shopping in the store is the fun part 🙂

    • I definitely agree with how much fun it is to help those in need – that’s probably what keeps me going when I really want to quit! And, I love meeting people who are new to couponing and encouraging them. But you’re right: it’s work, and there’s no way around it! Love hearing your excitement, Penny! 🙂

  2. I’m so thankful for your website and e-mails because I dislike shopping for everything except fabric and hate using coupons. I’ve done a price book in the past and yes it helps. Because I NEED to get out of the store fast I want to travel light. I get so nervous trying to keep up with my little stack of coupons in the store. Seeing my nice stack of coupons and knowing some are “going bad” is torture, one more think to worry about. If I had a database I could use to scan the coupons, then be alerted when one I have is about to expire, I think that would help.

    • It would be nice if there was a way to do that Faye! One thing I’ve considered is sorting my coupons by expiration date rather than item… however since so many expire on the same day I’m not sure how easy it would be to keep up with! However if you sorted them by alphabet it might work!

      You definitely are not the only one who gets overwhelmed with that pile of coupons’ I love coupons but the paper adds a little stress each day to my life! Hang in there, and thanks for your honesty!

  3. Jennifer G. says

    I’ve been couponing for about 2 years, but been frugal all my life! I always stick to sales and I seriously get that rush off a good deal! However, couponing has lost some of it’s luster for me over the 6 months or so. I use to get some great steals that really helped with the budget, but now I’m feeling a little burnout because it’s seeming to take a lot of work for very little reward. I know it’s still worth it and I do still plug along, but it’s not quite as “fun” as it use to be!

    • Agreed Jennifer! I do think that eventually things will slow down, people will get burnt out, and the deals hopefully will come back again. I do miss all the great freebies that just seemed to be everywhere, but I’m clinging to the deals I can get! (It sure does make me appreciate great prices on meat & produce though…. now when I see a deal on those my adrenaline starts rushing!

  4. I’ve also been at it about 2 years. It is definitely a way of life for me now. I don’t think I could ever go back to not using coupons and shopping the sales. It is just good stewardship and allows me to not only meet the needs of my family but also help others. I also find it somewhat relaxing to mindlessly clip and file my coupons. Crazy, I know! It’s one of the few things in my life that I can fully control. Lol!
    It has been frustrating lately but I do fully expect this “craze” to blow over and things to go back to normal. It really does take time and effort and I think most people throw will throw in the towel and not stick with it. Then I fully expect the manufacturers and stores to court us once again! 🙂

    • I think you’re right Alycia! I love that Extreme Couponing has shown more people that they can save using coupons, but I’m ready for those courting days to come any day now! 🙂

  5. Tammy Shelton says

    Well said. Thank you. I get tired, frustrated and overwhelmed at times… but I still get the rush too (after 4 years)… so I get it.

  6. I have been shopping sales and using coupons since I was a teenager. I figured out how to efficiently use them 3 or 4 years ago. I wa shopping at five stores regulalry until a few months ago. As a stay at home mommy who is also a full time virtual employee I found that I was driving myself insane trying to get everything done. I came to the realization that the deals aren’t that great anymore and I was constantly stressed out trying to get deals. I am taking a break from 3 stores right now and still trying to coupon at 2 stores. Honestly I can’t really afford to take a break but I have to or I will go crazy. It was like I was putting in more effort to see less results.

    • I think it’s TOTALLY okay to limit yourself to two stores Tonya! I’ve done the same thing and really haven’t seen a huge change in how much we spend at the grocery since skipping out on a lot of the drug store deals, so for the amount of time that you’re saving it’s probably totally worth it! I got to where I was going nuts to, I think everything in moderation is so much better 🙂

  7. Hmmm….just read this from two years ago! Wonder what all of you would say now two years later, and, how much savings there has been over this timeframe.

  8. It's sort of like exercising, we don't always want to do it, and there are other things we would rather do at times, but because of the benefits that we get from it, we keep doing it. We might "fall off the wagon" at times, but we get back up, and do it again. And trust me when I say "I would much rather coupon than exercise!" Like having a workout buddy, having a couponing/shopping buddy keeps me going when I want to slack!

  9. Is there a specific website that has the best coupon offers? What are your secret to finding coupons? I do not buy or eat any processed foods and that's what I see the majority of coupons are for. Rarely do I see coupons from whole foods meaning fruits vegetables

    • Hi Krystal! I post deals pretty regularly here on PPP, so hopefully those will help! If there’s a specific store you’re looking for, just click on the “store deals” tab at the top of the page to get started – we should carry at least a few stores in your area, and picking just one to use coupons at is a great way to start. Hope that helps (and feel free to ask questions if you need more direction!)

  10. On a few of the coupons I have reached my limit. What happens after that, will they ever reopen up? How come it seems like the coupons never change. Ive been looking at these a bit now, and it seems like it doesn't change. The only ones left are the ones I don't use.

  11. Loradona Youngman says

    I have used coupons in the past, way in the past. I found something's so much cheaper without coupons(store brands) and following the ads that I quit using them. It seemed like a hassle to drive to town to buy a paper on Sunday and then try to follow when to us the coupons etc. I ended up using SAMs club, win co and ads to shop.
    Saying all that, I'm now living in a city(yippy!!!!) and I can use the library to print off the coupons for free. I go there once a week for other things anyway so I'm not making two trips. I can shop for the lowest prices with ads and the suggestions and work you've made on this site.
    I like to shop and sometimes I just want to buy things I don't even need so I can at least give them away to homeless shelters, Xmas boxes, charities etc if we don't like or want them. It is awesome when I'm buying name brands cheaper than I could ever find for a store brand.

  12. Loradona Youngman says

    Okay! I love budgeting when I have a goal purchase in mind that helps me to stay on track. I'm really excited about coupon ing so I can help the budget and buy things for other people without breaking the budget 🙂
    When I get tired or stressed…I hate clipping coupons and I will only do ad shopping. If it seems complicated at all to figure out how to find things I'm so busy, I won't do it. I have to have a goal too. Otherwise I'm just clipping for ???? Right now I'm thinking of Xmas presents, homeless shelters, stockings for 5 kids, and grand kids

  13. Sherri O'Brien says

    I would luv to coupon but I don’t no how that may sound silly. With coupons I clip them but I don’t no if the coupons r worth the prices. I wish I had someone that lived close to me that did this that could help me with this. I luv the ide of saving a few dollars. I hat to have that rush feeling like u do.

  14. Watching sales and using coupons was how I was able to stay on a budget raising three kids and still afford to get them some treats. We are a better off financially now and the offspring are grown but I still watch the sales and clip coupons and so do my son and daughter.. Who knows, maybe that’s why we are better off now.

  15. I have to admit it, I’m burnt out. I’ve been couponing for the better part of 30 years. I started when I was very young, and helped my mom shop for our family of 5. Then, I continued as a poor starving college student and taught my roommates the ins and outs. As a young single, there was no other way to survive with having to pay back college loans, car payments, rent, etc. In those days, I didn’t buy any groceries unless it was with a coupon. Sometimes, that meant hot dogs and crackers with jelly-every day for weeks.

    After getting married, I lived with my family in the Northeast. Sales and coupons seemed to match up much better, back then. We often had double and triple coupon stores. Sometimes, much to my husband’s embarrassment, I would walk out of a grocery store paying nothing for $50, $70, or more of food. My husband learned to love my “habit”, over time.

    Now, it seems the effort is not worth the savings. Each member of my family has a unique and specific dietary restriction that makes it difficult to find “good deals”. I do occasionally manage to get a few great finds with sales and coupons. And, I still look for deals. But, the thrill of the hunt is gone. It’s a lot of effort. Gone are the days of getting multiple newspapers on Sundays; dumpster diving for inserts; or prowling the internet for the best deals.

    Perhaps, I will driven again in the future. But, for now, I console myself with the small finds. And, the extra time I have to spend with my family.

    • I so understand Cindy! I really now stick to mostly digital or printable coupons and shopping the sales ads and still save a bundle. I think there’s balance in everything, and this may be a season where extreme couponing just isn’t right for you (I’m with you!)

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