The True Economics of Couponing, Part 2 – What Do Those Coupons Cost?

This will be pretty short and to the point today ๐Ÿ™‚ I have tons to get done so not much time, plus I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with a lot of things, I think I may post on it later. In any case, I’ve really been thinking a lot about this. A previous commenter on my last post had mentioned how she’d cut out coupons only to watch them expire. I would do the same thing!

The problem is that the coupons do have a cost, for the most part. Sometimes they are truly free, like if you get them in the mail or with a free paper or something. But I know some couponers who will get multiple Sunday papers, they buy inserts, buy coupons online, print them off, send away for them, etc.

Please understand this is by NO MEANS any sort of disparaging post on those who do spend a lot more money on coupons (like 5 Sunday papers a week, for instance). I am mainly trying to bring up the direct COST of this. If you get 5 Sunday papers per week, assuming $1 per paper (conservatively, since they usually are $1-$1.50), that’s $5/week, or $260.00 per year. You need to save $260 per year to even BREAK EVEN on those papers.

So, if you are an avid couponer, you probably ARE saving many times more than that… though you probably are not reading this post ๐Ÿ™‚ If you are an “off & on-er” like me, or a beginner, you probably are NOT. So because of that I really would not recommend to invest a lot of money into buying coupons or anything like that, until you figure out where you are on the couponing scale.

The other thing… printable coupons cost ink & paper. I’ve estimated that a sheet with 3 coupons cost me about 10 cents to print, so that’s 3 or 4 cents per coupon. Not too much, but still something to consider. If you buy coupons, there’s a direct cost that you will be aware of upfront. Sometimes it can be a great deal… but coming from someone who in the past has spent lots of money buying coupons and then not using them I say – only buy coupons if you know 100% you will use them, sale or not!

I guess my point in this not-so-short-and-succinct post (lol… I shoulda known myself better!) is that make sure you are 110% of the COST of your coupons!ย  I know I wasted a lot of money on coupons because I wasn’t being realistic about what I would and wouldn’t do.If there’s a printable that you kinda think you might use, or you might not – maybe it might be better to hold off if you happen to be low on ink.

Otherwise you might end up like me with an empty ink cartridge and a mad 4-year old because I can’t print any more coloring sheets (oops!) ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. I like to use the “loadable” coupons, even though I absolutely hate carrying those cards. When I’m in WA, I load Fred Meyer coupons, and shop there if I find some really good bargains, but I do most of my shopping at Winco. I’m very selective about those I print out, I usually pass them up unless they save me at least 50-cents. Since I’m going to be shopping Winco, I save all my clipped and printed coupons for those trips. I only shop Albertsons if I have doublers, and the coupons are worth 75-cents to a dollar each. Down here in AZ, our only choices are Safeway, Bashas and Walmart, so I buy a 50-cent paper on Wednesday (the only day it’s published) and just shop specials. Safeway and Walmart are across the street from each other, and Bashas is on the route home, so gas mileage isn’t a factor. It’s bad enough that all three of these stores are more than 25 miles from our home!

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