Small Talk

Coupon clipping

March 25th, 2011

Did you see the milk coupon on the cover of MidWeek the other week? I know I've hit my domestic stride because I called around a couple of people and asked them to save me the coupon from the paper.

It was for that local milk, Hawaii's Fresh Milk, and we like it. It tastes good. As a side bonus, we like supporting local.

The coupon is for two dollars off. That's a lot! I called my mother and my neighbor.

As I placed the first call, I practically had this out-of-body experience where I could hear my own self talking on the phone. I felt like I was in a time capsule back to my own childhood when my mom was all about coupon clipping. "Vicki? Hi. If you're not going to use the milk coupon on the Midweek, can I have it? OK, thanks. I'll get it later."

There was a time when I eschewed coupons. I was so sick of my mom's coupon-mania by the time I was a teenager. My mother lives for the Wednesday food ads and the Sunday coupon section. She would clip everything out, sort it into not just different categories of food, but different days of the week AND different grocery stores to hit. When we got to the store, she would divide and conquer by giving my father and me our little allotments and having us gather up the assigned supplies.

I tried this coupon thing when I was in college. It didn't work for me. When you are cooking for just yourself, or maybe yourself and a friend, it's just too much work to keep a fully stocked kitchen or to bother with saving fifty cents on cranberry juice.

Mom and my Aunt Gaylore sent me coupons all the time, though. It made them feel like they were saving somebody else money, though most of the time I would forget the coupons at home when I went to Safeway. I never told them, and Aunt Gay will never know now, because she died a couple years ago.

This was my coupon MO for years. Busy through my career, busy after I got married, and plus, I'm a Coscto member. Then I had a kid. I don't know why, but that coupon gene kicked in after I gave birth. It drives my husband crazy.

Firstly, my cousin always gives me the Entertainment coupon book, and then I feel a little compelled to use it. Looking for a dinner option? "I have a coupon for that!" I tell Claus. The one year cousin Val didn't give me the book, is the year Auntie Bobbie did. Claus' new automated response to me is, "I have a credit card for that!"

Secondly, I shop less at Coscto due to tight schedule from my full-time job. It just makes sense to go to the neighborhood grocery store. I sometimes have a coupon. I'm not as full-on as my mom, but I'm consistent enough to make my husband roll his eyes.

The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree, to my mother's delight!

Do you use coupons?


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14 Responses to “Coupon clipping”

  1. jaydee:

    I never used to save coupons until I married my wife who is an avid "coupon cutter". I didn't think anything of it unitl I noticed we saved over $40 one day while grocery shopping. Now I look for any kind of coupon that I think we'll need. In this day and age, any savings is a plus!

  2. Ken Conklin:

    I absolutely use coupons. But I have found that it's more important to wait for when an item is offered at a good price, go to whichever store has the best price to begin with, and then use the coupon there. Often I see the grocery ads on Wednesday or Sunday which tout an item as being "on sale" but actually have a price higher than what is offered at other stores or in other weeks. I just laugh. Do they really think I'm *that dumb?

    Here's a great technique. "Midweek" usually comes on Monday, or sometimes on Tuesday. Most supermarket prices run from Wednesday through the following Tuesday. So when Midweek comes on Monday or Tuesday, compare the prices currently offered against what the prices will be starting on Wednesday, and then choose which day to go to the store to get the best price on what you want. Then use the coupons.

  3. Roland:

    As Ken also mentioned I am also an avid coupon user. I find that when you use coupons at the grocery stores and you use the Hot Deals Hawaii or Groupon deals at the restaurants, you can save yourself a pretty penny every week. Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to live in the nation and anything you can do to help your family save money is an added bonus. It costs a lot to live in paradise, especially with the way gas prices are jumping currently.

    There's a website I just discovered that shows Hawaii deals and coupons, so that you can match them with different store's sales to maximize your savings. Check it out at, it will help you save your family more money!

  4. RedZone:

    i use my rewards cards. If you go to Safeway I would create an account at their website. They have a just for your program where you can look at coupons, check for personalized deals and club specials. I just look thru all the items listed check off anything I want and they are automatically added to my account so when I go to the store and check out those items they are discounted at the register. Just don't forget to print out a list.

  5. LifeIsGood:

    Yup!!! I saw this episode of Nate Berkus' Show and they had these two ladies - one a stay at home mom and the other a retired lady who now teaches her coupon cutting technique/tips. They both had like two+ wagons full of groceries, the cashier rang it all up with a total of roughly $610.96, after applying all the coupons they had, their balance due was $10.96!!! I was floored!!! That was the lightbulb that sent me on my coupon cutting mission...aspiring to be 'just a little bit' like them. These ladies were hardcore tho...going through dumpsters and other people's trash to retrieve more coupons. And the one lady had her whole garage's wall full of stuff - because coupons are buy1 get1, she had a lot of extra stock.
    Best tips were to always use coupons on Sale items; when the store offers a BOGO - and you have a coupon for BOGO - you get TWO FREE!!! They say a manufacturer's coupon is as good as cash and the store has to honor it. Plus most coupons say LIMIT 4 like coupons, so you can use (4) 50 cents off for one purchase. Nifty aye?!!!
    But I totally relate...only now that I'm a mom (and prob because grocery shopping is now my ME TIME/fun) am I so proud of myself and happy to use coupons. I swear it's like winning the jackpot when I have a coupon for a sale item =)

  6. Titus:

    I use the Safeway "Just For You" website as well, and now they even match sale prices at other supermarkets. Before I go grocery shopping, I go online and click on every sale, coupon, and price match item that I want to buy. When I slide my club card at Safeway, all of those items are automatically discounted. No need to carry coupons!

  7. David In Oregon:

    Oh this is one blog entry that makes me laugh.

    I was in Safeway just a few days ago when the woman in front of me handed the cashier a bunch of coupons. After going through it all, her total savings was over $45.00, roughly 50% off her bill, not bad I say.

    People think it is a waste of time clipping coupons, me, I think of it as potential investments. Save $10 on groceries, and you can apply that $10 somewhere else, like clothes, your bank account, or even retirement.

    Why spend more than you really have to? After all, the Midweek is free. If you have internet access, many of the ads can be seen online. And, if you take Ken's advice, you can see the upcoming sales ads, and compare with the current sales. I do that all the time. The difference in savings between buying on the last day of the current sale, and buying tomorrow (the first day of the new sale) can be significant. The only thing you lose in all of this is time spent clipping and tracking it all.

  8. zzzzzz:

    I use Costco coupons.

  9. Rosette:

    oh geesh...everytime I get the full load of junk mail I toss it..I figure if I really need to buy things I go in the cheaper section so no need to cut around like a fool...yes cheap things at the back of the store CHEAP FRUITS CHEAP VEGETABLES... .NOW MY HUSBAND HE FETCHES back the junk mail rummage through like a fool save himself ten cents and make himself drive across town to get his ten cents wasting his gas! HE DRIVES ME crazy..WELL IF He IS mister SAVE GUY HE WILL WASTE HIS MONEY SOMEWHERE ELSE..LOL..OMG! so my attitude just go to dollar store! I don't shop for food or anything my husband and oldest son does that..I RELAX! The can both count thier pennies ...besides I am too lazy to shop..then next thing you have to throw more junk out!

  10. Rosette:

    one time my son told me my husband drove back for his free donut..omg my husband I keep calling him cheap he gets angry..I LAUGH.... who in the hell would go back for free donut when he is almost home because the guy forgot to give him his donut! The way I see it you waste money anyway so I make it easy for me..if the food is not cheap I go find another that is cheaper so I don't need to cut around sniffing newspaper makes me sick!

  11. Rosette:

    I figure many ways to save money..THAT IS WHY I sit relax at home ...I TELL MY HUSBAND HEY I SAVE MONEY TODAY I DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE! IT DRIVES ME CRAZY when I see my husbnad rummage through his coupon and yet the moron waste his money doing stupuid things anyway!

  12. Rosette:

    yes some people cut coupon but do they need it! They say hey I save money but are they going to use it! so picture me argue with my husband when the fool is not looking I toss all the junk mail before he rummage and next thing I be tripping on the things he buy..HOW DID ThAT GET HERE...funny..I tell him need to find you a hobby LIKE ME SIT WATCH now we rent least he get out of the house and not drive me nuts so I send him to rent movie..keeps him busy funny..!

  13. Rosette:

    I was watching a show and this lady keep sitting around cutting coupons and have room full of things....holy smokes and I don't think she realize things expire..all the money down the drain for sure! I never heard of coupon until I married my husband ...I usually share my coupon with a person in line behind me I give them if I have fifty percent off or something.

  14. Kae:

    I shop at KTA because they're local, but they won't take any printed coupons, so I always laugh at those coupon commercials. They do send out coupon books, though, which I like to save because they also give recipes and tips on various things like cleaning and organizing.

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