Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Are Coupons Worth It?

A lot of people don't think coupons are worth using. "Saving 25 cents isn't going to help me," doubters say. However, over the past two years, I've tracked my manufacturer coupon use to see if it's worth my time and the amount we spend on newspaper subscription. I have found that it is worth it. (You can get coupons from other sources, even free sources. However, I've found the newspaper to be the best means for me.)

In 2006, I saved $246.52 in coupons (and that includes the face value plus any doubling or tripling of value that some stores do). In 2007, I saved $276.65. My sister and I pay a total of $192 for the Washington Post (daily subscription plus a little tip for the carrier). Since we split the bill 50-50, I only pay $96 annually. So, there's definitely a savings there. (Of course, we get more value out of the paper than just the coupons because the newspaper itself is worth the price.)

Knowing that we are getting a "divorce" this year (since I'm leaving my sister as my roommate and taking on Michael as my husband), Angie is working hard to do better with her personal finances. After several years of hearing me talk about Coupon Mom (and making fun of me for being so into that website and the coupons), she finally registered the other night. (Registration is required but free.) She was amazed at how easy it is to use that system and what great deals you can find. Did she think I was making this up?

So, if you too are resolving to use your financial resources more wisely this year, try out the Coupon Mom system and give coupons a whirl! It's not that hard or time-consuming...and you'll definitely save.

Disclaimer: don't just buy something because you have a coupon. Only get it if you need/want it. Do some comparison shopping and figure out if the name brand with a coupon really is cheaper than the generic or another name brand.

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