Is Couponing Worth It?

November 2, 2012 | Posted By: Shannen Bayless | Categorized in: Shopping, Couponing

Shannen's Coupon Experiment

Do you ever wonder if all the clipping, organizing, and sale hunting each week is worth the money you save each week? The month of September I decided to conduct yet another experiment with my coupon shopping and see exactly how much money I was saving my family by using coupons, price matching at Wal-Mart, and following sales at the local supermarkets.

What I Did to Get Started

I kept my receipts from each shopping trip and kept a tally of how much I spent and how much I saved at each trip. Even if I only saved a $1 at Wal-Mart because I used a coupon, I included it. I also recorded how much I spent at Aldi each week, which averaged around $30.00 for our fresh fruits and vegetables. So while I know I was saving money at Aldi each week, itís hard to really tell how much I was saving by buying my produce there rather than at the supermarket. Generally, Aldiís produce prices are lower. Normally, I would have gone to the supermarket to price compare, but since my time is very limited during the fall, I just decided to include Aldi as a separate part.

My findings

I totaled up my receipts for September, and I spent $627.15 on groceries where I used coupons, price matched and followed sales. I ended up saving $256.68 on our groceries this month or about 41%. I also spent an additional $144.11 at Aldi, so really my total savings for the month was 33.2%. I think my savings would be more had I gone to the supermarket to compare prices on produce.

This month I found great deals at the supermarkets in my area. One of my favorite stores offered a great Catalina deal and another tripled coupons one week. Here are just a few of the things that I bought last month.

  • Pork roasts ($1.19/lb),
  • Pillsbury crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls, biscuits (45 cents each)
  • Powerades ( 50 cents)
  • Cottage cheese (93 cents)
  • 64 oz apple juice (99 cents)
  • Ore Ida tater tots ( $1.53)
  • Aztec tortilla shells (15 cents)
  • Campbellís Chunky soup (84 cents)
  • Grapes (99 cents/lb)
  • Bananas ( 39 cents/lb)
  • Pears (99 cents/lb)
  • Goldfish ($1)

Spending some extra time is worth it

So while it does take me a little bit of time each week getting my grocery lists organized, sorting through my coupons, and then going to the supermarket, if Iím able to save around $250 or more each month, itís worth it. With all the money Iím saving, maybe just maybe my husband will let us take our kids to Disneyland next summer!
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November 2, 2012 | Posted By: Bethlyn184
Couponing works and even if you don't have a lot of time - shopping the sales fliers help too. If you have multiple stores in a relatively small area, take the time to look for the best price. 1 Sunday paper with inserts can save you also try to stock up on items (tp, paper towels, detergent, etc) while onsale. These types of items will be on sale again but prevents you from buying when they are higher priced.
November 2, 2012 | Posted By: didgeridoo
Nice work! But if you spent "$627.15 on groceries" and saved $256.68 you only saved 29%.
November 2, 2012 | Posted By: FrugalFreaky
NO, not any more down Southeast. No competition of stores(few stores here) combined with shrinking values of coupons make it not worth doing.
November 2, 2012 | Posted By: ggmoney
Haha didgeridoo is right... $256.68 / ($256.68 + $627.15) = ~29%
February 24, 2013 | Posted By: Konababe
Limited competition; decline of coupons on items really used. Coupons are primarily for unhealthy foods, baby products, or other items not used. Purchasing store brands is often more of a savings than using coupons. Many stores do not honor Internet coupons and double and triple discounting has all but ceased even for senior citizens.
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