Last week in this post, I said that our family does not subscribe to the Sunday paper. Not doing so gives me the freedom to buy 5 papers when the coupons are really good or to take the week of if there are no coupon circulars or if I need a break. I mentioned that I recommend the same for others, especially if they are just starting out.
Sally offered some good feedback on this that I thought I’d include. She said that for her subscribing to the paper gives her more assurance that all of the circulars will be included. She’s right. There are many times when I visit a grocery or gas station to pick up the paper, and I find that they are not all included. This can happen when you subscribe to the paper as well, but it is less likely. If you notice that it does, as a friend of mine recently did, call the paper to have the problem remedied. I solve this problem by previewing what is expected in the paper. If I know that there are 3 circulars planned for Sunday’s paper, I look through it and count them before making the purchase.
Sally also said that looking at the preview might not give you the full picture. For many of us who coupon for any amount of time, you’ll learn that moneymakers might be uncovered for an item that you might never consider purchasing before. I’ll give the Walgreens Ecotrin deal in December as an example. I don’t use low dose aspirin therapy, and for that reason, I never paid much attention to that coupon. However, when the coupon blogs found that you could make money using the coupon, the Walgreens sale, and the register reward, I was thrilled to have the coupons. (I still would not have bought them if I were not able to donate them or pass them on to a family member—waste is never a good thing.) For her, having the coupons ensures that she will not miss out on any of these deals.
I use what is called a clipless system, or at least I use a variation of this system. Because I receive over 10 coupon circulars a week from the church coupon ministry program, if I cut out every single coupon, I’d be swimming in them. Instead, I flip through the circulars, cutting out the ones I know I’m going to use either for our family (the coupons that I buy or receive from friends) or for the church (from the papers that I receive from the congregation). I probably cut out only 10-20% of what is in the paper each week. Then I write the date on the front of the coupons and file them. When I see a great deal, free after coupon, or moneymaker, I can pull the circular from that week and cut the coupon.
Sally is right. If I didn’t have the papers, I wouldn’t be able to score on those deals. I know how many papers I buy for our family each week and receive from family and friends. (Yep, I’m
anal organized enough to keep a note of it!) Because I try very hard to use the coupons from the church for the church, if there is a deal from a week that I didn’t buy the paper for our family, we aren’t able to make that purchase. I might still buy it for the church outreach programs, but I wouldn’t be able to purchase it for our family. Yes, sometimes that is disappointing, but most of the time it doesn’t bother me a bit.
After you have couponed for a while, you become less focused on the need to pick up every deal. You’ll realize that the deals tend to run in cycles. If I don’t get free toothpaste this week, I have a stockpile of it in my linen closet, and I’ll be able to pick up some next time it is free after coupons.
The other note that I’d like to add is that I probably purchase MORE newspapers each month because I do not subscribe to the Sunday paper. When the electrosol coupons came out at the first of this year, I bought 5 papers. If I subscribed, I would have only bought one. I’m in no way saying not to support your local newspaper.
Sally offered some great feedback that I hope will be of help to you all in making this decision for your family. Ultimately with ANY of the deals, suggestions, or tips that you receive from me or any blogger/expert/resource you must decide what works for your family. Everyone’s situation is different. Everyone has different styles and personalities. You make the decision that works best for you.
Thanks again to Sally for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it when readers offer thoughtful comments that can benefit others. Often, you all uncover or consider things that I might not have before. I feel so blessed to have such a dialogue with you all, many of whom I might not ever meet in person but I feel like I already know.
Now to the coupon preview. I’ve included coupons below that I’ll be clipping.
- $1 Colgate Total (exp. 2/6) Coupons like this help to make toothpaste free after sale or catalina
- $1 Huggies Diapers (exp. 2/13)
$1.50 Huggies Overnights (exp. 2/13)
.50/1 Huggies Baby Wipes (exp. 2/13)
$2 Huggies Pull Ups (exp. 2/13) I like to pass coupons for baby items on to new or expectant mothers. I often pick up wipes when they are less than $1 a box to keep on hand for baby shower gifts.
- .55 /1 Johnsonville Breakfast links, patties or roll sausage (exp. 2/28) Since I help to make the breakfast for the men’s program at church each month, I clip all coupons for breakfast meats. When I see a sale, I pick them up for around $1 a pound.
- $2 Opti-Free Solution 10 oz+ (exp. 4/16) My husband likes this kind of contact solution. While we have plenty in our stockpile, I’ll clip it in case I come across a fantastic deal.
- .55/1 Silk Light Soymilk 1/2 gallon (exp. 2/28)
.55/1 Silk Soymilk 1/2 gallon (exp. 2/28) I pass these on to my sister who has food allergies.
- Free Weight Watchers flatbread wyb 3 Smart Ones (exp. 4/30) I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use coupons on the 3 smart ones you would be buying. With a sale, this could make for some inexpensive meals to keep on hand.
- Procter & Gamble coupons—while I do not usually cut these coupons, I do keep them and wait for sales. The Olay Quench MIR is still valid, and the $2 coupon would work towards this deal.
How many papers will I purchase this week? 1