Coupons? No, not so much.
This woman was a member of some group with a paid subscription service that somehow helped her find all her coupons and she swore it was well worth the price.
Before couponing, she'd been spending $120 a week for her family of four. (Yikes!) After she began her clipping adventure, she was able to reduce that to $80. Now, yes, a $40 deduction is great and $80 is certainly far better than $120, but really, it's not that impressive for a final amount and I don't think it warranted a feature news story!
When I tell people that we only spend $40 - $50 dollars a week for groceries, they usually make the same few assumptions; that we're eating junk, that I live on a farm and grow my own produce, and/or that I'm some sort of "Coupon Queen."
So, for the record:
No, we don't eat a lot of junk. Yes, we had grilled hamburgers for lunch today because we had a cook-out with friends, but you aren't going to find canned soup and boxed "Meal Helpers" on my shelf.
I live behind a farm, but not on one. The only things growing in my yard are some rather sorry looking sunflowers we planted before we were hit by a drought. Not even the grass is growing at this point. I do have some fresh herbs in the kitchen window, but that's it. Could I save more if I gardened? Probably so. But we have very poor soil - in fact, it isn't soil at all, but red clay - so I'd need to spend a good deal of money up front to either combat that fact or build up a container-style garden. And then I'd be paying a significantly higher water bill to keep my veggies growing. I may in the future decide to try growing some of my own produce, but for now, we don't.
And I don't use coupons except on very rare occasions.
I am aware that people can clip coupons and use them to purchase name-brand products for less than the store-brand. But that's immaterial to me. It doesn't matter if the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is .15 cents less with a coupon than the Wal-Mart version. I don't buy boxed macaroni and cheese at all. Often coupons are for just that - convenience foods. Yes, sometimes they actually are for staple items and they sometimes even work to make a national brand the cheapest buy, but more often than not, coupons aren't of much help for me.
I don't subscribe to the newspaper, either. There's no point. Thanks to the internet, I have my news before the paper would even be delivered every morning. I do sometimes scope out sites online to see if any coupons I can use are available, since I'm not getting the pages of them that come with the Sunday paper, but overall, I just don't bother.
If you're a couponer and it's working out for you, great. If it's working out so well for you, you can even beat me at my own game and you spend less than I do for your weekly purchases, even better! I'd love to hear from you.
In any case, the real issue is to wean yourself/family off the convenience foods, which can be, well, inconvenient, I know. But you'll find your most significant reduction in food expenses right here and, most importantly, no coupons are required!