A Little Ray of Sunshine

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Clipping Coupons--on living with less

Everyone knows that clipping coupons is a way to save money, right?
Well, maybe. Think for a moment why companies print coupons. Do you really think they print coupons out of the goodness of their hearts? Nah, companies don't have hearts.
Coupons are a lure to get consumers to buy a product. While they offer a discount on a product, they are not cheaper than not buying the product. It is a waste of time to clip all coupons and a waste of money to use them all.
There are two types of coupons to use. One is for something you would buy anyway. If you always buy a particular brand of conditioner, then of course, clip the coupon for that brand.
The other is for a luxury item that you like but do not normally buy because it is too expensive. Something that is a treat, that you buy on occasion, but not regularly.
It is nearly always cheaper to buy a non-brand-name item than the same item in a brand-name, even with a coupon. I am a brand snob on some items. But I haven't always been able to afford to be. Some things I would prefer to not have at all than to use a non-name-brand item. Cheese, for instance, cheddar and parmasian, specifically. I will not buy cheddar cheese at the grocery store except for the Tillamook brand. (I can't spell that, but you likely know what I mean.) If the choice is going without cheddar cheese or buying some other brand, I'll go without.
Parmasian I only buy from a little butcher store downtown. We don't have it very often. We both can't stand the sawdust that comes in the jars at the grocery stores that calls itself parmasian. Naturally, if I see a coupon for Tillamook cheese, I clip it. I am a cheese snob.
Some products it doesn't make any difference. I can't taste a difference between Viva and Flavorite milk. The boys don't say anything. (My husband's lactose sensative, only uses powedered or canned. He has no opinion on the subject.) So I buy the cheap stuff.
However, the difference between Windex brand with a coupon and regular Sam's Choice without a coupon is in favor of the Sam's Choice. So, I buy that. The way I clean, nobody knows the difference. (Why, yes, that is a slur on my cleaning practices.) I certainly don't notice a difference. The mirrors in the bathroom get toothpaste spots on them just as quickly either way. And . . . you don't really mean anyone washes little fingerprints off their windows, right?


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