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Why Do You Coupon?

We had a fun discussion on facebook that I wanted to bring to the blog…

What’s Your Motivation to Coupon?

I started couponing in 2008 after my husband and I had cut back on many of our expenses. We bought a new house and cut our house payment almost in half. We got rid of an extra car, cut cable tv, & were ferociously paying down credit card debt. When it wasn’t enough I started to cut coupons. When that wasn’t enough Joanie and I got into Extreme Couponing after hearing some pretty unreal stories from my coupon clipping aunt! Pretty soon we were saving $700 in one day & I haven’t paid full price for cereal since!

Thats my story, and here are some reasons we heard on facebook:

I love to save money and I like to have a stocked pantry and linen closet … It’s like I have a mini Walmart. Proud to see my goods that was purchase very cheap or free. - Queenie

I’m using my “savings” each month to pay down our house payment. Little bit here and a little bit there really add up! - Christine

I think it is fun and addicting! Plus the money I save allows us to do the extras like vacation, movies etc. - Angela
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To pay for graduate school without student loans! – Amanda
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Hair and spa treatments – Kim
So, tell me- Why Do You Coupon?

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63 thoughts on “Why Do You Coupon?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I coupon to save money. I love it and wouldn’t know what to do without it. I have a small stockpile that wouldn’t be possible without coupons. Coupons have saved me SO much money!

  2. Wendy says:

    I’ve always shopped with coupons, but never like this. I got laid off a month after our daughter was born. She’s a yr old now and I’ve been couponing for about a month now. I can honestly say I’m addicted. In the last month I’ve brought home nearly $2,000 worth of stuff, food, etc and saved over $1,200 on it. I love feeling like I’m contributing to what we do. I can’t wait to get home & show my husband what I’ve found for the day. We’ve got a nice little stockpile built up, so when my husband stops working 55 hrs a week & my unemployment ends, we can breathe a little easier because we have most of our needs met for the next 6 months to a year. It’s become a sport & a great hobby & obsession for me. I love shocking my friends when I tell them I got $160 worth of soap/deodrant for less than $4 and it’s all name brand stuff. I love my mini store in my laundry room :)

    Thanks so much for giving us peace of mind and guiding us on this track! I love your site and probably spend way too much time on it.

    The picture is just a small sample of what I’ve bought in the last month. There’s sooooo much more too. I love it that my husband’s going to work & calling his friends bragging about what I’ve learned to do.

    • Wendy says:

      the photo didn’t post
      [img]http://thekrazycouponlady.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Storage Room 5-18-10-2.JPG[/img]

  3. Ana says:

    Unlike most, I didn’t start couponing because I had to. We were very poor growing up, and I know my mom used coupons, but I didn’t really get into it about a few months ago. I make good money (minus the endless school loans :), but I think that “having money” is the WORST excuse in the book for paying full price!!! I have told co-workers about my good deals, and they all just say “I don’t really care what I buy because I have the money for it”. I guess I’m just a little different than them… whether you make $6,000 a year or $600,000 a year, I don’t understand why people wouldn’t coupon!

    I will never pay full price for anything. In the words of my mother, “if it’s not on sale or we don’t have a coupon, we’re not getting it”.

  4. Natalie D. says:

    I work full-time and go to school part-time. My fiance goes to school full-time and works part-time. I have to pay for college on my own with no support from my parents, and get little in federal fin-aid because my parents make too much money, irregardless of whether they pay for my college or not.

    Anyway, couponing just this last couple of months has now allowed me to go back to school full-time this coming fall because I’ve been able to save so much more money because I’m not having to spend it all on groceries, household supplies, and personal care items!

  5. charlene says:

    I started couponing when I was 14 and my mom put me in charge of clipping and using the coupons for our family of 7 shopping. I’m 45 now, with my own family and it has just been a way of life for me to save money on the things we need by using coupons & rebates. My only regret is I wish that I would have socked away the amount saved by using the coupons all these years cause I could have easily retired by now!

  6. CJ says:

    Asking why I coupon is like asking why I breathe! It’s just a natural thing for me, I’ve been doing it all my life. It just makes sense to try to save as much as I can on groceries and personal items, so that I have more money for savings and other things. I cant imagine NOT couponing!

  7. Nicole says:

    My husband just started college full-time, so I am the sole bread-winner and we have a toddler in daycare. We got to a point where we were living paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by when a co-worker mentioned in a casual conversation that she had started couponing. She paid a site to tell her where to go and what coupons to use. Being a “thrifty” person ;), I refused to pay someone to tell me what might already be on the web for free and I stumbled upon these wonderful ladies! Now I tell everyone that we’re bath snobs, as most of these items we get now I’ve never had in my life :) We’ve got more food in the freezer than ever before and have a little left over for the occasional trip to the zoo. I’m getting so much stuff that I’m having to give to my brothers, who love the name brand shower gels that they’ve never had before and its helping my mom’s pocket book too!

  8. kristi says:

    My husband and I both went through grad school at the same time and have come out with lots of school loans. On top of that it just seems like some huge expense has happened nearly every month for us for the past year. We have found ourselves really scraping by. I started really couponing and meal planning about 3 months ago and I spend about 150 dollars less just on food each month and have TONS more food in my pantry than ever before. It helps me feel like I can do something more to help us financially while still being home with my two young girls.

  9. erica says:

    I had twins and we are living on a school teacher salary in a HIGH cost of living area… .need I say more! And, no we aren’t “saving” to vacation either, we are simply trying to get by.

  10. irish_molly says:

    I started couponing in general about 10 years ago, but started to look into the stockpiling method in 2008, and have gotten much more serious since then. It was a game, until my DH was hospitalized last year, and things have been tight since. Now I shop strategically to keep my pantry stocked, and to help out my MIL, who is on a fixed income. I’m glad I learned to do this when I did, because it’s been an absolute blessing.

  11. dawn says:

    I started about this time last year and have saved a ton and learned a lot. My favorite thing now is when my husband tells me he is out of his favorite shampoo and I can just walk over to the supplies and hand him another. Yeah!

  12. Sherri says:

    I just started couponing. I quit my job in January to go back to school full time. My DH works and I have a toddler. My goal was to pay for school without student loans and not dip into our savings. After the first couple months I realized that our grocery budget was way too high. Now that I was a SAHM (plus school) I had time to actually learn to coupon AND save money.

  13. Jennifer m says:

    I started couponing big time when my little girl was born 6 months ago. A month before she was due she had 8 packs of diapers waiting on her. I now have a years worth of baby shampoo, lotion, and wash. All her Tylenol, teething supplies, and even a couple toys for very cheap. I keep a month of diapers and at least that in diaper rash cream and baby food and try not to pay much for them. Using rite aid, I use my scr’s to build her a savings account and I have more toiletries than I know what to do with. My husband has told me no more deoderant, but I get 2 more free the other day at cvs. 17 cents for the taxes is too good to pass up!I can’t wait to get my own computer so I can take advantage of bricks and other online coupons because I know I will be able to not pay anything for groceries.

  14. Monique says:

    I coupon to save big bucks! I am currently unemployed and I started couponing a few months back. Now I love couponing and I love helping others save.

  15. Concerned Shopper says:

    See, I couldn’t really save $700 in one day, because I couldn’t spend that much in one day. But, I look at my savings differently than most extreme couponers. I don’t go by the marked up prices at CVS, etc. that I never would have paid anyway.

    Our budget is so limited that it’s not about putting money away for trips and stuff like that, it’s about helping our measly budget stretch. We have a budget of $200 for groceries and household supplies for our family of 2 adults and 2 babies/toddlers (in diapers). Without coupons, we’d really be struggling. With coupons, I can make that $$$ work for me. SO, no I can’t say that I “save” $900/month using coupons because that money wasn’t in our budget to begin with. But, I can say that coupons help me to stretch our budget to meet our needs.

    • Concerned Shopper says:

      And, in making this small budget work for us, I am also able to get a TON of items extra to pass on to a local shelter.

  16. Susan says:

    I have more razors, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products, body shampoos, …(you get the idea) than I could possibly ever use. How can you pass up on a free item obtained through smart shopping and the use of coupons? Twice a year, I put together a box filled with these toiletries and donate them to a shelter for families. There are many places that request these types of items and I feel like I’m helping out even though it’s not costing me anything but a little time.

  17. Angela Kendall says:

    Couponing has given me peace of mind! I used to stress over how I was going to feed my family and pay the monthly bills. I was laid off from a very good job in 2005 and slaved at a low pay no benefit job for years until I started couponing. Now, I truely feel that I can own my destiny! Now I work part time at a reasonable job but can stretch the budget to put food on the table and still pay the monthly bills! Thank you KCL!!!!

  18. James says:

    i saw a segment on the news about 3 weeks ago that talk about this lady who coupons. she was amazing. her total bill before coupons at the grocery store was $247. after her coupons she paid $0.47. that is amazing!!!

  19. Vicki B. says:

    I love all the stories! I do it because we were so stretched financially that we were getting food from the food bank during one Christmas. I vowed to pay it forward but I couldn’t afford it. I started researching how those women I saw on TV could by $200 worth of groceries for $2. I just had to find out. Now I feed my family, we’re getting out of debt and I can donate to the food bank. And I have a hobby that I truly love and wish to share with everyone I know.

  20. Camille says:

    I started couponing 15 months ago when my hubby was laid off. My salary was cut 30% about 2 months later. Don’t know why I thought of couponing, but somehow I did. We were so slow at work, so I was able to surf the net all day and learn about extreme couponing. We saved about $500/month on groceries and toiletries. My husband and I would be shocked at what I would save.. Now, I’m almost back to my full time pay, and my husband started working about 6 weeks ago.. I”m continuing to coupon to pay off our credit card–which we hope to pay off in about 3 months and will continue after that so we can hopefully afford a vacation one day… I love it! I don’t have any hobbies, and I consider this my hobby now. Many thanks to you and your postings!!

  21. BellinghamWA Mom says:

    I had been super skeptical of couponing for years. I had all of the normal excuses, including the one that the coupons were not for things I eat. My best friend has couponed for years, in her words,”just to survive,” and I was totally convinced that she wasn’t really saving any money. I had tried saving coupons but never could keep track of them and I thought is wasn’t worth it to use the 25 cent crest coupon when I could still get the store brand cheaper…My grandma also used to be a super duper major couponer, but also had hoarding tendencies, so she was always the butt of family jokes. That also turned me off to it.

    Anyways…..My husband was laid off last spring while also in the middle of starting a business. I have been a SAHM for almost 8 years now, and the kiddos are eating a lot of food. I stumbled across KCL right around Christmastime, when my husband was not making that much money, I was working part time, and things were pretty sketchy financially for us. I definitely spent way too much at first ((blush)) but was able to buy things like band-aids that I NEVER bought unless we were completely out and then I had to pay like $5 for them!

    I coupon so that we can eat healthy and whole foods, be a good steward, be prepared, have the ability to share with others, be financially secure, and who doesn’t love a good deal?!!!! Now if I have a headache or PMS, I have Advil on hand. If my kids get sick, I can reach into the cupboard for the children’s tylenol. I have been able to buy all those emergency supplies the officials say we should have that I could never buy before. Dinner is no longer stressful because I always have something in the freezer if it has been a hectic day. I have a huge peace of mind that did not exist before couponing. It is also a lot of fun!

    The other day I was explaining to my daughter, who goes to a private school, the reasons that mommy and daddy pay for her school. She said “It’s too bad they don’t have a coupon for it!” She’s already learning!

  22. Jena says:

    My reason is not far off from the ones mentioned above. I have 4 small children, and as a single mom, it’s just something I’ve always done to get by, once I got good at it I started to look at it like a hobby instead of a burden. Now I believe there’s no reason not to save money when there is money to be saved! And like Staci, it’s always a good feeling to be able to give the freebies that we won’t be using to the less fortunate.

  23. Debby says:

    To be debt free– the money we save goes toward lowering our debt:) It is also so much fun like a scavenger hunt. I am now teaching my kids to find the deals, peelies, and coupons books. They all get excited when they find them. I have always been a bargin shopper thrift stores and trying to find the best grocery price but it wasn’t until about 6 weeks ago that I started couponing and I will never go back to paying full price for anything.

  24. Samantha says:

    I started couponing after becoming a SAHM and our grocery bill was skyrocketing. I wasn’t paying the money to commute to work and park everyday, but the grocery bill was ridiculous. I have only being doing this, seriously, for 4 months now, and am really starting to see the payback. I want to be able to take trips to visit friends, go to the movies, and eat out with the kids this summer. I am so grateful, that you all work so hard to help us out. Thank you so much.
    I just did my first transactions in the past 2 weeks, where I am saving 90% or more and money making transactions. It is a thrill.

  25. Staci says:

    1. I hate paying full price for things we will just consume from day to day.
    2. I like to go and do stuff as a family-vacations, movies, dinners out, pampering, and extra activities for my kids
    3. Save for our retirement
    3. To eat name brand things for less money.
    4. a bonus from couponing is I can give my free or cheap stuff to the less fortunate

    Thanks for this great site!! I appreciate it very much.

  26. Melinda P says:

    I’m a SAHM to 3 very young children. Couponing started out being something I had to do out of desperation when my husband’s hours were cut back and we did not have enough money to get through the month. I saw a paid service that promised lots of savings, so I did the trial, but was super skeptical – I used to think coupons were a total waste of time and there were none to little savings to be had. Then I found out how much I could save and I was completely hooked. And I stopped using the paid service fairly quickly and started reading the blogs (KCL being my #1 go-to for Safeway deals especially, thanks for all you do!!!!). :) Now it’s not just one of my jobs (my financial contribution to the family), it’s also a hobby and a total adrenaline rush. (The down side is when something goes wrong, it’s a total let down, LOL!)

  27. veronica says:

    I coupon because its so much fun! It makes me feel like I’m doing my part by saving my family hundreds of dollars every month. Whats even better is I can still feed my family healthy food and pay pennies a day doing it. Also we can use that extra money on things we couldn’t have before! Its totally worth it all :]

  28. ms.brilliantblonde says:

    I coupon so my family can buy brand name items and other products we normally couldn’t afford, and, also, so we can go to the movies, go out to eat, or buy extra birthday presents and other products. Couponing has made things affordable that my family couldn’t afford before. Besides, it’s just plain fun to save so much money! :)

  29. Jenn says:

    easy. why pay $3.54 for a box of Honey Bunches of Oats when you can buy it for 30 cents or get it free!?

  30. Kimberly says:

    I like the adrenalin rush. It has replaced illicit drug use in my life, so I am able to leave a clean, happy, sober life. It was really difficult to stay off of drugs before, until I finally found something that could replace that feeling. I am now addicted to saving money! I spend so many nights lamenting all of the money I wasted on drugs in my past. It makes me soooo sad!

    • Neva says:

      Wow … Congratulations on your sobriety and your decision to choose a better path. I wish you nothing but the best.

  31. Michelle says:

    I coupon to stay at home with my son, plus my husband was laid off 2 months ago. But as for the real reason, if I don’t I start going through “coupon withdrawal!” If I don’t go for a couple of days I start thinking of all I could have saved with coupons. I should be good for a couple of days now because I just got back from Rite Aid!

  32. Susan says:

    I’m curious how you all calculate what your true “savings” really are.

    For me, to look at my grocery receipt and subtract what I paid from the full retail price isn’t an accurate measure given that I wouldn’t pay full price for that item. Does that make sense?

    I started couponing in earnest just this past January, but even before then I tried to shop sales and not pay full retail price whenever I could. So as an example, since January I’ve stockpiled a year’s worth of toothpaste, and every single tube was free or cost me only $.24. Prior to that, I might have paid $1-$2 for toothpaste, with the occasional full-retail-price purchase of $3-$3 when we completely ran out and I had no choice. So … what’s my true “savings? A dollar or two per tube?

    Or do you look at your expenses more in summary? For example, you paid $200 in one month for groceries whereas for the same month last year you paid $500?

    Part of reason I am asking is because I’d like to get my grade-school aged daughter more involved in helping my coupon and save money, and in return allow her to share in some of our “savings.” But I don’t really know how to measure it. Any ideas would be most appreciated.

    • Neva says:

      I calculate my savings based on my budget. If my household budget is $500, and through couponing and sales I only spend $300, that’s a savings of $200. You can’t really compare your savings to Albertson’s “before sale” price, because you probably wouldn’t have been willing to pay that much in the first place. You would have gone to WinCo or Walmart and paid less. That’s how I calculate my savings.

    • Concerned Shopper says:

      Yeah, I think sometimes we get a skewed picture of the savings because people buy things they wouldn’t have bought otherwise (if I can get a $10 item for free, then I’ll get it…without it being free I wouldn’t have got it, so I don’t really consider that money “saved”

      For me, I base my savings on the price I would have paid, which for me is usually the dollar store or Wal-Mart price.

      For us, it’s not a matter of saving $1,000. We don’t have $1,000 extra to spend or save in a day/week/month. For us it’s a matter of stretching our little $200/month budget and actually being able to make that amount last for our groceries and household expenses (with 2 babies in diapers!)

    • BellinghamWA Mom says:

      I like the receipts at Fred Meyer because they only put coupon savings at the bottom, not rewards member savings, etc., like other stores do. I basically count what I saved in coupons as savings, since I wouldn’t have paid full price for something anyways. But, I think that being in the coupon mindset makes me more able to buy a lot of stuff when it is on a rock bottom price, makes me aware of Catalinas, etc. You can fall into a trap of buying something just because it is a good deal, even if it is something you wouldn’t normally buy. For example, I really don’t need 15 boxes of fruity pebbles, even care if they are free. I wouldn’t buy them. They aren’t good for me. But I am tempted to,(and sometimes do!!) buy them when they are a stellar deal.

      So, I guess in teaching your daughter, you first have to be clear with the whole needs vs. wants, and then teaching her to wait until it goes on sale and then using a coupon and buying a lot of it. That is really where the savings is because spending a whole ton of time cutting coupons to only buy one thing is a total waste of time. If you are going to give her part of the savings, I definitely think it needs to be taken from the coupon amount off. But it gets more complicated if you are dealing with CATS, RR, etc. You could give her a percentage of those too I suppose.

  33. Lauren says:

    It’s a fun hobby that allows our family to function better. A stocked cabinet and pantry is huge belessing. We also donate a TON of extra items to an orphanage in mexico and pass on other extras to families in need. I hold classes now on how to coupon shop and have had great turn outs. My last class had 40 eager ladies excited about saving money. Thank you KCL.

  34. Nicole says:

    I started couponing last year to begin saving for a condo, and food was the main expense that needed to be cut in my budget. However, I was laid off two months ago so I am now seeing the benefit of creating a grocery and toiletry stockpile :)

  35. Lori says:

    Only started using coupons in Feb of this year. I started as a way to save for expensive church camps this year for my older kids. Now I do it because I can’t imagine paying full price for anything ever again! I am throwing my $ away if I don’t use a coupon. Now I am just saving money for life, not just for summer church camps! I save atleast 50% – 90% on my groceries every week! That averages anyhwere from $300-$540 a month just on groceries! Not including all the toys, clothing, and magazines that I get at about 70% off. So thank you to all the wonderful coupon users out there that post their blogs! Ya’ll are awesome!

  36. Lori says:

    I’m trying to save us money to get us out of debt. Now, we have a new car payment (thanks hubby *smirk*). So now I coupon so we can eat! LOL

  37. Morgan says:

    I’m a SAHM also and I feel like this is my financial contribution to the family. I don’t bring in any income, so I do my best to stretch each dollar we have. We don’t live in a mansion or drive fancy cars, but they are OURS and we have NO debt. That is an amazing feeling. No credit cards, nothing. It can be done! My husband earns a modest income, and by being frugal we are able to enjoy every penny!

  38. Alexandria says:

    I coupon to stretch the paycheck from my student job as far as it will go. I’m paying for college on my own, and I don’t see a reason to spend $80/week on groceries I can get for $30! I’ve got a mini-stockpile of toiletries and feminine products… many of which I bring back home to my parents. Let’s just say they won’t be needing toothbrushes for a very long time!

    Also, I have so much fun! Plus after my friends and I hit the grocery store everyone complains about how much they spent, and I really enjoy bragging about my savings and saying, “Well if you only used coupons…”

    Thanks KCL!

  39. Kayla says:

    Since I became a stay at home mom, this is my way of contributing.

  40. Diana says:

    It is so much fun! I am a stay at home mom with 7 kids, and it really helps stretch the budget, my kids always have cool snacks and I get to try a lot of new products that I could never justify spending full price on!

  41. Aynna says:

    a little bit of everything everyone else said. Just to keep our expenses down, a hobby, a way for me to save our money so I can stay home with the kids while my hubby’s in school and working.

  42. megan says:

    I do it because I am a stay at home mom and every little bit helps.

    To tell you the truth, it has also become a hobby.

    I coupon so that I will nver have to pay for razors. feminine products, deodorant, toothbrushes, dental floss, body wash, hand soap and moisturizer and pasta ever again.

  43. Polly says:

    I originally began couponing to save money. But a nice benefit for me, is it is fun! It’s my idea of hunting!

  44. tanisha says:

    i coupon to save money and bulid up some food storage. i also think it’s fun.

  45. Joelle says:

    I coupon to save money so we can stay out of as much debt as possible while we finish school, and hopefully so in the future I can donate lots to families in need.

  46. kathy says:

    15 years ago, when I was a young bride and then a new mother, I wanted to stay home with my children. Couponing helped me meet my budgeting goals. (That’s when there wasn’t internet blogs to help!) Now, I coupon heavilly to donate my “finds” to local food banks and woman’s shelters. It is a fun and addicting hobby to see how much I can get for so little $$$$$.

    Thank you, krazy coupon ladies, for all your help!

  47. Kandice says:

    At first it was just a challenge that was exciting and fun to try out. Now, after a year of couponing, I do it to help make it possible for me to stay home with the kids, as well as to support our eating habits. We tend to be VERY picky about what we eat, and while our grocery bill hasn’t necessarily decreased, my pantry and closets are stocked with the necessities and we spend the extra on even more fresh produce, dairy, and other things we love to enjoy!

  48. jenNi says:

    It was August 2009, I was bored at home with nothing to do, really looking for Firestone coupons for a cheap oil change. Then I sort of came across your page and decided to try out some of the CHEAP deals. I started off small and started at a grocery store, then I started reading your blog and got addicted. I save my family, my roommates and myself so much money. I used to have to take out money and spend it on minor annoying, but necessary toiletry. Now, free stuff and my parents, as well as myself can save that money and put it towards rent/mortgage payments.

  49. Audrie says:

    Definitely to save, my husband is going through business school debt free because of our low-cost lifestyle with two children. But, the CHALLENGE is what motivates me the most. It’s become a game and I’m addicted.

  50. Jen says:

    We have goals and values. Major Goal: Some day own a home. Values: Stay home with children when they are young. In order to be able to live on a one-income budget and still work towards the goal of owning a home, one must coupon! Thank you, KrazyCouponLady.com, you are instrumental in making me successful at this!

  51. jeffrey says:

    I do it to help provide much needed food for local food banks.

  52. tori says:

    I also coupon to stay home with my 3 young children. It is a blessing everyday that i get to be here with them. I also do it to help keep our grocery bills down to pay for our 2 oldest(8 & 4) to go to a private Catholic school. it is so worth it to us. It’s an investment in their future.

  53. Kelly says:

    It started as a way to debt snowball (also a Dave Ramsey fan), but now it is kind of like a game to see how much money I can save each shopping trip and each month! I love it when I save more than I spend!!! :)

  54. So I can put more money towards our debt snowball – Thank you, Dave Ramsey! ;)

  55. Launa Simmons says:

    So I can stay home and raise my young children.

  56. Kim says:

    I started couponing to see if we could save enough for my husband not to have to work full-time while going to school full-time. He just put in his two week notice yesterday! :) I start grad school in Aug. and with both of us going to school money is going to be VERY tight but at least I know we will always have food on our table! What a comfort!

  57. Vicki says:

    It’s a fun hobbie, plus I love saving money.