Thursday, January 21, 2010
How Much can Couponing Save Me?
So, I've heard some rumblings lately about coupons not being worth the time to clip. I will say that I once thought that as well. Then reality about my expenses and the NEED to save money on necessary expenditures set in. That's when I turned to couponing. Back in July 2009 is when I started my research and took the plunge into the coupon world. I'd like to share with you just how much can be saved using coupons.
I tried to save all the receipts from grocery stores, clothing stores and health and beauty stores. I know there are receipts that I don't have and, therefore, couldn't use for this analysis, but overall, since July 2009, I have saved an average of 43% off of items that I would have purchased anyway. Tell me, is that worth my time? I vote "HECK YES." Take the total that you've spent at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Old Navy...where ever it is that you shop, and deduct 43% from the total. Is it worth YOUR time? I vote "HECK YES."
Here's a breakdown of average savings by store:
Country Mart 26.9% (Groceries)
Dollar General 22.5% (Clothing/Household)
Home Depot 50% (Christmas Decorations)
Kmart 51% (H&B, Household)
Kohl's 70% (Gifts/Clothing)
Office Depot 34% (School Supplies)
Old Navy 50% (Clothing)
Schnuck's 18% (Groceries)
Shop n Save 45% (Groceries)
Target 38% (Groceries, Toys, Electronics, Clothing, H&B, Household)
Walgreens 53% (H&B, Groceries, School Supplies, Household)
Walmart 32% (Household, Groceries)
Check out Target! This despite not having a receipt in which my total before coupons was $199 and after $18! I'm irritated with myself at not saving that one!
And Walgreens! Seriously! 53% off! Items I buy at Wags are shampoo, hair color, makeup, medicine, some food (my Walgreens only has one aisle of food), school supplies, toilet paper, candles, lotions, vitamins, and such. I have receipts from Wags in which I paid $.23 (that's cents!) for $19 worth of stuff! That's a 98% savings! Another for $.47 (cents) for $12.79 worth of merchandise!
Remember, this analysis was only for receipts that I had/kept. Also, I know there was at least $40 in rebates that I received that aren't calculated into this average, as well as free items I received in the mail. All told, I think the average is closer to 50%, but I just don't have the data to confirm that. Believe me, though, in 2010, ALL receipts, rebates, and freebies are being tracked!
When I hear people say that couponing isn't worth their time, I think about how I used to think that as well. But now? Well, take a look at my numbers...they speak for themselves.
If you'd like help with couponing, please just ask...I'm happy to help guide you along, but be prepared to think outside your "comfort zone." Couponing definitely changes the way you shop! Last night, I REALLY, REALLY wanted some new "Skinny Caramel Macchiato" International Delight coffee creamer, but I didn't have any coupons, nor was it on sale, so guess what? No creamer for Nickie. I just told myself that they'll be coupons and a sale very soon and I can wait, and I walked away. That's VERY different from how I used to shop...you want it? You got it. Doesn't matter how much it costs. I've taken back my impulsiveness! Which, interestingly, has spilled over in to other areas of my life...like the dressing room and the purse aisles.
Have a wonderful day!