Why Do You Coupon?

Last week I talked about how I get annoyed by Unnecessary Expenses. We got a great discussion going, thanks everyone for your feedback.

This week I thought a lot about lasts weeks post and I wondered, why do I get annoyed by little expenses? Better yet what is my motivation for couponing? Guess what? I don’t HAVE TO coupon. We could go back to paying $500-600 a month for groceries and we would get by just fine.

In our classes we talk about three reasons we coupon:
1. Makes it easy to help others
2. To get things for free
3. So we can shop from our stockpiles

Ever played the what if we won $1 million in the lottery? We do not even play the lottery, but sometimes my DH and I talk about what we would do if we had $1 million. I have been known to say, I think I would still coupon if we had $1 million. WHAT? Yep you heard it.

I would still coupon if I had $1 million.

I could go on and on about my childhood experiences that have shaped me into the frugal person I am today, but I want to keep your interest here. This is the BOTTOM LINE.

I would rather have the money in my pocket or better yet in my investments! We could pay full price for our groceries, dine out more often, take more trips. I could get my hair and nails done more often, drive a nicer car, live in a bigger house, buy finer clothing.

But I would rather have the peace of mind that comes with knowing we are financially comfortable. Besides we have goals to get to that $1 million someday and it is not going to be by winning the lottery. It is also not going to be by spending all of our extra money. It will be by investing wisely and living FRUGAL. Waste not, want not.

On a side note: My DH loves Warren Buffett, and so do I. He is one of Americas most successful investors and his net worth is over $62 Billion. Do you know what else he is known for? Being FRUGAL! Yup. He is worth $62 Billion and he still continues to live a Frugal lifestyle. I have to say that the Frugal lifestyle he lives is HUGE part of the reason he is so successful.

One more reason I coupon and would still do it if I had $1 millon is I like it! It is fun. I love the thrill of getting a good deal.

Now I know each of you come from different situations and may have different motivations for couponing. So I want to know.

Why Do You Coupon?

Would You Still Coupon if You Had $1 Million?

Comments

  • Ali Smith

    I can’t imagine EVER going back to my old ways! Even if I won a million dollars. You know…it’s funny how when you read some of the “couponing” articles and they all say the same thing. The majority of the families who coupon are not even lower-income families! The average income of “couponing” families is $75,000 or more! I just get floored when I read that! But I think it’s very true. Couponing is about saving money, but we all get a thrill out of it too. At least I know I do. I ENJOY IT. It’s somewhat of a game with myself sometimes to see how much I can save, or to see if I can get a lower price than last time, or whatever. Yep, I truly believe I would coupon even if I won a ton of money….:)

  • LK

    Yes, I would still coupon if I won a Million dollars! I truly enjoy using coupons, it is a thrill to see what you can get and not spend tons of money!! I have been able to help out many family members and friends with my stockpile.

    Thank you for all the hard work you do with this blog. Keep up the great work!

  • AJ

    For me, the fact is this: I learned that I do not have to pay full price, so why in the world would I? When we go on vacation and I have to pay full price for something I either have at home or know I could have gotten much cheaper, it’s a sad day! I agree with you, whether it was necessary or not, I would choose to keep more of my money!

  • Andrea

    I am new to couponing but have always been frugal and love a great deal. A couple of years ago I lost my 6 figure income job and now for the first time in years we have to be frugal. I love your site and am so appreciative of all the great advice. I know that even if we won a million dollars I would still be a bargain shopper.

  • Tiffany

    I’ve got a lot of reasons and could write a book on this – but I will keep it simple – Do I want to pay $3.00 for a box of cereal or .50 cents for a box of cereal? ♥

  • Tiffany

    Oh – if I had a million dollars…..I would STILL coupon 🙂

  • Megan

    I coupon because..
    We are on a single income so I can stay home and care for our 2yr old daughter. We were able to live comfortably before couponing just the 3 of us. Last year however family situations arose and we ended up having my 14 and 15 yr old brothers come live with us. Adding 2 growing boys to our budget made things a little tight! So I started couponing, and I am actually kicking myself in the butt for not doing it sooner!
    Even if we had a billion dollars I would still coupon! Not only because it saves money, but because of the feeling I get knowing I contributed to our budget without actually “working”.
    I have only been couponing for about 5 months, but I am feeling confident now that I will soon have enough coupon smarts and stockpile to start a regular donation to local food banks and charities. I actually think it would be great as a job.. local charities should have a non profit coupon professional to help their cause! Too often donations aren’t enough but every person who coupons donated just 1 item.. think about the impact!

  • Sophie

    I will coupon no matter what!! Just because you have the money to spend doesnt mean you should. I am so happy to be able to put the extra money I am saving from couponing into our savings account. We are fortunate that I dont have to coupon now, I just choose to, but you never know what the future holds!! Although my hubby and I are in very secure jobs, life changes and I want to be prepared. Even if we did have a million dollars or more, I would do it because I love it. It is fun!

  • Michelle M

    WOW!!! Yes I would Still Coupon Shop, but there would be one change, I wuld have a bigger pantry, and OH Boy would I love those $400.00 food racks,but all that aside nothing in life is a promis it’s going o be there tomarrow back in the summer my Husband lost his job that he had fo 30 years, we nerver thought it would happen to us… I had started couponing about 6 months before and had a nice stockpile, living on unemployment was not fun, but that stockpile sure helpled out, he went back to work in dec, found a better job, even pays alot more money, and yes I’m still coupon shopping.

  • Amber

    I couldn’t coupon if I won a million dollars because I’m pretty sure the cabana boys that would be fanning me and feeding me grapes on the beaches of the Bahamas don’t take manufacturer coupons! 🙂 Seriously though, it is a hobby now as much as it is a way of life. I really enjoy the high that comes from saving money, so I would never stop!

    ps. Does anyone else have that song stuck in their heads now courtesy of Monica!?

    And if I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    Well, I’d buy you an exotic pet
    (Yep, like a llama or an emu)

    • Monica

      Amber- I totally got that song in my head after writing this post. In fact the thought even crossed my mind to put the song audio in the post saying click here for this posts theme music. 😉

  • Cathy

    Amber, you crack me up!

    I would still do it too. It’s the BEST addiction there is! Who knew you could feel HAPPY after grocery shopping!?!? I’m still on a high from saving way above $300 on cereal last week! Although, I agree with Michelle – I would want a bigger pantry. And for that matter, I’d take a bigger house! But NEVER EVER EVER will I pay $3.00 for cereal!! EVER!

  • Katie

    We went from struggling to make ends meet, to unemployment, to a good job that allows us to meet our needs, and me to stay home. I have couponed all along the way. Now that I don’t “have” to coupon to meet our budget, I actually coupon more because I am able to afford multiple newspaper subscriptions! The big difference I have noticed is that when money was tight, if cereal, yogurt, and chicken were on sale, then that is all we ate until the next week when ground beef, fruit snacks, and frozen waffles were on sale, and then we ate that. Now I can stockpile better and feed my family more variety!

  • Jody

    I would definitely still coupon if I won a million dollars. I’ve always been frugal and shopped for the deals, but now I don’t think I could ever even go back to paying sale prices. The one change would be that I probably wouldn’t lay awake at night, kicking myself over not getting in on the juice deal (my store ran out within minutes), or stocking up on something that is now on sale even cheaper, or wondering if I got enough fruit snacks! 🙂

  • Mel

    Thanks Fabs… that song is going to be in my head FOREVER!! Ahh!!

    I feel like such a fool for paying full price for so many years I don’t know how I’d ever go back!

    Not only that, I’m like a coupon junkie… even on slow weeks I’m scouring the isles for my ‘fix.’ (So strange to get such a high off something as sane as saving money!) So yes, no matter my cash flow I’d still be carting around my BRIGHT YELLOW binder with pride!

    Love your site!

  • I coupon b/c there is no better feeling then being able to put away an extra $500 into our savings every month b/c of how much money I save. Couponing is a way of life for me and I don’t think I could ever have the strength to pay full price again. I actually cringe and faint in the checkout line when someone buys their groceries full price! Ok so maybe I am being dramatic, but still I find it hard to believe that there are people who would rather pay full price then do a little leg work.

  • Angela

    Whenever somebody asks what my hobbies are, I always say COUPONING… 😀 When I was growing up, even though my dad made good money, my parents were badly in debt. I never really learned how to deal with money, so when I moved out on my own, I fell into the same situation…living paycheck to paycheck. About a year ago, coupons came into my life. And I’ve never been the same… 😀 I’ve been able to get back on my feet and not have to stress about where I’m going to get the money to pay the rent…or buy food…or put gas in my car…etc. AND IT’S SO NICE NOT TO WORRY!!!! I’d never go back to the way I used to spend, because it made me so miserable to live that way.

    So, yes. I am a coupon-holic. And I love it. And no matter how much money I ever have, I will still smile like a fool every time I get a deal. 😀

  • Sophie

    Here is another awesome reason why I coupon!!! I have collected a few of the freezer recipes from here and elsewhere and started to make my shopping list to make a few. I was also making my list for the regular weekly meals that are not freezer meals. I barely had to buy anything to complete the meals. I had to buy a few fresh veggies and that was it. I I had so many of the ingredients in my pantry, fridge and freezer and I got them for cheap!! Normally I would have made multiple trips to the store over a couple days because I would keep forgetting items and then I would spend a ton of $ buying things I didn’t really need and at full price. Thanks so much for all you guys do!!

  • Julie

    Going back to what Ali said in the first comment and tying it to what you were saying about Warren Buffett: Ultimately, I think this is the difference that keeps a lot of poor people poor. I know that circumstances can be harsh; I grew up poor. My parents scraped by for a lot of years to get where they are, which is now definitely NOT poor. My husband and I are barely above the poverty level, mostly because I only work part-time and stay home with the kids, but we won’t always be poor because we live very frugally and put money away. I will keep couponing no matter how much money we make because I want my kids to start their adult lives with more than I started with, and couponing “earns” us money I can put away for them and for our retirement. There have been a series of articles lately about people on food stamps and stuff and how they don’t (usually) shop sales or use coupons or try to maximize what they can get for “their” money. And so a lot of them will stay poor. The difference that lets some people, whatever economic level they start from, move up is being frugal and being responsible with their money.

    I don’t want to be all harsh on poor people. I do really understand that sometimes circumstances are beyond people’s control, but I really believe–and so does all of my family, and most of them aren’t poor anymore–that you then have to take control of what you can control. It’s the only way out…I mean, unless you really believe the lottery is going to answer all your prayers, I guess.

    Sorry if I offended anyone. My husband gets laid off with some regularity, and before I started couponing and taking responsibility and control over our budget and savings, we would get into debt almost every time he got laid off, and then it would take months to get back out. In other words, I was exactly in the mentality where we could have just stayed in our rut and been poor forever and not given our kids the life we want to give them. But I decided one day that we weren’t going to live like that anymore, and so now we don’t. He was just laid off for two weeks, and even though we’re only getting unemployment for one of those weeks, we’re just fine. Bills are paid, pantry is full, and we have months’ worth of diapers, too. And I still managed to stick a little in the kids’ savings accounts. We’ll never go back to the old way.

  • natalie kay

    I’m sure that I would still coupon if I have $1 Million because of the satisfaction that comes from valuing one dollar. I used to think that the dollar menu at a fast food restaurant was the way to go….. Well, last week, I spent less than $10 couponing, saved $235 and can feed my family for 3+ months for breakfast. That works out to about $.12 to feed my family of four each morning with whole grain cereal and juice. (we usually don’t have juice and I definitely wouldn’t order it on a fast food menu) Now that $1 breakfast sandwich isn’t looking like such a steal. =) I hope I always live as frugally as I’ve become, even if I financially don’t have to.

  • KT

    Oh yeah, I would defitanley be coupon shopping if I had $1M!! For sure! I just started in September and have scored some great finds but i still find that I am spending $300-$400 for a family of 5 a month including coupon shopping & Winco visits. Before I was spending $80-$100 a week at Winco, now I can get away with $100 every 2 weeks. I’m trying to pin down what I am doing wrong. I do buy a lot of fresh produce, but usually that’s with my bi-weekly WInco shopping. Anyway…I’ll figure it out soon (hopefully). We accumulated a lot of debt last year with my husbands accident so we have cut back a lot and grocery shopping is one of our biggest expense since we hardly eat out…I mean hardly! I have 3 kids under the age of 6 so snacks, cereal, juice, milk, chicken and so on runs very quickly in our house. Thanks so much for your time, effort and enthusiasm towards your blog. This weekend, I took my friend on my “coupon” adventure and helped her out with some Post deals, she was so excited to pay $0.32 for 4 boxes….I hope she will come to the “coupon” world so I can have a friend to go with!

  • The three reasons I coupon:

    1) It makes shopping a fun game. I love the mental challenge!

    2) It builds up my food storage, with food I know how to prepare and my family will eat.

    3) Of course, it saves me money. Money saved there is money I can spend towards something else.

  • Tyree

    Well first of all I was always a frugal shopper, but was shocked when I discovered couponing and realized $1.50 for a box of cereal was expensive and $7 for pull ups was twice what I pay now. I could not belive it took me ten years to realize how much money I was wasting. We eat so much better now than we ever have and spend less money doing it. Couponing makes it so we can save money almost every month instead of steal from savings almost every month. It’s funny how once you know you can get something for free 50cents to $1 seems to much to pay 🙂 My husband says its something I could never quit because I would never be able to pay full price again knowing I could get it for less. Now if I had a million dollars I would maybe still bring coupons and hit the big sales, but I don’t know if I’d spend the time and energy I do now on it. I would much rather spend more time with my kids and other interests. I’d like to think I’d still be frugal and no I could never pay $4.50 a box of cereal even if I had a million dollars.

  • Shelley

    I would still coupon no matter how much I have, but I’ve realized that the stress of couponing regularly with 5 kids under 8 is hard. I have to balance family life with this “part time job” of couponing. So if I had a million I would probably still coupon, but maybe not quite so intensely. Time is money, too, and really time is all we have to spend in life. As my munchkins get older, I’ll probably coupon even more, since they won’t need quite so much hands on time. I love Warren Buffet’s stuff, and I love Your Money or Your Life even more. I enjoy using my brain to get a good deal, and I enjoy feeling like I contribute to our families quality of life and finances without leaving home for a job, but I guess somedays, I do wish I didn’t need to spend so much time on it. I have lots of other hobbies and commitments that matter to me, too. I guess that’s my answer 🙂

    • Monica

      Tyree and Shelly-

      I am so with you. I think I would coupon a little less too. I would not sweat the small stuff as much and just hit the bigger deals. I kinda can do that now though already because I have built up a stockpile. When toothpaste is free at wags I don’t even think twice about going to get it because I already have maybe 10 tubes in a drawer and I do not need anymore for quite a while.

  • mjjj

    I would love to win a $1 million, more to share with a food bank I help out and help others who are the working poor, that is how I can with couponing! We eat well always have, live below our means and see others struggling with two incomes and no cars and no cell phones..job that pay little no health insurance or anything..a dream of a home is just a dream for them..yet this country is theirs and they love it..with the million it would become a lot for people who need help plain and simple, couponing helps to get nutritional food to them..yes couponing is the way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sarah H

    If I had a million dollars I would still coupon…some. I agree with Shelley that our time is valuble and we have to put a price on it. And couponing is like having a part time job, I’d say I average about 15-20 hours a week on it. BUT, it’s awful to pay full price for something you have a bunch of at home! Or could have gotten for a lot less.

    I have a bit of an unusual situation, though…my husband was laid off last May, and it was the best thing that could have happened to us, now he’s going back to school for his dream career, but it has been hard. I was introduced to couponing a few months after the layoff, and I immediately got hooked. And within 3 months we had pretty much a years’ supply of food. And lots of extras of personal items which I donated to the womens’ shelter. But after a few months of living off of savings and severance it got really hard to pay the bills (the essentials…the non-essentials had long since been jettisoned). So I got on WIC and food stamps and the kids are on Medicaid. I still coupon, for food and non-food items, and I frequently buy food items with catalinas and then use those catalinas to pay for the non-food stuff. I make probably $60-$80 a month with my food stamps (legally) from buying catalina, rebate, or gift card food items. But sometimes I wonder if I’m the only food stamp couponer out there, or whether it’s really right to buy stuff I otherwise wouldn’t buy (but which I use) because it’s gonna spit out a catalina I then use on toilet paper, or a target gift card which I use to buy shoes for the kids (on sale, of course). I’m making the most out of what i’ve got, right? I know, I have issues 🙂

    But I do buy items at full price sometimes, even though I cringe, and feel guilty. And going back to what Julie said, I do understand those who don’t make their food stamps go nearly as far as they could. I think there are 2 things at work here: firstly, you just aren’t as frugal if it’s not your money. Try it out…if you give your kids the cash for their own school clothes and say this is it they will spend it totally differently than if you just say i’m buying you some clothes. And secondly, people just get tired and ground down. I admit, there are a lot of nights where hubby picks up Papa Murphy’s because I’m too pooped to even make a mix from the stockpile and i’m really tired of canned soup. And sometimes it’s the dollar menu (which you cannot pay for with food stamps, that’s out of our pocket) because it’ll keep us going when i’m losing my mind. I figure that if spending $5 will lower my stress and keep me from losing it, it’s a good investment.

    So, I think if I had a million dollars just pour into my lap I’d still coupon some, but I absolutely would not be staying up until midnight getting everything ready so I could hit Target right at 8:00 when they open to get the freebies which are gone by 9:00. I’d still buy like a couponer, but let go of the stress of needing to get the deal. (Although I love it…it’s like a game! And the prize is free food and tampons!) And i’d splurge some…I’d go on all kinds of awesome trips (i WILL see elephants and gorillas in the wild before I die) and i’d buy new furniture for the house (nothing fancy, just stuff that matches and is not made of mdf).

    • Miss Jay

      Sarah summed it up so perfectly
      “I’d still buy like a couponer, but let go of the stress of needing to get the deal. ”

      That’s exactly how I feel. I’m trying to let go of the stress anyway, but I do tend to get worked up because money is really tight.

  • Erica

    I love to coupon! I grew up in a home where it seemed like my mom always had a coupon for something we were looking for. If we wanted to get pizza for dinner she would have me go get her purse where she kept a few envelopes of coupons to see what the best deal was that we could get.

    My husband and I started coupoining almost a year ago now and we have become addicted. It has been great because when his brothers need anything they know that they can come to us and we will have more than enough to share with them. It is a good feeling to know that even though we are a young couple who has been married for a little over a year and we are still working through school, we can still afford to live nicely and buy the foods and health care products that we love because we have coupons.

    I’ve always had a very good understanding of the value of a dollar and ever since I was little it was SO important to me to make sure I had money left over (my mom would take me to garage sales during the summer and give me fifty cents to buy whatever I wanted with and I never wanted to spend it all at one place or go home without any money) and now that feeling has become magnified.

    It can be stressful at times and now that my husband and I have stocked up on just about all that we can fit into our tiny apartment I’ve started slowing down with couponing but I know that even when we have graduated and have a family and are working, I will still want to coupon. It’s hard to spend full price on something when you know you don’t have to.

  • Sara

    If I had a million dollars……Well, if I earned the Million…yes I would still coupon.

    But my dream life, I would never step foot into a grocery store again (I hate grocery shopping really), I would order it all online, someone would deliver every food and toiletry item I ever bought again. I would have a driver, a cook, and a trainer to come to my house. Of course I’d have to have more than a million dollars to live like this. I told my hubby, if we ever moved back to the east coast these would be my conditions (I’m dead serious)….so we live here in the good old mountain west where food is affordable and I happily coupon with my friends.

    I’ve got to go…..my bowl of HBO is getting soggy 😉

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