Last week I asked readers what they were doing, if anything, to save money these days. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal asked its readers a similar question via an online poll, “In light of the economic downturn, have you cut your household spending?” Almost 65% of respondents replied that they have. One way they are doing this: coupons.
From the front page of the WSJ on July 11, 2008, “Consumers’ use of discount coupons is starting to rebound after a 15-year slide.” No longer will I peruse my QFC circulars in shame. Apparently, saving money is in vogue.
If you want to save money too, but are too shy to ask how (don’t think I didn’t notice the lack of comments on my last post!), here are a few websites I’ve run across where you can download coupons or borrow coupon codes.
Coupons.com: Coupons mostly for food and household items.
CouponMountain.com: Coupon codes for retail stores.
SmartSource.com: Grocery store coupons.
Restaurant.com: Buy discounted restaurant gift certificates.
Before you go coupon crazy though, I do have some caveats:
1. Make sure you clip coupons for things you really want or need. I got all excited over a coupon for Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies, bought a huge bag saving all of $0.50, and then realized they were gross after eating about five of them.
2. If you are single or have a small household, don’t buy in bulk. If a coupon offers a discount only when you buy two or more items, really think about how quickly you’ll go through the items and if you have enough storage space. If you do end up buying bulk, remember where you store your purchases so you don’t overbuy.
3. I like to eat mostly whole or organic food, but in order to save money I’ve been buying more conventional and processed food. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed a difference in the way I feel, so I’ll probably switch back to buying more expensive food and focus on ways to save on non-food items. If I don’t take care of myself by eating well, I’ll just end up spending the money I saved on doctor visits or sick days anyway.
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