I feel bad for local newspapers. Everyday their content is becoming more and more obsolete as the internet becomes more accessible and preferable to everyone. Interestingly I subscribe to the local newspaper, though I only get the paper delivered twice a week, Sunday and Thursday. Thursday is not my choice, just part of the deal. After a few weeks when an unsightly amount collects on my front porch, I throw all Thursday papers straight into the recycling bin. I look forward to Sunday’s paper, though, only for the stack of ads and coupons that come sandwiched between sections of unreadable conservative reporting. Though lately, I’ve become somewhat disenchanted with the act of couponing.
It seems every week, I cut fewer and fewer coupons out of the leaflets. Just a year ago I would sit for a good 15 minutes flipping though and snipping away at 25 cents of this or a dollar off that. This decline in interest could be because I’ve become a smarter consumer. Learning about nutrition and healthy lifestyles is a hobby of mine. And I’ve concluded that most things that are good for you won’t be begging you to buy them. That’s all a coupon is anyway, a bribe to buy something. Consequently, most everything in the coupon leaflets are for products that no one should be eating or using. What’s that Smart Source? You’d like to offer me 25 cents off a boxed snack full of high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, sodium and a bazillion other unrecognizable ingredients? A dollar off a petroleum based lotion loaded with harmful chemicals? Oh you’re too kind, but seriously, no thank you.
Furthermore, this super couponing craze seriously baffles me. People pour over numerous newspapers and websites to collect and carefully organize hundreds of coupons all before spending the evening before the big trip lining up their coupons to store ads to pay as little as possible at the checkout. I can’t quite fathom the time it takes orchestrate this whole fiasco. My husband always presents the question, what is your time worth? The $25 you saved shuffling paper? All to get a cart loaded with crap that will kill you sooner than later. Again, no thank you. I can think of three better, quicker ways right off the top of my head to save money at the grocery store:
- Procrastinate. You can’t spend money at the store if you’re not there. Get by on what you have as long as possible.
- If you must go bring a list and spend as little time there as possible
- Under no circumstance bring your husband.
Don’t get me wrong, I do get that families need to save money and people need to feed their family. I get it. I constantly encounter attitudes that resent the healthful eating movement, deeming it elitist and out of reach for the everyday family. For some reason basic logic seems to have eluded these folk. I argue that it can be incredibly affordable to eat healthy. Forget cutting coupons, imagine the amount of money the everyday American could save if they were to simply eat less, eat less meat, and drink tap water.
I dream of the day when I open up the coupon section on Sunday and find a coupon for a dollar off a pound of apples or a pint of strawberries, though I won’t hold my breath. For now, I’ll keep my Sunday routine of quickly scanning the pages of coupons for a small break on tissues, toilet paper, diapers and batteries and then spend the rest of my morning enjoying my husband and kids.