By Robyn Davis Sekula
I know of many people who swear by coupons. They sit down with their Sunday paper and a pair of scissors with a look like a kid on Christmas. I've done this from time to time, but I have never really consistently used coupons.
To me, they just are not worth the hassle. It takes me at least an hour to grocery shop, and with coupons, that time is almost doubled. I have three kids six and under, so I just do not have extra time. Every minute matters to me. Plus, I tend to buy generics. Most of the time when I've bothered with coupons, if I compare the cost of the name brand including a coupon with the generic, the generic is cheaper, and often, the quality is the same.
I also don't pay much attention to "sales," particularly on food items. I don't read the sale papers during the week and plot a course from one store to the other. My goal is speed. I want to get done, and get home.
Last summer, while checking out of Meijer, I noticed the woman in front of me leave with a cart full of groceries after paying only somewhere around $5. My jaw dropped, and she explained it to me, and said she had been on television several times explaining her strategy.
But I also took a look in her cart. Lots and lots and lots of processed foods. Huge bags of chips, and other snack foods. I buy fresh produce as often as possible, as well as dairy, and that will drive up the price of your trip quickly.
I know who won't agree with me: Michelle at WickedCoolDeals.com. I admire her thrifty ways. But I'm afraid I won't be following in her tracks anytime soon.
I also don't think it's worth it to collect aluminum cans for money. I would toss mine in recycling with everything else if given the opportunity. But my husband, God bless his sweet little thrifty soul, digs the cans out and takes them to the recycling place where they pay him for the cans himself. I can tell you right now that's not worth my time. But if he wants to do it, hey, I won't stop him.
So how about you? What thrifty things are worth your time - and what's not?