I’m a grad student. With a family. Married to a man running a start-up.
Add that together and you realise why I’m loving living in a country where coupons rule.
In Australia we don’t do coupons beyond the basics. One coupon per transaction only. No manufacturer coupons are redeemable in store (they seem to always be mail-in rebates instead). And there are regularly stacks of hoops to jump through. Loyalty cards exist, but you need to spend about a billion dollars before you can get a pack of Post-it notes as your ‘gift’.
In the US, the experience is entirely different. I even have a coupon folder with all the coupons sorted into categories that I take everywhere with me. Just like lots of other mums do.
There are two great things with coupons here:
a. You can combine coupons from the manufacturer with specials in store to get things at next to nothing (sometimes even cheaper than nothing – and then the retailer takes the deficit and credits it against the rest of your shopping!)
b. Printable coupons are beginning to take over from newspaper inserts (due to the death of print) which means you can print out as many as you like.
My biggest bargain at the moment is toilet paper. Yep. Toilet paper.
My local grocery store, King Soopers, at Table Mesa in Boulder has Cottonelle 4-packs of toilet paper for 99c. It’s been that way for about 3 weeks, so I think they’re going to keep it at that price. Lucky for me, there’s a coupon here which gives $1 off. You have to fill in a few fields on it, but you get free loo paper!
If that’s all too hard, then Eversave regularly features a coupon on this too. It gives you a 50c discount on exactly this product anywhere you go. 49c loo paper would have still been a good deal. But it gets better! King Soopers’ policy (similar to other grocery stores) is to double coupons up to $1. That means I get $1 off the toilet paper anyway even with this coupon. Free!
I have printed off four of these coupons at a time and bought four packs of toilet paper, and gotten the discount off every one. No single transaction… no one coupon on a product. It’s awesome.
And yes, while I do get that it makes me a little bit sad to be excited over free loo paper, I’m glad I can spend the money I’ve saved on other, more important stuff… my kids. What other free stuff have readers scored with coupons?