Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kitsap Sun: Kitsap's 'Coupon Queens' have savings down to a science

This appeared in the most recent Sunday edition of my hometown newspaper, The Kitsap Sun, based in Bremerton, Washington.

Kitsap's 'Coupon Queens' have savings down to a science

JACKSON PARK — On Saturday at the Jackson Park community center, small children raced and squealed amid a group of 20 or so moms bent on saving a buck here, a few cents there.

The women perused a shelf of plastic tubs filled with coupons for snack food, cereal, laundry products and other sundries. They took any coupons they thought they could use and tossed coupons they'd clipped but didn't need into the pool...

...Norris, estimates she routinely saves 60 percent on her purchases. Her secret is a systematic strategy for finding, filing and using coupons and discounts. She explained to the group how she keeps a binder categorized by store, product or service, and expiration date.
Very cool! I wonder if this is something that makes sense for a single person living alone, as I do. Whenever I glance over the coupons I receive in the mail, it's rare that I find anything that would represent much of a savings to me, if any at all. That is due in large part, I think, to my relatively low household consumption (since it's just me in here, versus say a family of four). What is the likelihood that a bulk purchase made to save on a per-unit basis will spoil before I can use it (depending on what the item is, of course), and the potential return on investment I could get investing the difference paid on a lesser number of units of something at full-price, rather than the discounted per-unit price on a higher transaction cost bulk purchase. Unless we're talking about toilet paper, most of the time it seems to me that I'd ultimately lose money by trying to save in this way.

Still though, I'm inspired to give it all another look.

HT: Jim W. Coleman, a long-time friend whose Facebook post on this article this morning brought it to my attention.

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