We clip coupons. Why not, right? If I’m going to get something cheaper for a minimal effort, why not? It makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense, is the supposed value that coupons represent. They seem more like advertisements to me… to get you to buy a product, or to get you into the food joint & make you buy more stuff than you need since you’re getting something for free anyway. So, I guess from that end, they do make sense to the coupon presenter.
To me, they fall in two categories, restaurant coupons and grocery coupons…. and there are several sub-categories thereafter.
Any more, they seem to be useless unless it’s something straight-up for free with no catches… or a straight dollar (or cents) amount off of one item. I don’t want or need to buy two packs of hot dogs to save a dollar. I don’t ever need two quarter-pounders or big roast-beef sandwiches.
Brand-name coupons usually don’t seem to bring the price down enough to compete with the off-brand, or the store brand. On some things, like Heinz Ketchup, the difference is important… but on others like laundry soap… I really don’t see the difference between Tide or All or Cheer or Purex the plethora of other ones out there.
Fast food coupons seem to be the most frustrating… now that everyone has value meals or value combos or combo meals, why are they still giving out “free fries” or “free side” coupons? You always need to purchase a sandwich and a drink to get the free side… which puts you at the price of the combo meal anyway… possibly more if you were going to “up-size” at all.
The breakfast ones are the best deals… most likely because no one is coming in for breakfast. We know this is just to get us in the door.
Perhaps I’m pessemistic. I’d like to put some research into seeing how much these kinds of coupons actually save you. I know… fast food is an evil that I ought to just avoid anyway according to my friend Dave. I know he’s right, but I seem to fall into the trap anyway.
Do you find coupons to ever be useful? Are they ever for something you were going to get anyway, or are you settling for something other than what you would order otherwise? Have you ever gone somewhere with a coupon, then pocketed it because there was a better deal existing already, or the savings really weren’t worth not getting exactly what you wanted?