On Sunday mornings the LA Times and Riverside Press Enterprise are chocked full of coupons. It goes way back.* And, before I go any further, yes, I still contribute to the killing of trees by getting the printed LA TImes newspaper Thursday through Sunday and just Sunday for the Press Enterprise. And yes, I do look at the online version of both papers during the week. But something in me just cannot give up this quaint method of delivering the news. But, no, it is not for the coupons!
This morning I had the luxury of time to puruse the papers stacked on the dining room table. As I did so, I came across the ads and coupons manufacturers and merchants so generously have printed for inclusion in the Sunday papers. So many! Normally I toss them into the recycle bin without looking at them. But today I set them aside to see if there are any worth clipping and carting to the local supermarket or drug store.
Now I know based on past personal performance, I may go through those coupons for shampoo, dog food, paper products, cleaning products, on and on. I may clip them out and set them by the back door where I will see them as I leave to do some shopping in a day or so. I even have a large clothespin thing that I put them on so they stand up and smile at me, expectantly, hoping I will take them to the store to be redeemed.
But I also know I will most likely either forget them, or leave them in the car when I go into the store. Of course if they do make it with me into the store, I will probably grow frustrated trying to find the items as the market I'm in doesn't carry that brand or is temporarily out or hides it in an aisle I wouldn't be meandering down like where diapers or canned foods are stocked. So the coupons go home with me hoping to go with me the next time I go shopping.
So getting back to the actual clipping of the coupons, I carefully read the amount to be discounted that might be based on the amount required to purchase offset by the initial price minus the amount saved compared to the generic of the same product and whether it is something I actually would use. A lot of thought for a little savings.
I remember one time I was at Von's. I was behind a lovely woman with two baskets full of groceries. I got into the line without thinking. As I was not in a hurry, I decided to just wait and see what developed. The cashier was very patient. She rang up each item efficiently and with great speed. The final tally was somewhere around $200. The cashier then asked for the lady's coupons. She handed a major stack to her. I was fascinated. The cashier later told me this lady comes in once a month which explained why she was so very prepared and patient. One by one she rang in the coupon. Bit by bit, the total dwindled. Would you believe the final total was about $2 and some cents? I figured the customer had earned it. She'd done her homework. And it paid off. And I was entertained to boot.
But even that experience has not led me to religiously or laboriously clipping my coupons each week. Yes, I did set them aside this week. Maybe I will go through them. Maybe I will be able to use them...especially if I remember to take them to the market with me. Maybe I just need more incentive. I remember when "double coupons" was the rage. Perhaps they need to bring that back.
In the meantime, clipping coupons is something to do on a raining day. Sadly, here in Souther California it has not rained in some time.
*According to Wikipedia, "in 1886, The Coca-Cola Company was incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia, with Asa Candler as one of the partners. He transformed Coca-Cola from an insignificant tonic into a profitable business by using advertising techniques. Candler's marketing including having the company's employees and sales representatives distribute complimentary coupons for Coca-Cola.Coupons were mailed to potential customers and placed in magazines. The company gave soda fountains free syrup to cover the costs of the free drinks. It is estimated that between 1894 and 1913 one in nine Americans had received a free Coca-Cola, for a total of 8,500,000 free drinks. By 1895 Candler announced to shareholders that Coca-Cola was served in every state in the United States."