Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!

By Linsey Knerl on 2 December 2008 (Updated 18 September 2009) 34 comments
Photo: Luz


I recently tried (and failed) a recent Super Double Coupon promotion at my local Kmart. The bad news: I was unable to check out due to a glitch in their system, and I left all my items at the register. The good news: I shopped elsewhere and (surprisingly) saved so much more money.

To make a long story short, I prepared for the Super Double Coupon promotion at Kmart for days. I cut, sorted, stacked, and planned. I was so stoked to be able to double all my manufacturer's coupons up to and including $2. There was money to be saved! After hours of shopping, however, I was faced with not being able to check out (details to come at a later date.) I left the store dismayed and headed over to Walmart, where they gladly accepted my coupons, my preferred method of payment, and my gratitude.

The experience was trying, but valuable. I learned a lot about store promotions and coupons in general. Here's the dirt on a (sometimes) dirty practice:

facturer's coupon (which doubled, would have made the shampoo $2.98.) At Walmart, this same shampoo was only $3.89. With the same coupon (not doubled), it was only $2.89, and I didn't need a special “promotion” to get it. Another example is the “sale priced” candle kit for “only” $8.99 at Kmart. With my $5 coupon (which didn't double), it still cost me $3.99. Across the street at Target, they were selling it for an every day low price of $5.99. With my coupon, it was 99 cents. (No kidding.)

  • Stores that offer select promotions don't always keep product in stock. I was so pumped to see a particular body wash on sale for $2 at Kmart. With my $1 off coupon, the product would have been free. I say “would have” because they only carried a few on the shelf at a time. Less than a few hours after the promotion began, they were all gone. (It does me no good to get a “great deal” on something out of stock.) Rainchecks don't help in this case, either.
  • These same stores can sometimes be selective in the sizes and styles they offer. An example is my favorite pain reliever, which comes in 24 caplets, 40 caplets, or 100 caplets. With a doubled $2 coupon, I should be able to buy the smallest sized bottle (priced at $3.98) for free – if Kmart even carried it. Walmart, on the other hand, carried all 3 sizes, and even had an exclusively-packaged size that included another sample for free. It was only a few cents more for this bonus package, and I walked away with far more product, for less money.
  • Some stores are not equipped to deal with coupons. The most aggravating part of the Kmart experience was how the register rang up the coupons. For about 50% of the coupons, they wouldn't “attach” to the product they were being redeemed for. This prompted a little screen to pop up, asking the cashier which one of the 100 products it was intended for. She would then ask, “Was this for the bodywash, toothpaste, diapers, etc, etc,” going down the whole list. I would simply reply, “look at the coupon. It has a picture of diapers on it.” Walmart, on the other hand (and stores like Target) just scan the coupon and they are done.
  • Are there advantages to stores like Kmart offering Super Double Coupons? Sure, if you can go in for a few odd items and be satisfied. I, however, like to buy all my goods at one location. I tend NOT to stockpile 56 bottles of shampoo. I prefer to use coupons only on things I'm buying anyway. I'm simple like that.

    So for now, I'll stick to my old couponing ways. These ways actually SAVE me money. They don't lead me into buying hundreds of dollars of overpriced stuff to begin with.

    For those of you who were able to take advantage of the Kmart deal and made out ahead, I'm really happy for you. Seriously. (But did you have to take ALL of the bodywash?)

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    Myscha Theriault's picture

    You're right about the potential price differences between stores, Linsey. It's definitely something to be on the lookout for if you are trying to make a major savings score with the double coupon gig. One of these days, I really am going to organize a price book . . .

    Guest's picture
    Kacie

    I went to Kmart double dollar days on two separate occasions, and it was just OK.

    As you said, their prices are much higher than you could find in other locations.

    I did get some freebies, thanks to some coupons, but I also found the checkout process to be a bit underwhelming.

    The screen that they have to touch to indicate which coupon matches which product needs to be improved.

    Oh well, I still got a lot of things for about $5!

    Guest's picture

    I have to be very careful when using coupons. Like you, I can often find the same items for less at different stores. I also tend to buy things I don't really need, or buy more than I need of some items, just because I have coupons.

    Groceries are the worst for me. For example, I needed canned crescent rolls for a recipe. I needed one can, which at our Aldi was $1.49. But another store had name-brand on sale and I had coupons, bringing the price down to $1.14 each. So, did I save 35¢ by buying the one I needed? NOOOO. I bought FIVE of them because they were such a good buy with my coupons, and ended up spending $4.21 cents more than I needed to. They'll be eaten, for sure, but I really didn't need them and didn't need to spend the extra money.

    Guest's picture
    Carrie

    I went once with the intention of only buying things i could get free or very cheap. I spent HOURS preparing coupons. My first disappointment was to find out they wouldn't double INternet printables (although at least they accepted them). The only thing that made the trip worthwhile at all was that there was a Glade catalina going on, and they actually doubled the $2 Catalinas as well (although the clerks said they wouldn't double them, the register did).

    Still, it was just too much work and most of the stuff they had at KMart I woudln't want anyway.

    Guest's picture
    Wilson

    Coupons are indeed evil marketing tools. On the other hand, my local supermarkets have stopped doubling, which counter-intuitively has made them more evil.

    Guest's picture
    kate

    Yeah the Kmart deals can be a bit deceiving. I went and purchased some shampoo, cereal, and a few other HBA items that were very cheap after coupons, but walked away from most items as they were way overpriced. I just recently started using coupons again and am amazed at the number of people who hoard goods that they couldn't possible use themselves. What is the point of buying 20 bottles of shampoo or 6 nailclippers just because they are free? I've been reading some of the refunding blogs about the piles of stuff people get for cheap to free, often by taking the whole pile of coupons that are placed by the product in the store and using them all for themselves. Then they proceed to thank God for their good deals, and I'm thinking "couldn't you love your neighbor as yourself and leave some product or coupon for the next person, who is quite possibly out of work and is in need as well?" It seems like gluttony to take so much more than you need for the near future.
    Sorry for the rant. Times are tough for lots of people and I just wish there was a bit more love going around...

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    Well, I totally understand the frustration of the shelves being empty when you have a good coupon that will double and make the product free as I went on my first outing with coupons this past week. We drove 1 hour to K-Mart that had double coupon day only to find the shelves were empty of the items I could have gotten free.

    It was frustrating, but I might have done the same thing. I have a group of friends that do this and I know it seems that the items would remain on their shelves for months or even years by purchasing that many "free" items at once... but you would be surprised. We have 5 children, so we go through a lot of HBA items in a short amount of time. Those friends of mine that over-purchase actually bless others with their extra items. I am a stay at home mom and with one income times can be tough. My husband lost his job last year and times were extremely tough! It was then that I was very grateful for these friends that had overstocked shelves as they blessed us with these HBA items they had!!

    So, I have been there done that with the frustration of empty shelves, but I have to think that the items are being used by someone that needs them somewhere out there!! I will just need to get to the store sooner the next time...

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    Actually, when I buy multiple items, I give the majority to a homeless shelter. If there is only a few items left that I have coupons for, I ask the manager when they restock and if its within a day or two I will take them. That is what they're there for. I will not be greedy and buy 20 bottles (there is actually a limit of 4 per person per day...)
    I will buy my limit of four, and depending on if I need it at home, will bring to a homeless shelter.
    If it's something I do not need I will then leave my coupons on the product, or give to someone in the same line as me.

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    My point of buying things" just because they are free" is their FREE. I can stock up a little at a time on whatever the sale is at the time. After being on lay-off you never know when your gonna find a job and therefore how far you must stretch things. While I've been trying to figure out how we're going to pay the mortgage and keep our utilities on I HAVENT had to worry about how we are going to bathe, wash our hair, brush our teeth, clean our house, wash the dishes, etc. So I'm grateful that I learned to go to WalGrns or CVS and get things for free or with change. Although, I dont have "20" bottles of anything if I dont need it I donate to people who need it. Personally I had steered away from K-Mart for years, the double Qs brought me in. Cant wait, especially since I can purchase more food items there then other places.

    Guest's picture

    Coupon shopping (when done correctly) is awesome and has saved our family a lot of money! The key is to RESEARCH. Don't blame the stores if you're the one spending money and coupons where you shouldn't. I know people who scored major loads at Kmart on the double coupon deals and paid pennies out of pocket! And yes, it is worth the time and money to research. You'd be surprised at how much you can slash off your total.

    Linsey Knerl's picture

    I'm certainly not blaming Kmart for doing business the way they choose.  We have a choice where to shop, and that can most definitely include Kmart or any other store.

    What I take issue with is that some stores (my Kmart in this case) were hardly prepared for the promotion, and this left shoppers with less to work with than I feel they could have.  For example, leaving very little product on the shelf, not training staff in how to handle coupons, and having only one lane open during an obviously busy promotional period -- these are all signs that they are trying to take advantage of the increase in business, but not really trying to make the experience better for the shopper.

    I do know that some good friends of mine got some very good deals on stuff at Kmart.  I won't knock the deal as "evil" just because it was NOT a good deal for me.  But I also know that several shoppers were so excited to hear about double coupons and failed to notice that they could have saved just as much by shopping just about anywhere else for most items.

    I appreciate that Kmart had a limit of 4 like coupons per transaction.  This kept any one overzealous buyer from coming in and grabbing ALL the bodywash or dental floss.  But since my Kmart probably only had 6  of each to begin with, it makes it impossible for most of us to take advantage of the "savings."

    It's a delicate balance of savvy, persistance, and moderation.  Find what works for you, but don't be afraid to share your tips, and call a bad deal when you see it.

    Thanks for the comments!

    Linsey Knerl

    Myscha Theriault's picture

    Just thought I'd jump in with an extra story.

    I agree some people just buy like crazy and never use the extra items. However, I do know some folks who use these bulk buying freebies as a way to be able to give charitably without busting their family budget. For example, deodorant and baby wipes to go in a gift drive for overseas troops, or boatloads of personal hygiene items being donated to Katrina victims, homeless shelter donations, orphanages, etc.

    Some families want to celebrate the spirit of giving, but have more time than money. So putting the effort into the coupon research is their way of being prepared for hospitality emergencies.

    Now, I would love to be able to say I've been oganized enough to do this myself. The truth is, it's something I'm striving for but haven't made happen yet. I'm not saying people shouldn't feel frustrated if they miss out on an opportunity due to someone else's over- zealous buying, just that it might not necessarily be greed that's motivating the extreme shoppers.

    Linsey Knerl's picture

    I'm glad you mentioned that Myscha.  I was looking forward to (maybe) picking up an extra here and there to give to my church's shelter.  I usually do this with any product that I get for free via a rebate or refund (that I don't use personally.)  I had hopes of buying off of my specific list of items for my family, and for every one or two items I purchased, even paying full price here or there for the "charity" box.  I figured that with the money I was saving, I could afford to get a little extra to help out another family.

    Sadly, this wasn't possible.  There wasn't even enough stock in the store for me to make my weekly needs.

    I also know of families that buy tons of product, and then sell them on a yard sale.  I have no beef about this practice, either, because it is a legitimate way of making money, and I'm all for an entrepreneurial spirit. 

    My issue is less with the people who buy lots, and more with the store for being obviously ill-eqiupped to handle even the smallest increase in business.  I live in rural America, and when demand exceeds supply (even by the slightest amount), it leaves those of us with no where else to shop.. up a creek, so to speak.

    Thanks for reminding us of another benefit to savvy shopping!

    Linsey Knerl

    Guest's picture
    Julie

    As someone else said, this is a great way to donate to charities when you don't have much to give. Like everyone else, my budget is tight this year, but with good deals and stacks of coupons, I'm able to donate more canned goods to food drives, more dog food and treats to animal shelters, etc.

    And even if you aren't doing that, what's wrong with stocking up when you get good deals? If I can get 5 bottles of shampoo for the price of two, of course I'm going to. It makes no sense to pay more than you need to later just to avoid people calling you a hoarder.

    I haven't been to Kmart yet this week for the double coupons, but I read on another blog that the trick is to have them scan the coupon right after they scan the item, instead of doing them all at the end. It confuses the computer less that way.

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    Nope, you have to do them at the end at KMart. Now lets talk about the cheap asses who buy the stuff with double coupons to resale it at 3X the price at their own stores!

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    Got some awesome bargains at the double coupon deal last week. The cashier even doubled a 3.00, don't know how she made that happen, but she did. And in her hurry to get me through the line she doubled a few $2.00 coupons 2 times. Didn't notice any of this till I got home and looked at the receipt.

    To continue what was said above about the "hoarding", I've seen pics on other sites of people's stashes, shelves upon shelves and totes and boxes and bags of shampoo, conditioner, soap, dish detergent, hundreds of dollars worth of stuff purchased for pennies. ANd while I envy their money saving abilty and respect the time it takes to do it, it strikes me as being more than a little over the top. How can you possibly use all that stuff? Part of the thrill of saving money is the big score, coming out of WAGS or CVS with $50 worth of stuff for $2.00. Keep doing that, and pretty soon you need a garage or extra room to stash all your goodies. Those few shopping trips a week with the great sales and double coupons will bring more stuff into your house way faster than you can ever use it up. It just seems to me that it borders on sickness, the need to hoard all that crap. I do have a little stash in my closet, maybe 3-4 each of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. Any excess beyond that goes into grocery bags I'm always adding to, and every other month or so that all goes to the local womens shelter. I'm all for frugality, I was raised with depression-era parents and grandparents so it's in my blood, but there are so many people who would be so very grateful for a tiny bit of your excess. Just my two cents...

    Guest's picture
    Jessica

    My understanding is that reselling new items at yard sales is illega, but is a law that doesn't often get enforced. And depending on the quantity you're reselling, the issues with legality have to do with needing a license to be a reseller.

    Guest's picture
    kathy

    we have a person here in our town that does that she sells stuff from the stores that she buys. I did not know it was illegal and yes i think that is wrong too and people like that should have to have a licence to that.

    Guest's picture

    I noted that Kmart's prices were generally higher than the discount drugstores I usually frequent. I just made sure I was really careful, and I did get some good deals -- most of which I donated to a "tent city," a food bank and the family we're buying for this Christmas.
    My feeling is that it's like using coupons in general: Be careful you're actually getting a good deal, and don't use them to buy stuff you'd never buy otherwise.
    I sure liked getting tuna for 19 cents, hand sanitizer for a dollar and a big bottle of shampoo for free. Then again, I can get deals that good in other stores, too.

    Guest's picture

    I have found out long a go that the stores that offer double coupons are only doing so because they have jacked up their prices higher in the first place. Competitively priced stores do not need to offer extra savings because they already are competitive.

    But I have learned another thing about coupons as well. Most of the coupons ae for highly advertised name brand products. These products cost significantly more than a equivalent unadvertised brand does. Over the last few years we have tried out many of these secondary brands and found that they are often as good or better then the name brand products. These products are almost always cheaper then the name brand with a coupon.

    The secret to really saving money when shopping is to educate yourself about the prices charged by various stores. Even most grocery chains operate at more then one price point. They will have a fancy store with higher prices on most items and a lower bare bones looking store selling the exact same stuff at lower prices. If you want to save money use those lower priced stores.

    Additionally there are often small independent specialty retailers that are very price competitive. Successful small businesses can actually compete against big chains if they focus on selling large volumes of product. In our community I know of at least four small butcher shops that sell better meat at lower prices then any big chain store in town. And each of them treat you better while doing it.

    If you want some good free advice on budgeting then check out my website.

    Guest's picture
    Mark

    Last week, I did well with my area Kmart's double coupon getting Gillette body wash(4) for free and buying my wife a lot of OLAY body wash for about 1 dollar per bottle. But it pays to compare as you are correct, Kmart's prices are usually a bit higher that Walmart. My Kmart was also a bit understocked for that sale also

    Last week at Acme, I had purchased the following things for less than $5:
    6 bags of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix
    6 bags of Chex Mix
    6 Boxes of Lucky Charms Cereals Of course I had coupons for all of the above

    Those bags went right to the food basket. I don't really have the money this year to donate money, but I can certainly spend a few minutes and donate free (or close enough to free) items I recieve by couponing

    Guest's picture
    steve

    Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I've never experienced value commensurate with the effort of shopping with coupons. It always seems like a trick to me. The largest savings I experience come from 1) shopping fewer times. The less I am in a store, the fewer pointless or extra purchases I will make is what I have discovered about myself. 2) shopping from my list 3) use up those leftovers before they spoil and have to be thrown out as waste. This probably saves my 10%of my grocery bill and I still haven't perfected it yet. I can probably save another 5% once I master this aspect of maximizing my dollars. and 3) shopping as low on the "value-added chain" as possible. Basic ingredients only.

    In terms of stocking up, I try to keep it down to a reasonable amount. If I come close to running out, or heaven forbid actually *run out*, the last time I checked the stores will still sell me the stuff if I bring them money. So the maximum I stock of any item, ideally, is a one year supply if it is something that doesn't spoil. I only do this to get the lowest cost per unit, buying on sales. I also make a point of using *less* of things and making them last longer. e.g, using just half a tablespoon of dishwashing powder in the washer instead of filling the receptacle. I have found it works just as well. And I *never* fill the prewash receptacle. Same story with shampoo, soap, clothes washing liquid--you name it.

    I just focus on shopping less often (once every ten days to 2 weeks) and sticking to what I need. In between shopping trips I eat out of my fridge and my pantry. If I had to stay in my house for 2 months straight I would be fine as long as the water and the electric kept working.

    I used to think that $140 per month for one person (me) was kind of a minimum amount, but recently I have discovered that my costs are plunging to the $100 and lower level because I have (a) stopped wasting and throwing away food and (b) cut down on expensive items like cheese, milk, and meat. Now that I make stock from the chicken bones, one chicken can feed me for a week and provide stock for the month, so it seems wasteful to me to buy more than one chicken a month. I have largely stopped buying beef for various reasons, including that it seems absurd to spend $3/lb at minimum when I can buy other food for $0.99/lb nominal price and $1.50/lb or so for the meat alone (cutting and deboning the chicken myself). I buy the larger roasting chickens as these are a better deal in terms of pounds of meat-to-bones and carcass weight.

    Guest's picture

    Using coupons is an incredibly smart step. Don’t let the good stuff fall through the cracks! There is free coupon organizing software available at: http://www.couponandcodes.com good luck - Tom

    Guest's picture
    couponing princess

    my sister and i prepared for the doubles as well, for about a month. our strategy was to ONLY get all the FREE items or great deals that were $0.50 or less! luckily, we have about 8 kmarts within 25 minutes drive. we shopped at 7 kmarts and walked away with a combined total of $3000! in total, we both spent $120! we have donated much of our items to friends, families, our native country (which is a 3rd-world country) and for a few families in need for Christmas. and of course, we stored some for our own lil families. we did encounter a lot of glitches with both or our transactions, but we were willing to wait and have kmart fix the problems. our patience paid off :) happy savings & happy new year!

    Guest's picture
    joolee

    I was thrilled to see the ad for double coupons in the fall! Once in the store (I never shop there) I realized how overpriced everything was. I still managed to find several products that turned out to be free or almost free (Revlon nail polish, Gillette body wash and some Tylenol). However, when I checked out, the cashier didn't know how to ring up many of the coupons, choosing the wrong product to attach to my coupon, thus decreasing the value of the coupon. Also, all of the buy 2 items save $$ coupons didn't actually double. Then the cashier gave me hard time about using my revlon coupons on nail polish (though the coupon had a pic of the nail polish right on it). By the time I was thru checking out (with voids and waiting for a manager etc) there was a huge line of people behind me (only 2 checkouts open) and I was totally stressed out. I tried at a different location later in the week and had a fabulous experience. Needless to say, this week I will only be visiting the "good" Kmart and I already know not to have unrealistic savings expectations due to their high prices.

    Guest's picture
    okgirl

    for the freakin' nail polish!! Which was right there on the coupon. I felt sorry for the cashiers and the people in line behind me (who all had coupons, by the way). As an earlier commenter mentioned, they weren't ready for an increase in business brought on by their COUPON promotion, i.e, having the equipment and staff ready for increased traffic. I had never shopped at K-Mart before this, and I was really disappointed. The local store is dirty and disorganized. There were gaping holes in the stock. Their were never more than 2 cashiers on eithr time that I went. The registers don't even have conveyor belts, so the cashier has to manually slide all the items down, across the scanner, and the stack them precariously on the edge of the counter because only one bag is available at a time. Crazy! I won't bother shopping there again.

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    I think people are forgetting another reason to coupon: big families and hard times.

    I am a SAHM to my little family of one kid. But we are young and in college, working our way up. Any way I can save money is a bonus.

    And to top it off, my dad just got laid off. Now he's still got 8 mouths at home to feed. I am happy that I can coupon and give stuff to them without putting my little family into monetary hardship.

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    Yeah, you can probably get some better deals at Wal-Mart than KMart, if you really feel like supporting a company like that. Not that Kmart's products are made in America, because they're not, but they're also not drowning out all the mom-and-pop businesses in most of the rural areas of our country, and when you buy something from Wal-Mart or Sam's Club, you're just another idiot perpetuation our economic downfall into the abyss.

    I'm a frugal person and I shop at companies with little business ethics, because that's pretty much all there is left in this day and age, but there's a difference between being a frugal person and being a selfish idiot who looks for the best deal for their own self at the time and not at what it might do to them even in the future or to everyone else/ the economy as a whole, i.e. foreign cars and Wal-Mart, for people who are unashamed to be selfish and will take the "best deal" they can get.

    f.y.i. unions were the last good thing we had in our capitalist, free market economy. you think you're screwing over the system but the system is screwing YOU over.

    it's all common sense but i thought i'd just throw it out to you.

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    I usually ready posts but never respond because I doubt others really care about what little old me has to say. But, I must must respond to the previous post about Walmart being 'evil' and that unions being the last good thing left. God forbid I actually pay less for things my family needs. I think being an idiot would be going to a smaller store where they have zero selection and where they couldnt possibly carry everything I need in one trip so I could support a small business by paying 2 1/2 times more for the same exact product. Walmart is so popular because it allows the lower classes to actually SURVIVE. Not all of us are uber cheap, some of us are just plain poor. Heaven forbid we could actually afford to eat this week and possibly buy our children new shoes for school as well. And if you truly believe foreign cars are killing our economy, tell Chevy to build better vehicles that can actually compete with the price, quality, and fuel economy of a foreign car. And you know why they don't? Because of Unions. Unions are the evil in this country. Workers who are already over paid and get all the perks barely any of us Americans can even dream about anymore (ie insurance, 401k, retirement, vacation, sick leave...)sticking their heels in the mud and withholding work unless they get what they want. Its like a pack of toddlers at lunch time. They have no idea how great they have it and it's never enough. Let's have them work minimum wage with no benefits for a week or two. We will see how much they complain about their job after that.

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    I'm with you...Thank God for Walmart and affordable prices. Time is money and shopping in one place saves gas running around, and TIME...which is something that you can never get back once it's gone. Capitalism and America...wouldn't have it any other way!

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    Yeah, before the evil unions people were working 80-90 hours per week for 10 cents an hour under conditions a rat wouldn't tolerate. And if you complained, you wouldn't have a job at all. As unions have become weaker, the rich have become richer, and the middle class has disappeared.
    As far as hoarding goes, I think that is just wrong. We have a columnist in our local paper that bragged she had bought 90 cans of soup this week for a pittance ( a coupon for .88, doubled plus another coupon.) But when I went to get some, it was all gone, from THREE different stores.

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    You do have some points.

    Really the key is to do your research. You DO learn what is the good deals and what are not. And then you know what to go buy the next time, and what to pass on.

    If you don't have someone there who KNOWS the ropes to go with you and hold your hand, it'll take a few trips.

    I've done Kmart doubles since July now. July, while I did get good deals. I was not GOOD...

    Now I've got it down where I'm getting $30-$50 worth of stuff for $1-$2 in many cases.

    I actually had a run on sunday where I had $36 in product and I only paid .11

    Knowledge is power :)

    As for surplus. I don't have near as much as most of the 'hard core' people do. But I do have more deodorants than I can use before they expire. I haven't yet decided what to do with them. Hubby and I contemplated doing 'hygiene baskets' for family members for christmas. I've contemplated donating to the church. I've contemplated hanging onto it for a little while as a just in case measure should something happen to my husbands job.

    Time will tell :)

    Guest's picture
    Guest

    I just wanted to answer Steve's post about "Maybe I am doing something wrong." Well, I used to think exactly like you, but someone showed me how to make couponing work, and so I'll have to say that YES, you have been doing couponing "wrong" if you're saving only 5%-15%. Really, it's not wrong but not serving you as well as it could. What I mean is that with more effective techniques, you can save substantially. For example, my normal register tape reads $70 spent for $210 of groceries (no double coupons here in FL). I don't take the time to go to multiple stores and hit their best sales but carefully plan my attack at 1 store, so I have room for improvement but not more time. There's a better way to coupon, and not running out and buying when I don't have a coupon to combine with a sale really adds up to savings. I'm no super hoarder, but I believe that it's wise to put some aside in case there is a family emergency or natural disaster. I have friends who have relied on that philosophy to get them through unemployment recently. Now I am no longer accustomed to paying retail, and that has really changed our finances for the better. We could barely make it, and now we're buying better quality products, have fuller cupboards, a more varied and healthful menu, and are putting money in savings. Couponing is going to pay for braces for my son, but with only the percent of savings you described, no way would it have done that. I suggest you take another look at serious couponing if you'd like extra money without another job. If you choose to treat it like a job, you get the benefit of being your own boss! If it doesn't interest you, OK, but I hope you understand why for moms trying to make ends meet, couponing is life-changing.

    Guest's picture
    CouponQueen

    I don't know what the problem is at your Kmart, but at ours I hit 88 Vitamin Water 10/10 with a 55 cent coupon that made them free. No limits, nothing. 88 bottles of vitamin water for $4 is a great deal. Even better considering nothing in Abilene, TX doubles over 50 cents. Head over there and just make sure your coupons match what you are buying and you should have no issues. Maybe different regions are different.