I was asked (after hearing Safeway will probably be accepting coupons at face value in AZ soon, more here) …
Is couponing worth it?
If you want the short answer … yes, for me.
If you want the long answer, grab your coffee (maybe it’s a smoothie this time of year?) and snuggle up to your computer or mobile, as I share my thoughts.
When, I say “couponing,” I mean using paper coupons (printable, from Sunday paper, & misc. coupons that may show up) or digital coupons you can load directly to your shopping cards.
I only use coupons for products I will use or have a specific purpose for (donating, giving to friends, etc). I’m not a true “extreme couponer.” I’ve only seen a couple of the TLC shows, but I’m nothing like what I’ve seen. I like to call myself an “intentional couponer.” I use them wisely and save a bunch of money! I don’t need a trailer to get my groceries home and one bottle of mustard will usually last us until it expires, around my house.
For me, couponing will still be worth it, even if coupons are taken at face value. (Keep in mind that most of the country can only redeem coupons at face value and many do it.) There is still money to be saved.
I’m a firm believer that pennies add up to quarters, add up to dollars, add up to $20, etc. I’ll even still bend down to pick up a penny. The bonus is a little bit of exercise, if nothing else. :)
On the other hand, I also value my time. If I’m finding that saving $3 is taking me an hour, I won’t do it. My time is worth more than $3/hour. On the other hand, if it takes me an hour to get ready to go to the grocery store (or an extra hour to run somewhere else & look at ads, etc.) and I end up saving $30 (random number for example) … totally worth my time. I should say … usually! There are weeks when I don’t have an hour to spare to save $30, as much as I want to. I value my sanity more than thirty bucks.
As much as I love the savings and the financial freedom it helps bring to my family, it’s not for everyone. I have different time, priorities, and needs than you do. Don’t blindly use coupons, without counting the cost. There are costs. I would never deny that!
- Time — What “wages” are acceptable to you? Remember, it’s tax-free “income.”
- Space — How will you store surplus? Do you have room or need to stick with basics?
- Sanity — Does the extra clutter (coupons or treasures you get) drive you nuts?
- Need — Do you need to do it to make ends meet?
- Want — Do you enjoy using the savings for something else that makes the effort worthwhile?
- Respect — Does your spouse value the fact that you do it or does it drive him/her nuts?
- Cost — How much are you spending on newspapers, ink, paper, buying coupons, gas, whatever?
Take a serious inventory of the above list. Ponder it and calculate it. If you feel it’s more of a burden, stop — unless you feel it’s a necessity! (Well, I don’t see how you can resist clicking and loading a few digital coupons.) :) Yes, I know I run a coupon website. Well, I don’t fully see it that way. I run a money saving website, that often involves coupons, but there’s much more!
Whatever you end up doing with your coupon usage, I hope you stick around Bargain Believer. We’ll always share deals that have coupons, but we go beyond that. We want you to have fun with your family, without spending a bunch. We’ll point you to those deals and other bargains we just can’t seem to keep to ourselves. As long as there are businesses competing, there will always be bargains out there and we’ll help you find them! We may even tempt the non-coupon users out there to click and load a digital coupon or even print a coupon every once in awhile. The coupon/non-coupon line can be crossed at any time. :)
I was going to share some other ways to save, but I’m afraid you’re falling asleep now. And, I’m out of time. Stay tuned … more on saving (beyond coupons) soon!
What do you think?
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Price matching policy & tips
Online price matching policy
Walmart Savings Catcher program
Some items below need coupons, many don’t. Click the green plus signs to make your own personalized shopping list! (When you do, it will be categorized for easier shopping.)
Note: We put some store brand items (like milk & eggs) on the list. Their policy says they will not match those, but the vast majority report that their store will match those prices. Keep in mind that your store may not. Also, Walmart sells some items (like watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, oranges) individually, not by the pound. They may or may not match a per pound price. It’s up to each store.
Ad Matching Possibilities:
Cucumbers 6 / 99¢ (El Super; 25¢ at Food City; 33¢ at Los Altos; 50¢ at Bashas)
Green Cabbage 6 lbs / 99¢ (El Super, WED only)
Mangos 5 / 99¢ (El Super, WED only; 25¢ at Food City, limit 8, WED only; 33¢ at Smart & Final; 3 / $1.00 at Sprouts)
Avocados 5 / 99¢ (Los Altos, WED and THURS only; 20¢ at Food City, limit 10; 50¢ at Bashas’, 88¢ at Sprouts)
Carrots 4 lbs / 99¢ (El Super, WED only)
Bananas 25¢ / lb (limit 8 pounds, Food City, WED only)
Corn on the Cob 4 / 99¢ (Los Altos, WED and THURS only; 33¢ at El Super)
Store Brand Tomato Sauce (8 oz) 25¢ (Albertsons)
White Onion 33¢ / lb (Los Altos, WED and THURS only)
Red Large Apples 33¢ / lb (Los Altos, WED and THURS only)
Cilantro 33¢ (Sprouts)
Red Radishes 33¢ (Sprouts)
Brown Onions 33¢ / lb (Food City)
Red Potatoes 33¢ / lb (El Super; 48¢/lb at Sprouts, WED only; 49¢/lb at Food City)
White Potatoes 33¢ / lb (El Super)
Bananas 33¢ / lb (El Super, WED only; 33¢/lb at Los Altos, TUES only)
Roma Tomatoes 33¢ / lb (limit 6 pounds, Food City, WED only; 33¢/lb at Los Altos, TUES only; 2 lbs / 99¢ at El Super; 50¢/lb at Smart & Final; 88¢ at Sprouts)
El Pato Hot Sauce or Libby’s Vienna Sausage 39¢ (limit 6, Food City, FRI – SUN only)
Yoplait Yogurt (4-6 oz) 39¢ (Fry’s)
Yellow Onions 48¢ / lb (Sprouts, WED only)
Limes 49¢ / lb (Food City)
Granny Smith Apples 49¢ / lb (Food City)
Chicken Leg Quarters 49¢ / lb (El Super, THURS only)
Bola Tomatoes 2 lbs / 99¢ (Los Altos, WED and THURS only)
Fuji Apples 2 lbs / 99¢ (Los Altos, TUES only)
Granny Smith or Golden Delicous Apples 2 lbs / 99¢ (El Super, WED only)
D’Anjou Pears 2 lbs / 99¢ (El Super, WED only)
Shasta, 2 Liters 50¢ (limit 6, El Super)
Arizona Tea/Drink (20 or 23 oz) 2 / $1.00 (limit 4, Walgreens thru 5/30)
Store Brand Mac & Cheese (7.25 oz) 50¢ (Albertsons)
Store Brand Canned Veggies, Beans or Tomatoes (14.5-15.25 oz) 50¢ (Albertsons)
Red Bell Pepper 50¢ (Albertsons; 88¢ at Sprouts)
Gatorade or G2, 32 oz, Propel 24 oz or Vitaminwater, 20 oz 57¢ (must buy 10, Fry’s)
Chicken Drumsticks (value pack) 57¢ / lb (Los Altos; 59¢/lb at El Super, family pack)
Powerade (32 oz) 58¢ (must buy 15, limit 15, Albertsons; 59¢ at Food City)
Chicken Leg Quarters (sold in 10 pound bag) 59¢ / lb (limit 2 bags, Food City, THURS only)
7-UP Ten or Dr Pepper Ten (2 liter) 69¢ (Safeway)
Pineapple 69¢ / lb (Los Altos, Walmart may not match per pound price, see note above)
Jalapenos 69¢ / lb (Los Altos)
Tomatillos 69¢ / lb (Los Altos)
Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna 75¢ (Albertsons)
Pepsi or 7-UP (2 liter) 77¢ (when you buy 4, Safeway; 99¢ at Los Altos for Pepsi only, must buy 4)
Peaches or Nectarines 77¢ / lb (Sprouts and Los Altos; 97¢/lb at El Super; 97¢/lb, limit 6 lbs, Bashas’; 99¢/lb Fry’s; $1.48/lb, WED only, Sprouts)
Raspberries 87¢ (limit 4, Albertsons)
Red Seedless Grapes 87¢ / lb (Bashas’; 99¢/lb at Los Altos, WED and THURS only; $1.99/lb at Safeway)
Cantaloupe 87¢ (limit 4, Fry’s; 88¢ at Sprouts, WED only; 20¢/lb at Food City, limit 3 melons; 4 lbs/ 99¢ at El Super; 27¢/lb at Food City ~ Walmart may not match per pound price, see note above)
Squirt, RC or 7 Up, 2 Liters 88¢ (Food City; 89¢ at Los Altos for 7 Up, Barqs, Fanta, Fuze and Minute Maid, must buy 4; 99¢ at Bashas’, not Squirt)
Baby Peeled Carrots (16 oz) 88¢ (Sprouts)
Blueberries (6 oz) 88¢ (Sprouts)
Mi Ranchito Tortiall Chips (8 oz, traditional or golden) 88¢ (Los Altos, SAT and SUN only)
Crush and Brisk, 2 Liters 89¢ (Los Altos, SAT and SUN only)
Pork Shoulder Picnic Roast 89¢ / lb (limit 4 packs, Smart & Final; 99¢/lb at Los Altos, WED and THURS only)
Red Ripe Mini Seedless Watermelons 97¢ (limit 2, Safeway)
Foster Farms Split Chicken Breasts, Drumsticks or Thighs (bone-in) 97¢ / lb (Fry’s)
Mini Seedless Watermelon 97¢ (limit 4, Fry’s)
Tomatoes on the Vine 98¢ / lb (Sprouts, WED only)
Bone-in Sirloin Cut Pork Chops (value pack) 98¢ / lb (limit 2 packs, Food City, FRI – SUN only)
Bone-in Split Chicken Breasts (value pack) 98¢ / lb (limit 2 packs, Food City)
Chicken Drumsticks, Thighs or Whole Legs 99¢ / lb (Sprouts, WED only)
Mushrooms (8 oz, whole) 99¢ (El Super)
Store Brand Sandwich Bread (20 oz) 99¢ (Bashas’; $1 at Albertsons for 24 oz)
Hunt’s Ketchup (20 oz) 99¢ (Bashas’)
Cherries 99¢ / lb (Los Altos; $1.88/lb at Sprouts, WED only)
Pillsbury Cake or Brownie Mix (15.25 or 18.4 oz) 99¢ (Safeway)
Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna or Ready to Eat Kit (5 oz cans, 3.5 oz kit) $1.00 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Store Brand English Muffins (12 oz) $1.00 (when you buy 2, Safeway)
Coke Products (2-liters) $1.00 (when you buy 5 or 10, limit 10, Bashas’; $1 at Safeway, Friday 5/29 ONLY)
Cool Whip (8 oz) $1.00 (Fry’s)
Popsicle (8 count) $1.00 (Fry’s)
Store Brand Frozen Veggies (10-12 oz) $1.00 (Fry’s)
Malt O Meal Cereal (11.5-16.5 oz) $1.00 (Albertsons)
Store Brand Sour Cream (16 oz) $1.00 (Albertsons; $1.29 at Bashas’)
7 Up or Pepsi, 2 Liters $1.00 (Albertsons)
Store Brand Eggs (12 ct ,Grade AA ) $1.25 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Red or Green Grapes $1.29 / lb (El Super; $1.99 at Sprouts, WED only)
Cheetos or Fritos $1.49 (must buy 4, Fry’s; $1.77 at Safeway)
Pork Sirloin Chops (value pack) $1.49 / lb (Los Altos)
Dole Classic Salad (24 oz bag) $1.50 (Food City)
Potatoes (5 lbs) $1.50 (Bashas’)
Strawberries (16 oz) $1.50 (El Super)
Hostess Donettes (9.5-11.25 oz) $1.67 (Fry’s)
Sunshine Cheez-It Crackers (6-7 oz) $1.67 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Quaker Life or Cap “N Crunch’s Crunchberries Cereal (13 oz) $1.67 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Quaker Instant Oatmeal (9.8-15.1 oz) $1.67 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider (25.4 oz) $1.67 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (value pack) $1.87 / lb (Smart & Final; $1.99/lb at Albertsons, Bashas’, and Sprouts, any size package)
Ruffles 7.5 -9 oz or Tostitos 9-14 oz $1.88 (Fri. – Sun. ONLY, Bashas’)
Whole Seedless Watermelon $1.88 (Sprouts)
Boneless Half Pork Loin (Farmland) $1.88 / lb (limit 2, Fri. – Sun. ONLY, Bashas’)
Store Brand Water, 24 pack $1.88 (limit 2, Fri. – Sun. ONLY, Bashas; $1.99 must buy 4, limit 1 reward, Albertsons and Safeway)
Mini Peppers (1 pound bag) $1.98 (Sprouts, WED only)
Red, Green or Black Seedless Grapes $1.98 / lb (Sprouts, WED only; red are 87¢/lb at Bashas’)
Store Brand Gallon Milk $1.99 (limit 2, Fry’s, Albertsons, Safeway and Smart & Final)
Store Brand Butter (16 oz) $1.99 (Safeway)
Frito Lay Simply Chips (4.5-9 oz) $1.99 (limit 4, Safeway)
Pepsi or 7 Up, 6 pack bottles (16.9 oz) $2.00 (Fry’s)
Ground Beef, 70% Lean (value pack) $2.29 / lb (Los Altos, WED and THURS only)
Red Potatoes (5 pound bag) $2.50 (Fry’s)
Pepsi, 12 pack cans $2.50 (must buy 4 including 1 Brisk Tea, w/ min. $25 purchase, limit 1 reward, Albertsons)
Coca-Cola (12 pack, 12 oz cans or 8 pack 12 oz bottles) $2.97 (when you buy 4, limit 4, with additional $25 purchase, Safeway)
Boneless Pork Tenderloin $2.99 / lb (Fry’s)
Boneless Pork Loin Center Cut Chops (family pack) $2.99 (Fry’s)
Boneless Beef Steak or Roast $3.67 / lb (El Super)
Hormel Marinated Pork Tenderloin (1.1-1.5 lb) $5.00 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Frito Lay Multi Pack Chips (20 ct ) $5.00 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
Ad Matching w/ Coupon Possibilities:
Little Debbie Snacks (12-16 oz) $1.00 (Albertsons)
$0.95/1 Little Debbie Snacks 03/29/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/28/15)
Final price: 5¢
Orbit or Eclipse Gum (single packs) 69¢ (limit 3, Walgreens, thru 5/30)
$0.50/2 Orbit Gum 03/01/2015 RP Insert (exp 5/29/15)
Final price: 44¢ each when you buy 2
Fancy Feast Cat Food (3 oz can) 55¢ (limit 24, Safeway)
$1/10 Purina Fancy Feast Medleys or Mornings Gourmet Cat Food 04/26/2015 SS Insert (exp 7/31/15)
Final price: 45¢ each when you buy 10
Muller Yogurts $1.00 (Albertsons)
$1/3 Muller Yogurts 05/03/2015 RP Insert (exp 6/14/15)
B1G1 printable (register)
Final price: As low as 50¢ each when you buy 2
Dannon Light & Fit, Activia, Danimals Yogurt (4-6 ct) $1.99 (Bashas’)
$1/1 printable (Activia)
Final price: 99¢
Stouffer’s Entree (8.87-12.75 oz) $1.88 (Bashas’)
$1/2 Stouffer’s Entree 04/19/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/30/15)
Final price: $1.38 each when you buy 2
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (16 oz) $2.49 (El Super)
$1/1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing 05/17/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/28/15)
Final price: $1.49
Spam Luncheon Meat (12 oz) $1.99 (Safeway)
$1/2 Spam Products 05/03/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/29/15)
$1.50/3 Coupons.com (gone if not first coupon shown after clicking link)
Final price: As low as $1.49 each when you buy 2
Klondike or Good Humor Novelties (4-6 ct ) $2.50 (Friday 5/29 ONLY, Safeway)
$3/3 Unilever Ice Cream Breyers Gelato Indulgences, Klondike, Magnum, Popsicle, Fruttare or Good Humor Ice Cream Products 05/03/2015 RP Insert (exp 5/31/15)
Final price: $1.50 each when you buy 3
C&H Granulated Sugar (4 pounds) $2.00 (Los Altos)
$0.40/1 C&H Sugar Product 03/15/2015 RP Insert (exp 5/31/15)
$0.75/2 C&H Sugar Product 03/15/2015 RP Insert (exp 5/31/15)
Final price: As low as $1.60
Nabisco Teddy Grahams or Premium Saltines (10 oz / 16 oz) $1.99 (Los Altos)
$0.75/2 Nabisco Cookie or Cracker 05/17/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/27/15)
Final price: $1.61 each when you buy 2
Blue Bunny Ice Cream $2.88 (Bashas’)
$3/3 Blue Bunny Ice Cream or Novelty 05/10/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/30/15)
printable (must register to get these monthly(ish), not sure if you’ll get right away or not)
Final price: $1.88 each when you buy 3
Oroweat Oatmeal, Potato, White or Buttermilk Bread (24 oz) $2.99 (Safeway)
$0.55/1 Oroweat Sliced Bread Products 04/19/2015 SS Insert (exp 7/31/15)
$0.55/1 Oroweat Sliced Bread Products 03/15/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/15/15)
Final price: As low as $1.99 (look for previously printed coupons)
Farmland Bacon Item (12 oz) $2.88 (Bashas’)
$0.75/1 Farmland Bacon Item 05/10/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/30/15)
Final price: $2.13
Best Foods Real Mayonnaise (20-30 oz) $2.99 (Fry’s)
$0.50/1 Best Foods Real Mayonnaise 05/17/2015 RP Insert (exp 6/14/15)
Final price: As low as $2.24
Seattle’s Best Coffee (12 oz) $4.99 (Fry’s)
$1/1 Seattle’s Best Coffee 05/17/2015 SS Insert (exp 7/17/15)
Final price: As low as $2.99
Huggies Diapers $7.99 (Bashas’)
$2/1 Huggies Little Snugglers, Little Movers or Overnites Diapers 05/17/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/13/15)
$1.50/1 Huggies Diapers 05/17/2015 SS Insert (exp 6/13/15)
$2/1 Coupons.com (gone if not first coupon shown after clicking link)
$1.50/1 printable (register)
Final price: As low as $5.99
+ Walmart will match competitor’s prices — details HERE.
+ If you don’t live near a store listed above, you can’t ad match those prices.
+ Walmart’s coupon policy
+ Multiple manufacturers’ coupons are listed, but you can only use one for each product purchased
+ If you want to know what abbreviations mean, go HERE.
+ Coupons listed without a link are from previous coupon inserts in the AZ Republic.
+ Get coupons in the Arizona Republic for $1 per week (3 months, then cancel or pay full) HERE! (Wed. & Sun. delivery)
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We talked to you about Walmart’s new Savings Catcher program here. I decided to test it out last week. I went to Walmart on Wednesday and bought something very simple, a box of Ritz crackers. They can’t mess that up, right? Here’s my receipt clearly showing the Ritz crackers for $2.50 at the very top. It even says at the bottom of the receipt to try their new Saving Catcher program.
Notice the date on the receipt is August 6th. Here’s a copy of the Safeway ad starting August 6th. Safeway is less than 1/4 mile from Walmart here in Prescott Valley. It clearly shows on the front page that Ritz are $1.88.
It took 72 hours to get this email. They didn’t find any differences. Um, really?
I issued a complaint where I had to state the lower price and where. Now, it’s just the point. I want my 62¢. If I have to do all the work for them, I’d rather just stick to price matching using our super easy price matching list that we make every week.
So, that’s my experience with this new program. Do with that info what you wish. I’m going to price match everything that I’m possibly aware of. Then, I’ll use this program as a back up.
We’ve heard from several people on Facebook who have said it works and have gotten back $2, $7 and even $11. So, it CAN work. A lot of people are loving it.
Update: I heard from someone who works for Walmart on this program. He gave me the following information:
For clarification on the comparison - Savings Catcher would match the Safeway club
card price (and the advertised loyalty card prices for other stores, too).
The competitive set for Savings Catcher is pretty comprehensive. For the specific
store you shopped at, it currently includes: Safeway, CVS, Walgreens, Frys, Kmart,
Albertsons, Target, Family Dollar, Kohls, Petsmart, Dollar Tree, Staples, Best Buy,
Petco, Lowe's, Radio Shack, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Update on locations/items they’ll “catch” . . .
“Beginning February 14, 2015, we are removing some departments consisting mostly of items that do not have a like for like match at other retailers, such as produce and bakery items. Additionally, we are limiting our comparisons to offers of other mass market retailers, grocery and dollar stores, removing comparisons with drug stores.”
Now, I’m in a small town in Prescott Valley, so I was surprised that it covered so many stores.
They also resolved my issue and I got me my money. :)
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