My take on the world of coupon "flipping"....
A while back, I was an avid Walgreens shopper...but not just any shopper. You see, I was a deal-seeking-mega-coupon-using-register-rewards-flipping savings whore. I was the person you hated to be behind in line. I would argue with the sales clerk (only if I knew I was right). I would call the corporate office if I was denied a valid deal (I received apologies from store managers). It was a real rush to walk out of the store with BAGS of stuff for a few dollars. Then I would keep what I wanted, and re-sell the rest at my next garage sale. Total money maker. That's what I thought at least.
Then I realized the problem with my evil genius plan. I was racing around town, between work and school and an hour long commute home, to buy crap that I would make a few dollars on. The time and energy I was consuming, not to mention money, was far more than I would make in the long run. I was getting home at midnight on a work night because I need to stop at the three 24-hour Walgreens on my way home, just to see if they had the correct items in stock to score the awesome deal I had read about online. Then there was the coupon printing, the forum searching, the Sunday paper coupon clipping, buying coupons online....all so I could spend my valuable free time running from store to store (literally running a few times).
I am not criticizing or judging those who do this. If you can handle it, then rock on! But most of the people I read about doing this are stay-at-home moms and college students. They probably have time to surf the web for the latest deal, print the coupons right away and make a quick dash to the store. I, on the other hand, couldn't keep up.
All and all....bravo to those who can handle it!
But for me, I would much rather spend my time outside of stores. Coupons are great, even better on the stuff you actually would buy, but using coupons to score $1 back (only redeemable in the store, of course) on a bottle of vitamins I neither need nor want....Now, I rarely use coupons. I'm a little burnt out on them actually. I don't normally have the time to find them or clip them out of the Sunday inserts. They are a great money saving tool, but Ive only really been buying staples in an attempt to utilize everything in my pantry before I go "real" shopping again. Once I get back in the habit of grocery shopping I plan on using a list, and coupons if its not too much of a hastle, I mean its really free money after all.
For those who have read to this point and are confused, here are some excellent blogs on learning the ropes of flipping coupons:
Money Saving Mom's: Walgreens 101
I Heart Wags: Wags for Newbies (Also check out IHeartRiteAid.com and IHeartCVS.com)
Hip2Save always has the latest deals posted for all of the stores, not just Walgreens, but also Wal-Mart and Target.
How do you use your coupons, or do you even bother?What is your take on the whole super-savvy-coupon-shopping trend?