It’s an age-old question: Does coupon shopping really save you money and is it worth the time? Lynn Young of Bend believes it is.
“Yes, it is worth it,” Young said this week. “There are some times it takes a little bit longer, if I’m not as organized as I’d like to be.” When she said she’d been coupon shopping for 20 years, NewsChannel 21 asked if we could tag along on a shopping trip. “I got into coupon shopping because (of) three kiddos, and we saw that there were opportunities to save some money, and we decided to try coupon shopping and saw that it was a huge savings for us.” She said it makes her feel good that she’s done her part to contribute to the household budget.
“I try to buy things that are on sale, plus the coupons. If it is not on sale when I have the coupon, I will wait if I don’t need it right away.”
Lynn gets some of her coupons in the mail from Fred Meyer and a few from the Sunday paper. We asked if coupon shopping has changed over the last 20 years. “Back in the day, we used to have a Sunday paper that had (stacks of) coupons in that we would sit and clip and sort. Now it’s more digital ,so it can be a little challenging for some people that are digitally challenged — and I happen to be one of them, so I had to learn a little bit.”
She shared one of her biggest savings.
“The one that was recently that I felt good about was my Halloween candy, which was about $30 worth of candies. And then, when it was all said and done, I got half off, so it was $15. So I was very happy with that.”
After spending some time with Lynn, I decided to see if she could take her on. I looked through the sale insert, loaded her Fred Meyer card with digital coupons and went shopping.
Lynn’s total was $48.50. Mine was $24.
Lynn saved $16.50 with coupons and sale items, while I saved $6.60. In the end, Lynn saved 34% and I saved 28% I asked Lynn for some tips, for the next time she went shopping. “One, make a list. Stick to your list, organize your coupons,” she said. “If you’re a clipper, organize them in your folder or whatever works for you, by month and expiration.”
She also suggested waiting to use coupons for sale items, if you do not need them right away. That’s called “coupon stacking.” When you have either or both a digital and a paper coupon, you wait for that item to go on sale. There are even some digital coupons you can use up to five times in one transaction.
She also suggested to ask if the store you shop at has a senior or veteran discount shopping day. Overall, Lynn said, “It does take a little bit of time, but it’s worth it in the end.”