Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Should you subscribe to a newspaper and/or buy coupons?

Should I subscribe to the News Sentinel?

Expired?Image by Jocelyn McAuliflower via Flickr


I've been trying to answer this question for myself for months now.

They do now offer a SUNDAY ONLY delivery package (for my zip code, but maybe not yours? Enter your zip code to find out), which you can check out HERE. The cost works out to be $2.10 per week--sounds pretty reasonable. However, I currently receive my parent's Sunday coupon inserts for free. Though I could use more, and do get a few leftovers from friends, at times I clip only a few coupons from the plethora of available coupons in the inserts. $2.10/week works out to nearly $110/year. $110 seems like too much to spend considering I'm only feeding a family of three, but in a few years, that could change.

So, for now, I regularly get one full set of Sunday coupon inserts from my parents, one incomplete set from a friend, and swap coupons at the coupon exchange at my local libraray. In addition to that, I occasionally purchase coupons from http://www.thecouponclippers.com/. The site has a minimum purchase amount, a small service fee plus the price of a stamp. Below is an example from my last order.

It's best to shop around or have several brands you like so that you can buy what's on sale with a coupon, but let's face it, that's not always possible. For instance, I only like one kind of margarine: Land O Lakes Fresh Buttery Taste Spread, so I ordered 15 coupons for it at 8 cents each. The coupon expires April 3, giving plenty of time for it to go on sale at Kroger. If it does, I'll get these $0.50 coupons doubled and purchase the maragine for free or nearly free. But, if it doesn't go on sale, I'll still buy it because it's the only kind I like. I'll then pop them in the freezer to use over the next several months.

On the down side, I get the Sunday paper on Monday so I occasionally miss a deal at CVS or Walgreens because I don't have a coupon from that week's paper. Also, I have to look a the sale fliers on-line to plan my shopping trip. (I find it much easier to look through them in print.) That doesn't happen often enough to warrant a subscription, though.

Many couponers do not pay for coupons, but I find that making an order every so often--maybe once a month (or twice at most)--is very beneficial. I only order coupon on items I can and will stock up on regardless of price. Beside margarine, another example is soy milk. I also ordered coupons for Silk soy milk worth $1.00 off a half gallon. I buy soy milk whether it's on sale or not and whether or not I have a coupon.

NOTE--cheap soy milk: Silk soy milk is only $2.69 currently at Target ($2.99 at Kroger), which means, you can get them for $1.69 with these coupons if you want to order them.

For me, buying multiple coupons at a coupon clipping site is much cheaper and easier than buying mulitple newspapers.

Conclusion:

A Sunday newspaper subscription would probably be very convienent, but until I have a bigger family, I'll probably hold off. Eventually, I'll order it and try it out.

Couponers who purchase a Sunday paper at the store, should probably consider getting the Sunday only delivery for convenience, be sure to check out the link below before you make your order.

Those same couponers might also want to consider occasionally purchasing coupons on items they wish to stockpile.

Couponers who purchase multiple Sunday papers have much less or no need to purchase coupons.

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Need more coupons? Read CouponMommie's post about where to get coupons and how to get a discount on newspaper delivery.

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