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Do You Try to Save Money or Try to Earn More?

Last night I searched out the shortest line in the grocery store and found the kindest cashier behind the counter. I handed her a bunch of reusable bags and apologized in advance for the number of coupons I planned to use. I used a total of 20 coupons for 35 items.

She told me all about her coupon clipping strategies and said she probably had twice as many store reward cards hanging from her key chain. She also said her husband refuses to shop with her if she plans on using coupons.

I told her my husband is pretty similar. He comes to the grocery store with me every so often, but he usually tells me not to stand around in the isles matching coupons with sales. I know when I shop with him that I have to come fully prepared.

My husband’s philosophy is simple. Rather than clipping coupons and saving money, he typically finds ways to earn more. He’d rather work an extra hour, than stand in the grocery store sorting through a wad of clipped paper. He doesn’t mind if I want to save this way and is more than happy to pour me a glass of cold water while I clip and sort on Sunday mornings.

I’m a salaried employee, so I can’t work extra hours to make more money like he can. Similarly he would rather do a million things than compare prices and clip coupons. Although our techniques to save money are different our ultimate goals in life are the same. As long as we stay on the same page the details that help us reach those goals don’t really matter.

D

Monday 22nd of March 2010

I clip coupons too and do pretty well with sales, double coupons, etc. When you figure in taxes on extra earnings I think I make out better by clipping plus it is a game to me. Love your blog BTW.

Mrs. Accountability

Saturday 20th of March 2010

I used coupons faithfully many years ago when my children were younger. Nowadays my husband does 95% of the grocery shopping and he will use some coupons but he mostly focuses on buying items on sale. Also we don't use many convenience foods or typical sundry products so we stopped buying a paper since we were rarely using coupons. I guess when it comes specifically to clipping coupons, I'd rather try to earn more money.

Abigail

Friday 19th of March 2010

I have health issues that mean I can't work more. I do a little bit of mystery shopping on the side, but it's usually more to get us experiences cheaply. For example, we went to some family fun centers. Another time, we got to stay in a hotel. It's good to get some free/cheap meals, too.

I clip coupons, though my husband, like yours, abhors the whole process. He is always impressed with the savings, but I try to come to the grocery store prepared to save us time.

Inevitably, though, every third or fourth grocery store visit, something doesn't go right and we have to stand around waiting for a manager. At that point, he gets fed up and goes outside to roam around. I grab him up when I'm done.

It's a system that more or less works for us, even if it's weird.

Keith Morris

Friday 19th of March 2010

I never seem to be able to find coupons for the products that I actually want to buy. Am I really saving money if I buy something that I wouldn't have bought without the coupon?

Also, I'm not entirely sure of the best place to look for coupons.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 19th of March 2010

@halfdozendaily - Hmm. A husband that likes to clip coupons. I like the sound of that :-)

@graduatedlearning - I agree that it's easier to avoid shopping and buying non-necessities than working more hours. Even if I could work more hours I would probably still gravitate to saving rather than earning more.

@heather - I find lots of coupons these days for organic products like milk, meat and cheese. I'm not a big fan of processed foods either and I still manage to clip quite a few coupons.

@me in millions - Earning more is definitely a harder. It can also be a lot more time consuming.