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How Clipping Coupons Got Me Into Trouble

About a year ago I began a subscription to the weekend edition of the Washington Post so I could try my hand at clipping coupons. Since that time I’ve managed to save a ton of money on personal hygiene products like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and razors. I’ve also saved a ton on cleaning products like dish soap, laundry detergent, and bathroom cleaners. (Although, once these run out I’m switching over to simple vinegar and baking soda.) I’ve made a dent in our general food bills for staple items like sour cream, butter, ketchup and salad dressings. I try to use coupons in combination with sales, though I’ll admit that I don’t keep on this as much as I should.

When clipping coupons I tend to adhere to one rule. I won’t clip coupons for items that I wouldn’t otherwise buy. My dad clips coupons, but he’s a sucker for buying the latest cookies, crackers, chips, etc., just because he has a coupon for it. Most of the time I throw these coupons out. I don’t want to bring unwanted food into the house just because I bought it with a coupon.

But a few weeks ago I broke my rule by clipping a coupon for POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice. I noticed the local Food Lion in North Carolina had the juice on sale, so with the coupon in hand I decided to give it a try. I bought two 16 ounce bottles for around $1.50 each. I brought it home poured myself a glass and fell in love. I’m not usually much of a juice drinker. I love the taste of water, so I drink it more than any other beverage, but that pomegranate juice has the best flavor.

The problem: POM’s juice typically costs $3.99 for a 16 ounce bottle. That’s a crazy amount of money to spend on fruit juice. So now every time I pass a bottle I’m tempted to buy one. In fact, I’m so in love with the flavor that I’ve considered buying a stack of POM coupons off of eBay. I should have left that coupon attached to the insert. If I’d never clipped it I wouldn’t be so tempted to buy more.

Mr. Debtbeater

Wednesday 6th of February 2008

We'll do the same thing with coupons if it's something we already need. i.e. juice. If there's another juice that's cheaper that week, we'll end up getting the cheaper juice anyhow.

Also, with a family of 8...it won't be long before we're back at the store looking to restock the fridge, so maybe it'll be better priced.

Another thing we do when we find something we really want, but don't necessarily want to load up on it for everyone is to buy "mommy's juice" and then "everyone's juice" separately and label the more expensive bottle for mom. Then she can have a small glass every day and make it last a full week or so.

Frugal Dad

Thursday 17th of January 2008

This became such a problem for us that we had to unsubscribe from the Grocery Game, and stop looking at coupons until we could get a handle on only buying things we absolutely needed.

One Frugal Girl

Wednesday 16th of January 2008

I didn't think this post would receive so many comments, it's good to know I'm not alone in this one.

@dawn - I haven't tried watering down the juice. I normally wouldn't do that, (although it is my father-in-law's favorite trick), but since the juice is so thick and strong it might be worth a try.

@Amphritrite - I did write to the company and joined the POM Club as you suggested. So far they haven't responded to my inquiry.

@savingdiva - I don't live near a Trader Joe's but if I'm ever near one I'll give their version of POM a try. I looked at other pomegranate juices in the supermarket but none of them looked as tasty.

@kimberly - It's good to know I'm not alone in my vices.

@womensdaily - Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. At least the product I'm yearning for is good for me :-)

For now I'm going to hold off on buying another bottle at least until I see a sale or find a coupon.

DFWKnitter

Tuesday 15th of January 2008

I agreen with the POM dilema, and I am also glad to hear that you are switching to the baking soda-vinegar...I recommend "Clean House Clean Planet" by Karen Logan.

She has really fun recipes for cleaning product alternatives, and they are very economical... I will never switch back.

WomensDaily

Tuesday 15th of January 2008

I have yet to try it, but have heard such good things about it. Yes it is expensive, but look at it this way- it is supposed to have fabulous health benefits and you can always have one relatively inexpensive vice in your life, you can always consider this yours :OP