For years I’ve preached that since 80+% of the coupons are available only in the Sunday Newspaper, everyone should get at least 2 Sunday papers each week, so that you can get multiple coupons, and stock up on sale items to avoid paying full price.
Well, no longer. I called and cancelled our Sunday only Union-Tribune subscription yesterday.
WHY? Well, if you have been getting the Sunday paper, you’ve noticed that the value and variety of coupons each week has dwindled. For example: This year, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce has had a $1/3 coupon available in the summer about this time of year. In previous years, the value was $1/2 or even $1/1, just 3 years ago.
And as prices on food continue to increase, when coupon values decrease…. Well, That’s not a deal.
Another super annoying thing that some of you may have noticed: While the inserts are the same thickness as in previous years, instead of being jam-packed full of great coupons (or any coupons), there are more full page ads for products, or advertisements for checks, gold coins, wigs, or other “stuff” that you can mail order. UGH!!
So where am I going to get my coupons? Well, as the Sunday paper becomes less of a great resource, the internet opens it’s arms to us! It’s cheaper for companies to make coupons available for print on their website, or via social media channels. That means the values can be higher sometimes than what as in the paper previously! I print a lot of coupons from the sites I mention here. I also save money by using smartphone apps (since I don’t have a smartphone, I use them on my iPad). I also trade coupons with local friends who still get the paper. I print coupons for them, and they give me newspaper coupons I need. I also get unwanted coupons from family and friends.
Since I start my weekly shopping at 99 Cents Only, I am using less coupons than previously. 99 Cents Only doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons, but their prices are crazy low. So by shopping there I am saving at least 60% off grocery store prices. That means our weekly grocery budget is able to go farther.
After that, I shop at whichever store has the most items we need on sale. Sometimes it’s a mainstream grocer like Albertson’s or Ralph’s that accepts manufacturer coupons, and sometimes it’s a discount grocer, like Grocery Outlet that doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons.
Lastly, in addition to the dwindling values and coupon availability, there is one last reason I cancelled our subscriptions. Every Sunday about 4:30am, Our little buddy came running into our bedroom crying about scary noises. Yeah, the newspaper delivery guy would stand downstairs and fling four large Sunday papers onto our 2nd floor balcony, hitting the kiddos bedroom window, knocking over plants, and scaring my pour sleeping four year old.
By canceling our subscriptions, we’re saving a few hundred dollars a year, which I can use to buy printer ink and paper, and print coupons which will save me thousands of dollars.