Coupons: to use or not to use them?

11 Nov

Back in the day when I lived in Romania, my homeland, I had no idea coupons existed. I had no idea stores had certain periods when they’d discount their products (like before a holiday), given customers even more incentive if they brought coupons, so their savings would be even greater. And we are not talking lower prices for the let’s say winter clothing heavily discounted once the cold season ended; we are talking sales for produce, ice cream and even shrimp.

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That was something unheard of in Romania where (during communism) grocery stores would rinse chunks of cheese and entire salami casing to wash away the mold. Bad leaves would be peeled off the lettuce head, rotten tomatoes and potatoes hidden under the good ones and poured in the customer’s bag without the option for picking only the good ones. Nothing was wasted but rather forced down the customer’s throat because there was always a shortage of supply and high demand. But let’s leave those memories where they belong—in the past—and return to present times, shall we?giphy-2

We all receive coupons in our mail. Stores ask at check out for your email address or if you want to become a member, promising better deals. Your mail box—whether the physical one or the virtual one—gets bombarded with coupons: restaurants, stores, flights, hotels, shoes, clothing, and the list goes on, but the question is: do these coupons work and how many of us really use them? And how about sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Are those really discounted prices or those are actually the real price we should pay for a blouse/pair of shoes/ TV, etc. but stores manipulate us into believing they are taking a huge cut in favor of saving us money?

Lumi, my sister has a plastic pouch labeled for all her favorite stores. I haven’t had the chance to take a photo of it but it looks similar to this one:

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You need a coupon, Lumi is the person to ask for one. She saves her coupons, cuts them out of magazines or newspapers and uses them all the time. Periodically she’ll forward me a coupon to Einstein (because she knows once a month I buy a bucket of bagels for my meeting with my author friends). Or to Barro’s Pizza, my favorite (cheap) pizzeria. Or to stores both of us like to shop at (White House Black Market or Chico’s).

I too like coupons. At any given time I have several. See this photo? These are my coupons.

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My only problem is that I forget to take them with me (maybe Lumi will gift me a pouch? For Christmas?). Or if I remember to take them, I forget to use them. Every time I try to be better at using coupons, I forget I have them or if I remember, chances are they are already expired. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts right?

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2 Responses to “Coupons: to use or not to use them?”

  1. Jennifer Wadkins November 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Oh yes, we use coupons. We are on a budget so any help we can get is very useful. We use them for everything from food to paper towels. I compare prices too to see if the off brand is cheaper. It’s just as good as the name brand most of the time and more affordable!

    • Camelia Miron Skiba December 4, 2016 at 11:06 am #

      Jennifer, you’re so good and organized! Just today I had a coupon for bagels and forgot it home. One day I hope I’ll be better 🙂

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