Fewer buyers using coupons to save in 2012

By: Taylor Temby Email
By: Taylor Temby Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Coupons likely save your family money every year, but for those of us who aren't extreme, coupon clipping can be a hassle and not worth the savings.

Cutting coupons is still a money saver for many families, but now fewer coupons are being used. Some of is because there are fewer coupons being issued, but shoppers are also finding different ways of saving money.

For some, clipping coupons isn't worth the time anymore. Now, it seems saving with coupons isn't as popular as it used to be.

“I know it saves you money, but I’m just not that organized to do it on a regular basis," resident Debbie Coltrinari said.

Two studies show coupon use decreased in 2012. NCH Marketing Services found it dropped 17 percent from 2011, while Inmar found coupon use went down more than 14 percent in the last year.

"I think couponing tends to really spike during hard times," Legacy Wealth Management partner Mike Berry said.

Berry says people may not be willing to take the time to cut coupons now the economy is turning around.

"If you're going to be efficient at it, you have to study it, you have to know what you're doing, and spend a lot of time at it," he said.

Since there are no coupons for saving time, getting out the scissors and searching for deals is at the bottom of most lists.

"I just think it takes a lot more time to organize them and keep track of them and the expiration dates," coupon user Stephanie Heald said. Heald says it’s sometimes easier to use coupons for clothes and beauty products than food.

"Time is of the essence and life is short and I’d rather spend my time in other ways," resident Judy Orrell said of her decision not to clip coupons.

Some say they mostly steer clear of coupons because it encourages them to buy items they normally wouldn't, and others have noticed some stores are beginning to change their coupon policies.

“It’s for stuff I normally don't buy so it felt like I was spending money I normally wouldn't," resident Beth Coombs said.

"I think some of the stores are limiting how much of that you can do," Heald said.

There’s no question coupons still save some families big chunks of change each year, and just because coupons are on the decline doesn't mean they'll be gone for good.

"You know, I think it's a good way to save some pennies and nickels and dimes,” Berry said.

"If I happen to get a really good coupon for something I do use, of course I’m going to save money on the item,” Coombs added.

Berry also says people can save money without coupons by using their grocery store cards, buying in bulk or buying items on sale. He also says more people are picking up groceries at big box stores and saving money that way.

Local residents we talked to also say they save money by purchasing store brand rather than the name brand items.

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