I’ve been reading Beating the High Cost of Eating by B. Salsbury. It’s a great “course” on marketing and advertising. I’m learning a lot about how grocers and food companies work to convince you to (1) buy their products, (2) spend more than you planned to at grocery stores, (3) stick with one grocery store, etc. It’s a great book!
Most recently, I’ve been collecting coupons from coworkers and neighbors, keeping track of any possible coupon I might need in a spreadsheet on my computer, finding great sales at stores and cutting out and taking these multiple sets of coupons to the store to buy these items, and…
Here are some things that I’ve found happen when I try to use my coupons:
(1) the store will not accept my newspaper coupons, because there store uses their own coupons for the items I’m trying to buy on sale
(2) the store puts a limit on how many items I can buy (usually limit 1)
(3) the house brand (Kroger, HEB, Safeway, Sam’s Choice, Market Pantry, etc. – whatever the store’s name is) is cheaper, even if I were to use my coupons on those items; example: coupon brand $.99 with coupon, store brand $.75
Every now and then, my coupons do work well, but I’ve found that I’ve put a lot of tiresome work into couponing.
Well, after reading what I have of Beating the High Cost of Eating, I’ve decided to implement a few changes in how I will do coupons:
(1) I will continue to gladly accept any coupons my coworkers and neighbors offer me.
(2) Instead of putting every possible coupon I might need into my spreadsheet, I will only list the ones for name brand items that I absolutely have to have, instead of going the cheaper route for house brands. For example, I really like Ken’s dressing. So, if I see a coupon for Ken’s dressing, I’ll type it into my spreadsheet. The next time I need dressing or Ken’s goes on sale, I’ll stock up with my coupons. On the other hand, I won’t type up whatever name brand cream cheese, because my local grocery has a house brand that’s much cheaper.
(3) I will attempt to purchase more house brands, if they are the better price. I’ve learned that coupons (don’t laugh, I’ve been learning…) convince you to buy certain brands, which often cost more, and they also work to get you to have brand loyalty. The cost to make the coupons, do commercials, and other advertising helps raise the cost of name brand products.
(4) I’ll still keep all of the coupons, so that if any incredible deal comes along on a name brand, and coupons would really help it along, I’ll search through my coupons for that particular coupon.
Well, we’ll see how this goes!