My name is Nancy and I’m a coupon clipper. Yes, I admit it. For most of my adult life I’ve been addicted to picking up a pair of scissors and clipping coupons I think I might be able to use from any and all sources. BOGOs are a definite trigger for me (buy one get one free!), so those never go unclipped.
Do I use these coupons? Well, sometimes! I organize them by category and keep them in a small purse in my car. On a good day I remember to sort through the food coupons before going into the grocery store and take the ones correlating to something on my list. Of course I’m also guilty of buying something I didn’t really need just because I have a coupon for it, so that may negate some of the savings I’ve accumulated over the years.
When I worked at Current, Inc., in the eighties and nineties, we even sold a product for organizing coupons. A coupon clipper’s delight, it was a pouch that fit over the edge of the shopping cart and had preprinted dividers to keep each category easy to find.
Even this handy tool couldn’t prevent the two downfalls of the coupon clipper however: letting the coupons expire before using them or forgetting to turn valid ones in to the cashier when you check out! I confess to being guilty of both and yes, I’ve been so frustrated with myself for not using a coupon I intended to use that I’ve gone back to the store with the receipt and coupon in hand and asked for a refund. It’s not the money, it’s the principle!
With food prices skyrocketing, coupons may become more of a necessity. But to all coupon clippers everywhere, may I say the times they are a changin’! When I took a friend recovering from surgery to do her grocery shopping, she was vigilant about finding the items for which she had a coupon, but I never saw her hand over the coveted clip-outs to the cashier.
“Did you forget to use your coupons?” I asked, hoping to spare her the coupon clipper’s contrition. “Oh, they’re all on my phone so they went through automatically,” she said.
What? Yes, I’d seen the grocery store ads for mobile apps that allowed you to access coupons, but I never imagined that practice would be so easy, or that it could replace having clipped-out coupons completely. I stood amazed.
So now that’s my goal. Sorry, scissors. I may not be needing you as much. Someday soon I, too, may waltz through the grocery store coupon-less, phone in hand. I know the people behind me in line will be glad I’m speeding up the check-out process. They’ll no longer have to overhear the cashier telling me, “Sorry, you had to buy three to get one free,” or “this one’s expired” as she hands the coupons back to me. My, oh my. What will they think of next?