It may be surprising but only about one percent of shoppers bother to redeem coupons. In 2011, U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods distributed coupons valued at $470 billion for products like food, beverages, clothing, tobacco and household items with an average value of $1.54. Only $4.6 billion coupons were redeemed leaving $465 billion that went in the trash. The estimated average savings for the people that used the coupons was about $30-$50 a week.
One expert said the main reason why many people don't use them is because they think it is embarrassing. It either makes them look cheap or poor. Whatever it may look like, the reverse is true. Households with an income of over $100,000 and those with college educations are twice as likely to use coupons.
Using coupons is a serious way to save money not just at the grocery store, but on almost all purchases. It takes some time to sort through all the coupons available and organize them, but when you can save a lot of money, in the end it's worth a little time and effort. Coupons not only save money on items that are regularly purchased at the grocery store, but can be used to try new products and get free stuff.
Usually people think of coupons as only being good for saving money on things like food, personal care items and paper products, but they are also valuable for purchasing things like clothing, restaurants, services and even large ticket purchases like refrigerators. For an example of what you can save on at department stores just check out the J.C. Penny or Sears sites.
If you're an extreme couponer it might be possible to save 50-90 percent on your grocery bill!! There are television programs showing folks spending days planning their shopping so they can go to the store and clear shelves buying tubes of toothpaste and boxes of cereal by the hundreds then stockpiling everything in their house. That's ridiculous because what are you going to do with a couple hundred boxes of breakfast cereal?! But buying, and stockpiling some things, if kept to a reasonable level, makes sense. It doesn't hurt to get a deal on deodorant, for example, and not have to buy any for a year. Or, you can share with family and friends, but there's no reason to go be greedy.
Living Rich With Coupons has a page called Couponing 101 that offer some good advice on how to get started that's worth a visit. In addition to browsing this site, you can find tons more information by simply Googling “couponing.”