Ok, I admit it!  I am a coupon user and have been since I worked as a grocery checker in high school.  In those days, people would cash in their coupons without having to buy the product.  That gave me the idea to scour our newspaper every week, clip coupons and cash them in for some spending money.

Needless to say, collecting coupons became a good source of savings for my family grocery bills, but I hated when the coupon would expire before I got a chance to cash them.  As a sidenote: in the 60’s many coupons did not have an expiration date.

Then the big change came.  Grocery stores decided they would issue cards or use mobile numbers to issue the discount on the item at the point of purchase.  That meant no more coupon clipping and lots of time saved.

These stores couldn’t leave well enough alone.  Some grocery stores send coupons through the mail to people with these discount cards.  Customers’ purchases are tracked and coupons are sent for those products that are purchased regularly.  Yes, we all know privacy does not exist; our lives are open to the world.

A few grocery stores have been printing coupons that have to be “clipped” to get the discount on the item which makes me not want to patronize those stores. Sounds like we are going back to the 80’s. Why don’t they just reduce the prices of the items so we don’t have to use coupons?

I shop at a large chain grocery store that now has decided to offer digital coupons for grocery savings.  So not only do they take paper coupons and the discount card issued to customers, but have added digital coupons on their app that has to be downloaded to your phone, of course.  You can even subscribe to coupon websites that will email you savings on items and spend your waking hours trying to save money.  

Preparing to do food shopping is becoming more difficult than ever before, but on the positive side most stores do deliver. I prefer to pick out my own bananas, but for those who don’t care, this really is a great service, especially for those who are homebound.

Am I the only one who sees the coupon fiasco as like being on a merry-go-round?  We clip, then we don’t have to clip, then we get the discount card, then we clip again, then we download and print digital coupons, etc. To be fair, grocery stores are not the only ones who play the coupon game. Every retail store has their special coupons, their secret percentages that have to be pealed or scratched, their points based on the amount of the sale, and it goes on and on and on.

Shopping used to be fun, but now it’s too much like work.