I am not much of a coupon user, although I will look for a coupon once I have selected a particular item for purchase. So when I buy something on-line, which I do with some regularity, I look for a coupon for that site, or I'll hold my purchase until they have a coupon or a sale. Same for in store purchases, I appreciate receiving coupons from retail establishments that I frequent, i.e. Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn and the like.
But, when it comes to coupons for the grocery store, I don't normally bother. First, most coupons are for products that I'm not interested in, like prepared foods, cold cereal, sports drinks, etc. Second, I'm a very loyal consumer, there are certain products I like, not necessarily brand products (I am a huge fan of almost oall of the Publix store brand food items), and a coupon will not nudge me to try something else. Third, I don't really have the time or inclination to clip coupons.
However, I have watched, somewhat in awe and somewhat in fear, the Extreme Couponing show on TLC in which regular folks often end up buying carts and carts of grocery products for $10 or less due to their coupon use. I'm in awe that folks can be that organized, diligent and successful in obtaining hundreds of dollars in products for little to nothing. I'm in fear, because many of these extreme couponers have garage, basements, rooms filled with products that, in my opinion, they will never use or need. I saw one show in which a consumer cleared a grocery store shelf of mustard, it was clear to me that this household would never use all this mustard so I just didn't understand the point and some of these folks seem more like hoarders (I like that show on TLC as well, highly motivating to watch while cleaning the house).
Now I see that grocery stores and manufacturers are pushing back on the extreme couponing, limiting number of coupons per visit, limiting use of competitor coupons, and eliminating the doubling of coupons.
What say you, do you use coupons and if so what are your habits and patterns?