Letter Re: Extreme Couponing

James Wesley:
Extreme couponing is an absolutely incredible way to save on your groceries. But like many things it should not be the only way you save.

In fact, the “Frugal Zealot” Amy Dacyczyn was able to feed a family of eight on $200/month (in 1996 prices) and she hardly ever used coupons.

“Frequently, massive couponers boast about the difference between the pre-coupon price and the final total. They circle the “you saved” number on their receipts. “You’re circling the wrong number,” Amy said.What you need to compare is the difference between all possible alternatives and your final total. Other alternatives include store brands on sale, buying in bulk, picking fruit off friend’s trees or just going without.

Think of coupons as just one tool in your frugal toolbox. Don’t be dogmatic about using them, and you’ll be able to stretch your dollar further. – C.D.V.