Or another thought… why use coupons at all?
Over the years I've gone both ways. Use coupons a lot. Don't use them at all. Use them sometimes. For me, I find they work best sometimes.
I didn't go nuts and join the extreme coupon craze but I will admit I like watching the show. I felt for those poor cashiers, especially when shoppers lost it because things didn’t ring up how they thought it should or they had miscalculated.
But in the real world where I prefer to eat real food extreme couponing would never have worked for me. I don't like to eat all the processed stuff.
My favorite coupons are store issued coupons that come in their weekly sales fliers. I find I use those the most. And Fred Meyer is kind enough to send me coupons in the mail from time to time too.
Sunday mornings I like to read the Fred Meyer and Walgreen's ads. Then if I go and check out coupons.com to see if they have any coupons I might use to pair with sales. Sales repeat often enough that I can usually plan on one coming up in time to use a coupon before it expires.
I print them off in sets of three off in sets of 3 because that is how many fit on a sheet of paper. Lately I've been using scrap paper so I am saving just a little bit more that way. Even though there is printer ink involved I still feel I'm saving more over paying $2 a week for the Sunday paper.
With the Sunday paper it's more like playing roulette anyway because sometimes there aren't coupons in the paper or they aren't ones I would normally use. In that case it is a complete waste of money, not to mention paper. Selecting and printing them online means I can be more selective and quite I can print 2 or 3 of the same one before I max out my limit.