Archive for October 2012

Is coupon clipping worth the effort?

Most Sunday mornings you can find me on the couch with my coffee and newspaper. Advertisers will be happy to know that the first thing I do is look at the advertisements before moving onto articles that have caught my interest. Part of the process of my looking through the advertisements is my clipping coupons (or in my case ripping since I’m too lazy to go get a pair of scissors).

I’ve always felt that clipping coupons was well worth the effort. On average I would image that off of a normal grocery bill I am able to save $5-10 from my coupons. For larger purchases I’ve saved hundreds by using coupons. For a steam mop I was able to save $20 by using a coupon or better yet when I bought my husband a fancy espresso maker for christmas one year I was able to save $120 by using a coupon.

Still, recently the coupon process has left me more frustrated than satisfied. I am finding the restrictions surrounding the coupons to be frustrating. It seems that though I can have several coupons from a retailer, when it comes time to check out and I provide them to the retailer it seems that my purchase does not qualify for one reason or another.

One example of this is Babies R Us. I have a seven month old and am there often purchasing items for the baby. Each time I leave the check out I am given a long strip of coupons. When I go back the next time (usually within 2-3 weeks) I pull out my huge strip of coupons and the “rewards” mailer they have sent me to find more times than not none of the coupons I have qualify. Seems like a huge waste of paper.

On the other hand one retailer I’ve found to be excellent with coupon redemption is Bed, Bath & Beyond. Most of their coupons are for 20% off an item. The nice thing is they let you use more than one (usually up to five) and they don’t mind if they coupons are expired. The examples above with the purchase of my steam mop or the coffee maker were both from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Still, lately I’m finding on my regular shopping trips I’m not bothering to weed through the coupon pocket of my purse because it’s yielding me less and less savings and more and more frustration.

What is your coupon experience? Is it worth the time and effort?

New Program Coordinator for Financial Beginnings

My name is Marcus Lathan and I am the new Program Coordinator here at Financial Beginnings. Everyone needs money and everyone uses money, but no one is educated on how to manage their money. Financial Beginnings is a great organization that does precisely that. Now, more than ever, our youth need to understand how to manage their money. I was fortunate enough to have completed college debt free with the help of my family, scholarships and a part-time job. For the majority of college graduates this is not the case. School loan debt now exceeds credit card debt in the nation, and society is beginning to think these debts are just a normal part of life. Education on the correct management of money is the key that opens the door to a  successful and debt-free life.

For the past three years I have been working retail at a Portland Best Buy store and worked several various retail and construction jobs prior to that. I am also a model and work on various television shows, fashion events, as well as video and photo shoots in the Portland area. In my spare time I play basketball and soccer in recreational leagues in Portland and Vancouver. This past spring I received my B.A. in Finance from Washington State University as well as a Professional Sales Certificate. I look forward to helping Financial Beginnings continue to thrive and educate.