Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Solution to the Dearth of Good Coupons

I've been a reasonably avid coupon user for the last three years.  I'm not extreme by any stretch of the imagination, but I go through all the free weekly circulars that come in the mail and I take the coupons from my parents' Sunday paper nearly every week.  Because I don't buy a lot of processed food, my savings mostly come on household products - cleaners, bath tissue, etc.  Lately, though, I've noticed a distinct downward trend in usable coupons.  In fact, I haven't found a single usable manufacturer's coupon in the last two weeks.

Since I try to be a frugal shopper, I looked around on the internet to see if there is a better way - and had another look at Amazon's Subscribe and Save feature.  Basically, you get a 15% discount if you sign up to have household items delivered to you on a regular schedule, which can be as frequently as every month or as infrequently as every six months.  What I like is that you are not locked in  - you can cancel your subscription at any time, even after just one purchase, or you can temporarily halt delivery for one or more delivery cycles.


Prices are comparable to my local Family Dollar and Dollar General (the cheapest source for household goods in my area) for Charmin Toilet PaperBounty Paper TowelsCascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent (although you have to buy a lot of it at once), and Mr. Goat's favorite local coffee blend, Community Coffee Private Reserve Whole Bean Coffee, Kona Blend (we can't afford his all-time favorite coffees for everyday).  They don't carry generic, but they do have cheaper brands like Quilted Northern and Sparkle.  (I buy the premium brands because, over time, I have found little savings in buying the cheaper brands as they are less effective at their respective tasks.)

In addition to the time and gas savings of direct home delivery, I also save because Amazon does not have a physical location in my state, and so is not required to charge me sales tax.  Sales tax in the closet town is currently 9.5%, of which only 2% is state sales tax.  Plus, I get 3% cash back on everything I purchase from Amazon, versus 1% on everything I buy at discount stores.

Once I started thinking outside the coupon box, I realized that the savings from switching to Amazon really add up.  I'll continue to keep my eye out for coupon/sales combination bargains, but it will have to be a pretty sweet deal before it cancels out the benefits I get from Amazon.


  1. Food prices have definitely been going up. Now instead of buy 1 get 2 free, it's buy 2 get 1 free. Last week in the P+G brand saver, there was no Tide coupon. That's the one coupon I really look forward to and it was blatantly absent. I was so disappointed. I guess I just need to work on my stockpiles, plus do better at using the garden. We will eat berries everyday instead of buying oranges for example. No one minds either.

  2. Soccerbelle pointed me to this post, I must have missed it somehow! I will definitely look into this!! I would love laundry detergent and toilet paper to come directly to my house! :)!

  3. Although Amazon recently reduced their subscribe and save discount on diapers and wipes, they do generally have lower cost on those 2 things. I also found really good prices on Oil of Olay, which is strange because I haven't found good prices on their cosmetics overall. My point is: you never know and it's worth checking out. I always assumed they would have higher prices on household goods but I guess I should check that out too.