Coupon Curiousity

School is now in session and this Mom is back to packing lunches. I don’t mind doing it, I actually enjoy it. My daughter, Zoey, helps and it is our delegated time each morning to spend together.

At one time, I was packing four lunches and now I’m down to two, so I am learning the value of the small things in life and the pleasure they bring.

Have you noticed though, that once you purchase something pre-packaged, even though there is less product, you pay more? This is causing an awareness to coupon more during the school year for such items. This brings to mind, a conversation I’ve had with my daughter, a time or two, and the realization of marketing. Zoey is a name brand junkie and at times, name brand is of better quality, but several products can be equal in taste, but of a better value, simply because it isn’t as advertised like name brand items. Did you know that 30 to 50% of the price of a brand-name grocery item is spent on advertising and marketing? A quick tip would be to check ingredients on both the name brand item and the generic. If contents are comparable then you know the cost factor is truly related to marketing and the taste not an issue.

For those groceries and other items we just can’t seem to live without, and don’t come in any generic brand, but we find it hard to pay the high price, here’s a couponer’s tip to help. Yes, it still requires a coupon and a little work, but it can be effective. Not always the case, but most generally, manufacturer’s of name brand items do not release coupons with high value online or even in Sunday papers. The best way to collect such coupons is by contacting manufacturers. Most have websites these days. Find the company website and look for the “Contact Us” link. In most cases, you are either presented with a form to fill out or an email address to send an email to. Send them a brief, but polite message. If you’re lucky they might even send you a sample, perfect for packing lunches, if it’s a trial size, of any food item. Companies are much like people, we appreciate compliments. Try sending a sincere expression of praise with your email. Let them know you are a fan and consumer of their product and you would like to continue to be one. Sometimes this is enough action, but asking for coupons, isn’t out of the question either, especially, after being sincere. Honesty is the best policy!

Also, as we have discussed in the past, using coupons on the smallest size product possible not only allow for better savings, but typically the “pint size” is small enough to be packed in lunches as well.

That’s all the advice and tips I have for now, so, until next time embrace moments like these in the kitchen, saving money and enjoying a thoughtful home packed lunch.

Hope this becomes useful knowledge to those who are interested.

If you have any questions, you can always contact me at [email protected]. I am more than willing to help you get started. If you have something to add to this column, great! We would love to hear from you as well!

The Douglas County Herald started a coupon exchange since we all know that everyone doesn’t use the same products. We will have a box up front with coupons in it. Feel free to look through and take any coupons that interest you and that you will use.

Until next time, keep calm and coupon on!