Everyone's looking for a way to save a buck (of course) with consumers scrutinizing every purchase, scouring sales fliers and, yes, clipping coupons. According to the Promotion Marketing Association's Coupon Council, Americans increased their coupon use by approximately 20% during the first half of last year. "Coupons are even more influential in consumer purchasing decisions today due to the economic downturn as shoppers realize it's the smart thing to do," says Charles Brown, Co-Chair of the PMA Coupon Council. "Both manufacturers and retailers are promoting at a greater pace to appeal to consumers who are seeking deals to stretch their budget and changing their spending habits in ways that are expected to continue permanently, even when the economy recovers."
For more on coupons, click here.)
It got us to thinking-- is it really worth the aggravation of clipping coupons just to save a buck here or there? Elizabeth McGuirk of Frugally Blonde says YOU BET! Here's what she had to say:
I spend a good amount of time cutting and organizing coupons that save me just a few dollars at a time. A lot of times people question the value of couponing or other small frugal practices by saying that they don't want to spend the time to "save just $5."
Of course, the most obvious response is that many practices that save $1 or $5 at a time can in the end add up to much more. However, I also decided to come up with a list of some of the things you actually can do with just $5. It's surprising how many there really are! I hope they get you motivated to keep on pursuing all those little savings!
So . . . if you used five $1.00 coupons and saved $5 off your grocery bill, here's what that extra $5 could buy . . .
Five movie rentals from Redbox
A latte and a muffin from Starbucks
One or two magazines
A bag of corn chips and a jar of salsa to share with friends
Five jars of baby food
A child's board book or a cheap paperback
Five $.99 greeting cards from Hallmark or ten $.50 greeting cards from the dollar store
A third of your way to a manicure
Five song downloads from iTunes
A fast food meal
One or two quarts of motor oil
Half way to a decent bottle of wine
A small bouquet of flowers from the grocery store
A new pair of earrings from Claire's
A box of sushi from the grocery store
A quart of good ice cream
Two lbs. meat or 3-4 dozen eggs or 5 lbs. beans
It's amazing how far $5 really can go! What else can you come up with?
More from GALTime.com
Fake Florists, Rebate Ripoffs and Other Scams to Watch For This Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day On A Budget
Want More Money? Join The Club!
Insurance Protection: What You Need, What You DON'T