Couponing Stigma - Yes or No?

Posted by Marianne Thomas | 1/14/2009 01:00:00 PM | | 6 comments »

Those of us who blog about couponing and those of you loyal readers out there who are dedicated coupon shoppers as well can lose sight of the fact that many folks out there simply *don't* use coupons.

~Maybe because they think it takes too much time to clip all of them (I agree, which is why I use a file by insert date organization method).

~Maybe because they don't see coupons for products they anticipate using during the coming week when they flip through the Sunday inserts (which is why we save those inserts).

~Or, maybe because there still lingers a stigma attached to using coupons and they're afraid of looking cheap (you won't look cheap, just smart).

I wrote a post over at my personal blog not too long ago where I mentioned one of the latest trends I've seen in person: coupon binders disguised to look like a pretty handbag.

I thought it would be fun to see what some of you out there thought, so I tweeted the question a day or so ago. Here's some responses:

I agree, @TweetyMama, on both counts. I've gotten some odd looks, too. But I've worked hard to build pleasant relationships with many of the cashiers I see each week. I think they're just as thrilled as I am to see how much I save. And pinching pennies is hip!

Erin @5DollarDinners, I totally agree with you! We are ahead of the curve, baby!

Stacey @TreeRootTwig had some valid concerns about couponers taking too long in line or not being informed about store coupon policies. This falls under the rules of Couponing Etiquette, a post I plan on writing later this week.

Andrea @MommySnacks and I have had this discussion before in real life, so I wasn't too surprised to see her response. This is right in line with the cheap label I mentioned above. Here's the thing: couponing is just one more method in your personal finance toolkit to help you save money.

Carrie @CarriesCooking, sums it up well. We live in a new economy where you absolutely must creatively stretch each dollar that comes your way.

This last point is a good one, too, made by Jeff Green, social media manager at UPromise; the sheer number of sites dedicated to online shopping coupon codes is staggering. I'll touch on all of those in a future post.

And since I forgot to mention it in my first edition of Back to Basics: Couponing {Gathering}, Upromise also offers e-coupons you can load to your shopper loyalty card. The amount saved is automatically deposited into your Upromise account, a total win-win situation for us busy parents.

Now it's your turn! Do you think there still exists a couponing stigma or stereotypes about couponers? Have you experienced it personally? Share in a comment!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!


  1. MomIsCrazy // January 14, 2009 9:19 PM  

    I started couponing in July 2008 and at first was very timid and intimidated when using coupons for alot of the reasons mentioned by others. But after saving 60% (3770.88) over the next 5 months, I now PROUDLY pull out my coupons. Who cares what others think? I am dancing the *Happy Jig of Savings* all the way out the door!!

  2. Marianne Thomas // January 14, 2009 9:22 PM  

    MomIsCrazy: I know that *happy* dance well! Great job saving so much and thanks for commenting!

  3. diyod // January 15, 2009 7:06 AM  

    I've just recently started to collect coupons, only because I never bought a paper before (now I only buy one for the coupons...I just hate reading nothing but sad news).

    So far I haven't received any weird looks, not even from my boyfriend as he watches me look through piles of coupons. Like others have said, the economy has changed to where things like reusing/re-purposing and couponing are the cool thing to do. Personally I like that alot, I just hope that whenever the economy gets better people don't forget about being creative with their resources.

  4. Marianne Thomas // January 16, 2009 1:33 PM  

    Diyod: I agree; I think when times get easier, we tend to forget the basics of pinching pennies and creative economizing. Let's hope this trend sticks!

  5. uppervalleymom // January 17, 2009 8:56 AM  

    One of the things I have mixed feelings about when couponing happens at my main grocery store. They apparently have a policy that if you save more than a certain amount or certain percentage off your total, a manager has to come and approve the transaction. The cashier always tells me it's because the machine thinks he might have made a mistake BECAUSE I SAVED TOO MUCH MONEY! So on one hand, I feel good about being such a good shopper; but on the other hand I feel bad that it holds up the line behind me. It doesn't seem to be a big deal for folks behind me (they often smile or ask how I did that), but I wish savvy shoppers wouldn't have to be made out to look or feel like they did something wrong, you know?

  6. Marianne Thomas // January 17, 2009 7:03 PM  

    uppervalleymom: I've never had that happen, but I have had people obviously rolling their eyes in line behind me as the cashier pushes my tiny mountain of coupons through the register. I *smile* and make pleasant conversation.


    I do my best to shop at off-peak times and I also know most of the cashiers on duty at that time. But I totally agree with you - you should be getting some sort of shopping award for doing so well, not the feeling of being singled out.

    Thanks for commenting!