Friday, August 19, 2011

Simple Savings: How Much Are You Really Saving?

I have read many posts on other blogs about how much they save.  My question is how much did they spend?  How much would they have spent if they had bought store brands or skipped buying the product all together.  Let me give you an example:

If a $4.99 regularly marked box of cold cereal is on sale for $1.49, and you have a coupon for 50 cents, you are getting it for 99 cents.  So, I could say that I saved $4.00 on cereal or almost 80 percent.  First of all, the cereal is overpriced to begin with.  Who would pay $4.99 for a box of cereal?  Second, if the store brand cereal is $1.59, you really have only saved 60 cents.  And, if you were to get oatmeal on sale and eat it, you would spend less than buying the cold cereal on sale with a coupon.  So, even though my 80 percent savings sounds impressive, the actual savings is much less. 

I think you need to step back and realize that People on Extreme Couponing, etc., don't really save that much money.  In fact, if you buy 100 bottles of a product that you will never use, you are actually losing money and not saving it.  Even if you get them for 25 cents each, you would do better to get the one bottle you need and pay $2.00 instead of paying $25.00 for 100 bottles that you will never use.  As I see it, you have wasted $23.00 that you could have spent on something you need.  If I bought 100 bottles of soda at 10 cents each, therefore spending $10.00, my ego would feel good that I got a great deal.  But, I drink water which is healthier and less than 10 cents a glass (free), so I would be wasting $10.00 on a product that will make me gain weight and isn't good for my health. 

Coupons and deals can save money, but you have to be careful about how much you get and how much time you spend in the process.  When I die, I don't want everyone to remember me as a person who got good deals.  We do this blog to give people hope and encouragement and realize that you can make it on a tight budget and succeed. 

Figure out the best system for you and your family based on your time, money and desire. 

There may be people out there who disagree with me and that is fine.  Link up and/or share your comments.  Just be respectful and kind as you express your views.  Inappropriate comments will be deleted. 


  1. I completely agree! I was reading a few blogs today and thought the same thing. My MIL was really really bad about this and since we just had to clean out 65 years of her "savings" I want to make sure I don't follow the same path!

  2. Great post! I just linked up a post I did a couple years ago on the very same topic. It's a little out of date for our lifestyle, but I still adhere to the principles.