Is couponing actually worth it?
Couponing is a big deal for some, but a big hassle for others. In the USA it’s huge, but here in the UK, there isn’t as much of a culture of coupon clipping – probably because of not having the same level of discounts on offer. So with fewer vouchers on offer and less general acceptance, is couponing worth it in the UK?
My answer – yes and no.
Extreme couponing is possible in the UK, but it’s not exactly an easy endeavour. There are those who have made it their mission to crack it, and I do love seeing individuals getting those big couponing wins!
When it comes to making the absolute most of couponing, though, The Coupon Kid has written the book. Really.
He paid for nearly £600 worth of shopping with over 450 coupons, and brought the cost down to 4p!
I can’t claim to have anything like the success of Jordon Cox – I do use coupons as often as I can, but I don’t go terribly far out of my way to find them. It’s just not my main thing.
However, that doesn’t mean I turn my back on couponing entirely; there’s a lot you can do with easily-available coupons to get money off groceries you really want. What do I do?
I use a combination of wombling, supermarket loyalty points and occasional manufacturers’ coupons, with cashback apps and sometimes, supermarket gift cards.
My favourite couponing results
I’ve had quite a few, but here are a couple of my most memorable.
September to November 2014 – the great pizza swindle
I’d come across the “free pizza ’til October” article on Money Saving Expert, and whizzed down to Morrisons to spend £1.49 on my starter pizza.
Dr. Oetker Ristorante pizzas were regularly coming up in supermarkets at half price – £1.50 – and the company was running a promotion with codes inside specially marked boxes to give a £1.50 voucher to use for another pizza.
The £1.50 voucher codes inside each Dr. Oetker Ristorante pizza pack, combined with Morrison’s and Asda’s half price offer, enabled crafty shoppers to buy one pizza for £1.50 and subsequently get unlimited free pizzas thereafter until the offer ended in October. I started with one… but that snowballed. I also planned to stick strictly to collecting free pizzas, but we did use two of the £1 vouchers also offered and thus got two pizzas for 50p each.
(Thanks to Lloyds’ Everyday Offers cashback scheme, I got 15p back that October for buying that first pizza from Morrisons with my Lloyds card, if you’re nitpicking.)
|Pizza shopping doubles as a workout for Lord Balders.|
One month later, Asda had once again reduced those Dr. Oetker Ristorante pizzas to £1.50! So when we sailed through the checkout having paid only £2.50 for £24 worth of pizza, well, I thought that qualified for a money-saving medal.
|It must have raised some eyebrows, but we were brave couponers.|
February & March 2015 – cheap treats & lots of cashback
I had a flurry of quick wins, helped by cashback apps:
- by combining Shopitize’s offers with supermarket discounts, I got a packet of Oreo cookies for 9 pence.
- Morrison’s was offering a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream for £2 instead of £4.49, which was a pretty good start. This coincided with Shopitize offering £1.70 in cashback for this as well, making the 500ml tub of ice cream cost 30p! But combining it with a Halifax Cashback Extras offer of 10% cashback at Morrison’s. So that gave me 20p off of the £2 purchase price, which means that my tub of Ben & Jerry’s actually cost me 10p.
- CheckoutSmart gave me £6 off a £20+ shop at Tesco
- TopCashback gave me £16.27 for an online shop at Asda
This was my introduction to cashback apps and I’ve been hooked ever since!
July & August 2016 – two big Co-op hauls
|£21.11 worth of food for £1.11!|
|Lord Balders stocking up his tiny trolley.|