Save A Dime?
Off The Wall, April 16, 2010

When I heard about a certain someone going on the computer to print out coupons for certain products in order to save a few cents, various thoughts went through my mind. Is it easily done? Is the effort worth it? And most important, does the whole process create stress?

I may be wrong, but I think the female gender is drawn to the word “sale”. I also have arrived at the conclusion that coupons and sales run hand in hand. Show a certain someone where she can save a buck on anything and most likely she will scoop it up “even though she has no need for it at the present time.”

How many times upon entering a department store does one see a sign, “Buy eight pairs of socks and get the ninth for free?” That word “free” is the enticer. Nothing’s free. Sometimes merchants will raise the price to incorporate the so-called “free” item. On the other hand, most products are mass-produced in such quantity that giving an item for free for the sake of saving a dime on sale items is no big deal for merchants. Once they’ve got your attention, they know they’ve gotcha.

On the flip side of the coin are the people who are either going out of business or moving to another location. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have to unload all the store’s merchandise to clear the premises. One man told me, “If I don’t need it, why should I even buy it for a penny?” My comeback to him was, “Do you realize what kind of bargain you’re getting considering what I had to pay?” Some people just don’t budge regardless on how intriguing the opportunity presents itself.

I can just hear someone saying, “Now if you presented a deal to a woman, she would grab at it faster than a bat eating a mosquito. Wrong. I know some men who would jump at an opportunity to do the same thing. So don’t figure me as being biased.

Recently, I was talking to Carol Dziak at the Hallmark Card and Gift Shop in downtown Latrobe at 1009 Ligonier St. She is having a clearance sale on the items in her store in as much as she is moving to a new location with a wedding invitation business. There are still many items available that have to be cleared before she can relocate to 313 Ligonier St., Latrobe. Talk about sale-priced merchandise, anyone looking for good deals for better than excellent discounts has to stop by and take advantage of a good thing. When some items are marked anywhere between 60-80 percent off, I don’t care if one is a man or a woman, the gift potential exists. I’ve heard of people buying items for all occasions far ahead of time so as to eliminate the stress of making purchases in the last minute. You may find a certain something for that certain somebody in this store.

Back to the ranch, as the saying goes. I’ve never been the type of person that clips and saves coupons. I have heard people whom have saved as much as $100 on their shopping trips. I applaud them. If one has time, can sit down and clip and organize little pieces of bar-coded paper, more power to them.

What I find objectionable is that most of the coupons discovered in newspapers or mailed to our address are for items I would never think of buying. Seldom do I purchase products such as simple carbohydrates, high sugared beverages or red meats, for example.

Many companies that produce wholesome foods do distribute coupons for their products as well to interest the general public to turn from, maybe, poorer eating habits to better ones. But for me to redeem them, I’d have to find an outlet that carries these items. If I can’t walk to one of these, I am not saving a dime when I have to use other alternatives, such as taxi service, having the product shipped to me, or having someone drive me to and back from a certain location.

So this is the way I see it. If consumers want to spend time clipping coupons and “can drive” to the outlets to redeem their “cost-cutters,” go for it. God has blessed you with this privilege. As for yours truly, there is a lot of nourishing stuff in the produce department. There is nothing like a good salad followed by some fruit!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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