I love Couponmom.com for many things (like my shopping lists) plus the website’s forum is helpful, fun and insightful to read. I came across a thread called “Lousy Coupons and Sales” that resonated with me, because I have heard this comment about a lack of good coupons from a few people. Many comments mention that the “Extreme Couponing” show made manufacturers pull back (probably true) and that the extremely serious Midwest drought is going having an effect on manufacturers’ ability to offer cents off coupons (maybe, but it’s really the price of dairy, meat and produce that will be greatly affected in upcoming months–read more about the drought and impact on the cost of food in this government report).
I do notice coupons have short expiration dates, that there are less food coupons and more for health and beauty or household needs and that “great” coupons for non-processed items are rare. But I still rely on the websites to match sales with coupons to get the best out of my grocery dollars, I try to get coupons from sites like Earthbound Farms (click on this post to read about organic coupons), and I scour the store sales circulars for in-store coupons on produce. And I cook a lot from scratch, of course. So, although we may not be able to get free this or free that all the time now, there are still some pretty good deals (like the .39 cent box of Hefty trash bags at Shoprite last week!).
We don’t know how the Midwest drought will affect coupons, but it will severely affect the price of food. My advice: Don’t give up on coupons. There are still decent coupons for non-food items. And, we’ll all have to work together to get through the upcoming spike in food prices because of the drought.