Print Your Coupons Here!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Printing Coupons--Does it Save Money?

If you've been around for any amount of time, you know I am ALL about internet printable coupons! :-) I post Kroger and Roundy's printable coupon matches each week, as well as other great high-value printable coupons that I find that I think you might be interested in.

Because I print and use so many coupons each week, I've often wondered how much I am spending on printing costs. Several years ago, we bought a cheap Lexmark printer at Walmart. It has served us well, but we later learned that a cheap printer does NOT mean cheap printer cartridge refills. One replacement cartridge would cost about $32 on sale at Target! Once I started printing a lot more (coupons, worksheets, etc), this was no longer cost-effective.

So does printing coupons really save me money? YES! I've found some ways to save so that the amount of money I save using internet printable coupons far outweighs what I spend on ink. That's because the internet coupons are almost always higher value coupons, and when my store doubles them, I usually save another $1 per coupon. Those dollars add up!

Here are some tips that I use to save money on ink and paper while printing coupons:

  • Change your printer's default settings to print in black and white, on the draft setting. I always print my coupons this way, and rarely have a problem with them scanning as long as my cartridge alignment is correct.
  • Refill the cartridges at Walgreens. Walgreens often has cartridge refills on sale for $10 each, so I save my empty cartridges and take them all to be filled when there is a sale. Hopefully I have some RRs to use on those weeks! ;-)
  • Use the back sides of papers. If I get some junk mail or papers sent home that don't have important information on the back, they go straight to my printer to be made into coupons!
  • Ask for a ream of paper or refill cartridges for Christmas. Hey, I'm a practical person!
  • Before buying a new printer, investigate how much the refills are. I've been trying to do this the past few months as we've been wondering if we could save even more on printing if we got a new printer. The problem is, reviews are usually mixed, and it's hard to get a straight answer about how many pages you can print with a cartridge.
The JuiceBox widget on my sidebar has an ad from Kodak right now about saving money on ink by switching. Does anyone have a Kodak printer, and do you think it saves you money on ink? It was one of the models I was looking at, since the replacement cartridges are less expensive. They have a calculator to see how much you overpay in ink here, but they didn't have my printer's model. Plus, I wasn't able to select that I really only print in black and white, and not very much in color. What I'd really like to see is how many pages of black and white coupons I could print before having to refill my cartridge for any given brand. Is that too much to ask? (well, maybe. . .)

Speaking of saving money, Kodak and JuiceBoxJungle want to know what you would do with an unexpected $100 this month. If you are on Twitter, you can finish a tweet that's been started in the widget on my sidebar. How would I spend it? Hmmm. . . the possibilities are endless! I would probably donate some and then get a babysitter so Ted and I could go out on a date, maybe some dinner and ballroom dancing! Yes, I have ballroom danced while "out-to-here" pregnant--it's probably a funny sight! :-) Other ideas could be a new winter jacket (since mine is getting a little tight around the middle, and winter isn't nearly over!), a massage, some homeschooling curriculum. . . wow, $100 isn't too hard to spend, is it? Realistically, most of it would probably go toward our mortgage payment, which we are trying to pay down "with gazelle-like intensity" (per Dave Ramsey). :-) Exciting, I know, but again, we are practical people!
What would you spend $100 on? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Kodak and JuiceBoxJungle sponsored me to write this post, about what I'd do with a surprise $100 if someone handed it to me next month. It's fun to dream!

5 comments:

Simply Spontaneous said...

Hey Jessica -

I learn (and save!) so much from reading your blog - thanks for your great posts!

I read that you print your coupons in B&W...have you ever had issues with them being accepted at Copps? I print mine in B&W, too, and last week they wouldn't accept one because the manager (who happened to be bagging) said it looked too much like a photocopy. Has this ever happened to you? Is there any way to prove that they are real and not copied?

Thanks for your help!
Katie

Heather said...

I bought a used laser printer through Amazon for $50, with the toner cartridge being $30. The toner cartridge prints about 10,000black and white copies. That should pretty much last me forever:)

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Katie-
This is a great question, so I'm going to do a blog post on it. The short answer is you can verify each coupon by going to the website listed on the coupon.

Of course you'd have to be willing to politely ask the manager to do this, and I guess it is his/hers prerogative to refuse--however I would (politely) make it clear that if they were willing to accuse me of coupon fraud and yet weren't willing to verify that my coupon WAS indeed legit, they'd be losing my business.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your hard work on this site. I have certainly saved alot more $ since using it. When listing the deals at the stores why don't you ever match with the coupons that come in the sunday inserts? I hate printing coupons since I almost always have some problem with the computer and I have a ton of coupons from the papers.
Thanks

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Good question and it has two answers:

1. The printable coupons are almost ALWAYS higher value than in the Sunday inserts. They can save you much more money in the long run. This is the biggest reason I use mostly printables, a few from the inserts, and a few from All You.

2. I live in a smaller city, so my inserts often don't have the same coupons or the same values as I see listed on other blogs. I got WAY too frustrated after coupon-matching at other blogs--they'd say to look for a coupon in "X" SmartSource or RedPlum insert to match with some great deal--I'd go to my inserts and it seemed like 90% of the time the coupon wasn't there or was a lower value.

Because of this, I decided to simplify things and just go with listing printables. Then people who don't even have a coupon stash can come and print off some coupons and still save money that day at the store. Others can go through their coupon stash and find more matches, but they might be different than mine. Make sense?

Hope that helps explain my reasoning! :-)

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