Focus on the Family Radio Interview, Q & A
Coupons: Friend or Foe?

Carol: My name is Carol Davis, I’m from Colorado Springs. And I would like to know what your opinion is about coupon clipping.  

Jonni: I love that subject! Coupons are a blessing or a curse it depends on how you look at them.  

Juli: I know how I see them (laughter) 

Jonni: Coupons are a tool that need to be used very carefully, because a coupon is usually for a name brand item, and a convenience item. Two things that you really try, (stumble) two things you should shy away from if you are trying to save money. So most items you can buy cheaper without a coupon. I was asked to go on a national television show, to do a shopping competition based on that point alone. So they brought me out and gave me a family and a camera crew and followed me for a day in the shopping store (stumble), followed me around in the grocery store. Then they brought this guy called the “coupon king” out who paid his son to clip coupons and subscribed to all of these coupon clubs and magazines and he even invented a rolodex to file his coupons that hung on the shopping cart, I mean he really, truly deserved the title “coupon king.” And they gave him a family and a camera crew and followed him around the grocery store.  

And I was very nervous. What if I was wrong? What if this really isn’t cheaper to do it my way and run on basically unit prices and sales and making it yourself were my key points so at the end he did his shopping and he had like $150 for groceries and had a very impressive $70 worth of coupons. So his bottom line was like $79 for his grocery total. And my families total came along and it was only $49 and it showed that it was almost half to do it (stumble); it was almost half as expensive to work with sales, avoid convenience foods, rather than let a coupon drive you. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t use a coupon. There are certain foods that my family is very fond of so we will watch for a sale and then combine it with a coupon and then we’ve done very well. But I try not to let coupons drive me.  

Bill: You really only want to use the coupon if the item is on sale to begin with. Correct? 

Jonni: Yes. Yeah or if it is an item that you really need. I mean there might be certain over the counter medications that you really need and then that coupon would be very useful.  Some people have not been able to switch to the generic of those, they just don’t work for them, then there are times that you need to. But I don’t believe in letting them drive your whole shopping trip every week.