Friday, January 8, 2010

The Coupon Question

This morning, a few classmates and I were discussing coupons.

"Jordan gave me a whole bunch of free cookie coupons [from Subway]," said one. "I thought, 'Don't you want these?'"

Just as inflation can end up decreasing the value of money (was it Argentina where this happened a few years ago, and $1000 bills were worthless?), so an overabundance of coupons lead us to feel that they are of no value. Those DOMO coupons that everyone gets about 10 of in the mail every week come in handy, but what do you do with those Domino's Pizza coupons, or drycleaning coupons? Sure, a coupon is nice to have when you're already a loyal customer and were intending to pay full price anyway, but does the coupon really convince you to buy something you weren't interested in otherwise?

For myself, the answer is often "no." Especially where the 'clip & save' flyers that arrive on Saturday mornings are concerned. Saving $1 off the price of salad dressing means nothing to me when I can't remember what the current price of salad dressing is. If that makes the salad dressing bottle cost $9 instead of $10, I'm still going to look for the $5 bottle. Forget the coupon.

Or better yet, I'll trade it to you for one of those cookie coupons.

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