I do like coupons. I like big coupons, as in $10 coupons. I rarely, if ever clip what I call "token coupons". Meaning the name brand item still costs more combined with coupon savings than the store brand. For example: Motrin/childrens ibuprofen. I always buy the store brand. Name brand milk vs. store brand. It does pay however to pay attention to prices and when you do stumble upon a coupon for something that you do indeed use or looking for then by all means clip that coupon.
I regularly look for oil change coupons, bath and body works coupons to get product as gifts for my mom, she loves Bath and Body works, and I like the hand soap and buy one get one free coupons, those kinds of things. When there comes a time when I go shopping for something specific I will first look it up online to see if I can find a printable coupon.
I cook from scratch like a good lil ranch gal, so it does not pay for me to purchase ready made cookie dough even with a coupon. It does however pay well to shop for case prices and buy in bulk such as the deal I found a while back... $11 for a case of store brand chocolate chips. That is less that 50 cents per bag, as there were 24 bags. I can make a hearty meaty homemade chicken soup so why pay for ready made soup? That is where my savings dividends come in.
Our grocery stores here do not double coupons like they used to back in the day. I still remember Double Coupon Tuesday with fond memories and it is a thing of the past for me. I have taken on the new role of "hunter" in my house and that is "huntin for deals" and I always bring home the bag. We went from approximately $800/month down to $550. For a family of 5. Less in the summer, as we have a prolific garden.
Know your grocery stores, know your product and find the time to do it. When I first started this whole meal planning thing, I slashed my spending by 250 dollars. I might spend 2 hours per week planning, shopping and coupon-ing (is that even a word?). Over a years time that breaks down to this...
250x12(months)=3,000 less dollars spent
2 hours x 52 weeks=104 hours it takes me to plan
3,000 bucks divided by 104 hours = $28.85/hour in savings! Its worth it to me and my family. Talitha over at Sugar Sprouts would call that "mom wages"....I call it "trimmin the fat". It is my job to make the most of the income coming in, and I do it with a smile, sometimes hootin and hollerin when I really score a good bargain.