Coupons Make You Fat

Coupons Make You Fat

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Coupon for an unhealthy processed meal

Coupons are one of the most ingenious marketing techniques ever created. They use the same principle new businesses will use to attract customers; Give customers a deal so they are willing to take a risk.

Marketing companies know how loyal we are to our favorite foods, brands and toilet cleaning products. They know that we will not switch just for anyone. However, with the lure of savings, we will try anything!

Coupons Do Not Endorse a Healthy Lifestyle

When I used to clip out coupons, I tried all kinds of new processed foods and cleaning products. Unfortunately for the marketing companies, I no longer purchase processed foods and commercial cleaning products. Most of the items I buy at the grocery store are rarely featured in coupons. When was the last time you saw a coupon for celery? Companies do not care about your health or savings. They know that your $0.50 savings is nothing compared to the mark-up they just profited on your purchase.

Let me give you an example of the plethora of unhealthy food that coupons are used to endorse. I simply typed “coupons” into google and went to the first site that allows you to print coupons. Let’s see what we have:

  • Save 40¢ when you buy any flavor Box or Pouch Betty Crocker® Potatoes – Can these legally be called potatoes? Take a look at the ingredients and tell me you want to eat that.
  • Save 50¢ when you buy one any flavor Betty Crocker® Warm Delights® Bowls OR Betty Crocker® Warm Delights® Minis Bowls – Is saving $0.50 really worth ingesting HFCS?
  • Save $1.00 on any one Jose Ole® product (16 oz or larger) – Might I remind you that 3 Jose Ole Taquitos has 440mg of sodium?
  • Save 50¢ when you buy any variety 19 OZ. – 24 OZ. ONLY Green Giant® Frozen Bagged Vegetables – Finally! Some vegetables!

We all know it is much cheaper to make your own homemade baked goods and dishes than buying lower quality, processed convenient foods. Coupons do not make up this difference. It is still cheaper to make your own yummy brownie bowl (without the corn syrup).

Coupons Make Us Buy More Food

There is no doubt about it. The words “savings” and “deal” trick our brains into thinking we need the item. How many times have you purchased an item you normally would not have because you had a coupon?

Now, one argument for coupons is, “they are an effective way for people to purchase new products without taking a huge risk.” Unfortunately, spending $3.50 instead of $4.00 on poor-tasting cereal, is not a savings at all.

You might be thinking right now, “I only use coupons on items I already buy.” If that is the case, then awesome. And if you have the time to play the grocery game, where you match up coupons (of items you would normally buy) with store sales for huge savings, that is awesome as well! But as someone who does not have the time or motivation to put into coupons, the savings on the few items I would use coupons for is not worth it to me.

Don’t Let Coupons Control Your Eating Habits

Next time you are looking through coupons, stop and notice just how many are for frozen, pre-packaged, or sugar-laden foods. Do not let the savings tempt you to continue purchasing this junk. It is cheaper (now and down the road) to purchase healthy alternatives or make your own.

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7 Replies to “Coupons Make You Fat”

  1. It’s so true! I watch all the major “deal mom” sites and the deals are always for non-healthy items and are never a better deal than other brands, especially generic brands so why buy?

    Jessica

  2. I shop the PERIMETER of the store. All the processed foods are in the middle. Sometimes, I’ll totally get some canned meat, olives, dressing in the middle though!

  3. My local grocery store gives you coupons based on what you buy. So while I never get a coupon for free celery, I could get one for $5 off $20 of produce, or something like that.

  4. Bingo! You are absolutely correct about coupons, sales, and other clever marketing tactics. A coupon for $2 doesn’t actually save me money. Instead, it’s supposed to get me to *spend* money! Like you, I haven’t bought processed foods in almost a decade and despite never using coupons, I spend very little money on food…and it’s all healthy! A bag of brown rice and whole wheat pasta is far cheaper – and healthier – than some pre-made Rice-a-Roni or Hamburger Helper junk. Too bad people will never learn the tricky psychology behind marketing.

  5. They turn ordinary people into hoarders too! (Even if you do use clorox wipes, daily, how many do you need for a lifetime? You probably went over that magic number already.)

    My store gives produce coupons too, but I have to buy $10 worth of produce to use them… I prefer to buy less (or I buy the cheaper stuff) at a time…

  6. Hm, I think this is a little misleading. Of course coupons encourage you to buy processed foods, but just about everything you see in the store, on TV, in movies, etc encourages you to buy processed foods. I rarely spend more than 20 minutes (usually less) a week dealing with coupons and I generally get most of my toiletries for free or very low cost, and often get big discounts on dairy products, frozen veg, and pantry items like canned tomatoes. (All the coupon blogs tell you exactly how to do it and what coupons you need–it’s not like I spend much brain power figuring it out.) I think coupons are super valuable and save me lots of money…which I then put towards buying the real food I prefer. Most people still don’t use coupons, so it’s certainly not what is making most people fat. It’s the food system and a misinformed public that are doing that.

  7. I think coupons *could* make you fat. The majority of my grocery list is fresh produce. But I still check online for coupons for a few things – seventh generation laundry detergent, toilet paper, deoderant. The key is, I plan my meals and my list FIRST, and then see if any coupons match up. Sometimes I have zero coupons, sometimes I save a few bucks. But a few bucks here and there adds up! And they definitely aren’t making me fat. ;)

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