Couponing

March 1981 

Recently, a Wichita TV station interviewed a woman who saved $150 a month on her grocery bill by devoting only four hours a week to collecting coupons and redeeming refund forms.  During the several days she was on the program she gave listeners a crash merchandising course in how to develop the skills needed to cash in on this remarkable bonanza of $1,800 a year.  Since the time she spent couponing produced almost ten dollars an hour it is obvious couponing has housekeeping beat hollow.

After hearing this advice I know that all anyone needs to do to make money at the grocery store is a good pair of scissors, a strong clipping arm, a shoe box file for the clipped coupons, a sturdy container for the mountains of ripped- off box tops and soaked off labels, a large supply of stamps for mailing in the refund forms, and a still larger supply of patience to wait the six to eight weeks until the new coupons, the merchandise, and the money begin to roll in.

Then, I gather, if by then the housewife still believes in the tooth fairy, but hasn’t save $150 a month she can hurry faster, clip more coupons, soak off more labels, and build more shelves to hold all the items over- flowing the kitchen cupboards.

She can get down to work and concentrate on developing strategy for a triple play to catapult her into the big time.  If this triple play succeeds she should end up with 37 rolls of paper towels at a total cost to her of 19 cents.

She will remember to keep car’s gas tank full in order to quickly drive to another store within forty miles that is having a double coupon day where the rewards of this game are doubled.

She will keep so busy buying Uncle Ben’s Converted Brand Rice with a ten cents off coupon she won’t even notice that ordinary unconverted rice is a much better buy.

Now wouldn’t it be great if John Deere, International harvester, or Massey Ferguson woke up and let our farmer husbands in on this dazzling discovery sweeping the country on how to get something for a scrap of paper and ten box tops?

How would you like to clip a coupon that offers a new combine if you’ll just send in three ripped off old combine tops and an acre of land?  Perhaps, John Deere could put out a refund form good for 75 cents on the price of a new plow if the farmer sends in four rusty plow shares and a copy of Home on the Range. Or better yet, how about a coupon good for an eighty pound bag of fertilizer if the farmer just sends in a slightly worn- out farm wife and his 1980 income tax form?

Then if all this couponing actually gets the economy to zooming skyward the federal government might wake up and offer the Arabs a whole bunch of coupons, each good for either a camel or a camera when they send in a tanker of oil.

Won’t it be Utopia? The people smart enough to coupon will be living for nothing and the ones too dumb to coupon will still be keeping house and farming.

Now, where did I leave my scissors?

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