MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 4, 2014

Solving the multiples conundrum

By Jill Cataldo
CTW Features

— Coupons that require the purchase of multiple items seem to be the bane of many of my readers’ shopping experiences. As a mother of three, multiple purchases are part of my stock-up strategy each week, but some shoppers are less than thrilled with having to buy more than one of something.

Dear Jill:

I was so ‘happy’ to see someone else complain about having to buy multiple products to use a coupon. We are empty nesters living on a tight budget. I use coupons whenever I can to spend my budgeted grocery money wisely. I too have stopped cutting out the coupons when I have to buy more than one of something.  How many people have the storage for three of something, like big bottles of juice, cereal, detergent, paper products, etc?  I sure don’t. I realize food companies are targeting families because they are spending more money on food, but I sure wish someone would remember the retired people living on limited incomes.  

— Debra L.



I’ve touched on this issue before in my column, but many coupons do require shoppers to buy two, three or more of an item to receive a discount.  In offering a $1-off-2 or $1-off-3 coupon, the manufacturer is looking to boost sales of multiple products, not just one. I was pleasantly surprised at how many readers wrote in with solutions to this dilemma.



Dear Jill:

I have a simple solution for your readers who do not use a coupon on a new item because it requires the purchase of more than one item. Go ahead and purchase the multiple items; if you do not like the item, donate the remaining item(s) to your local food bank. They will be more than thrilled to receive the item and you can take a tax deduction for the donated item. If you do like the item, you have another one to enjoy.

— Bill N.



Dear Jill:

Your readers might like to do what my wife does – when she has to buy two items she donates one to church food pantry for the needy.

 — Stan A.