The aspiration of every couponer is to get an item you need for absolutely free! And I've gotten items at the grocery store without paying anything and then done the I-got-it-free-ee happy dance.
But lately, I've come to the conclusion that getting some things free is just plain silly.
For example, recently I printed up a few $1 off one Degree deodorant coupons after the couponistas in the blogosphere declared "Free deodorant at Target and Walmart!" Apparently the coupon had no restriction on trial sizes so I could receive Degree deodorant from the trial section, priced at .97, absolutely free.
Well, I didn't go out and get my two free deodorants right away (how silly to hop in the car and waste gas and time for one deal) but added it to my list for the next time I found myself at one of those stores.
So, a week later, when I found myself at Target I went to redeem my free deodorant but when I got to the trial section, the trial size degree deodorants were tiny. The were so small that they were a waste of a coupon.
I would have to use eight coupons on eight tiny deodorants to get the equivalent of one full sized deodorant. While those eight deodorants would cost me nothing and Target would be fully reimbursed (plus .08 per coupon) it would cost the manufacturer (Unilever) $8.48 plus the cost of shipping for me to say I got eight deodorants, in a size I don't want or need, for free. I'm not in the business of blatantly ripping any person or company off to get a great deal.
I'm not going to go into detail the waste of packaging of using eight small deodorant versus one large one.
Nor am I going to go into detail about how much I dislike being at the end of a deodorant and the thought of constantly having a half inch left eight times in a row....Ugh!
Needless to say, I walked out of Target that day very annoyed and with no deodorant in my basket.
I support sane and sensible couponing.
More From My "Couponing in Real Life" Series
Why you aren't getting 80-90% off on your grocery bill (and why I'm not either)
When to coupon vs when to Costco
My experience with the WalMart price match guarantee