Couponing Could Face its Toughest Year in 2012

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see Full Disclosure Policy for more information.
Couponing Having It’s Toughest Year?

Will couponing as we know it be changing? You know that I love to talk about the deal that I was able to score on Vicks last year. You remember that I rolled enough Register Rewards from that deal to basically buy all of the diapers we will ever need for Ethan and about 2 years worth of Proglide Razors for me. People ask me all the time “Do you think couponing is going to change?” I usually nod (figuratively) and tell them yes. At some point, coupon values will go down and base prices will go up and the manufacturers will start to recover profits that they lost as a result of missing their budgets. Manufacturers didn’t see the “coupon craze” coming last year. They were completely blind-sided. They had already put their agreements in place as to what they were going to run in each of the inserts. They knew which week they would run and they knew the values of the coupons they were going to run. They basically had to hold on and hope for the best. This year, we are seeing the repercussions of those adjustments. We are seeing pretty much exactly what I thought we would see. Last year, the Vicks couponing deal looked like this:

$10 RR WYB $20 of Vicks DayQuil, NyQuil or Sinex, 24ct., DayQuil or NyQuil Liquid, 12 oz or Sinex Spray, .5az at $5.00
Buy 4 Vicks w/Sinex @$5.00 = $20.00
Use 4 $4/1 any Sinex coupon from the P&G insert on 12/26
Total after coupons: $4.00
Get back: $10.00 in Register Rewards

Fast Forward a year and here is what the deal looks like:

$5 RR WYB $20 of Vicks DayQuil, NyQuil or Sinex, 24 ct., DayQuil or NyQuil Liquid, 12 oz, or Sinex Spray, .5 oz, at $6.49
Vicks Product $1/1 P&G Insert 01/01/12 (exp 01/31/12)
Vicks Product or Vapo Drops $1/1 P&G Insert 01/29/12 (exp 02/29/12)

Do you see what happened? There isn’t a good way to make it work! If you look, the price of the Vicks has gone up by $1.49, the value of the coupons have dropped by $3.00 and the Register Reward amount was cut in HALF!!! If I had done the deal the way that I did it last year with today’s pricing and coupons, here is what it would look like. Keep in mind, I would still have to buy 4 units as 3 would still leave me shy of the $20 I need to get the RR.

Buy 4 Vicks with Sinex @ $6.49 = $25.96
Use 4 Vicks Product $1/1 from P & G
Total after Coupons = $21.96
Get back $5.00 in Register Rewards.

If you are like me, your jaw is hanging wide open. Mine nearly hit the desk when I first ran the numbers in my head. If this is any indication of what is going to come in 2012 for couponing, we all have our work cut out for us! What a difference a year makes!


Amazon Prime Banner 1


  1. Just getting into this I hope its not to hard

  2. Things are changing and I have noticed them changing. All the more reason to be cracking the whips more and only get what is needed as the sales do come around again. Sacrificing what you need and what you have to have and living w/changes to make things better for the future. Thank You for a GREAT article and hoping that things will get better. Thank You for showing me how to coupon better for my family and how I can help others.

  3. For those of us that have a good stockpile already, we may be able to wait out the lower coupon values until the ‘coupon craze’ dies down (i.e. after ‘The Show” loses it’s steam) It’s no different to me than work right now – we have to work smarter, not harder! I’m confident the deals will be there, we’ll just have to look for them a bit smarter!!

    • I’ve said all along I wish they would take the show off the air because it is not a true reflection of the average and the majority of people couponing. Most of us do not have 100+ of the same coupon, I’ve never been able to go in to one store in one trip and find every item and the volume of the items I wanted to buy during the trip, Krogers nor Wal Mart will pre-order items, not once have I ever seen a cashier limit a single item / P&G coupon to 4 in the same transaction like most P&G coupons indicate. I actually had to exit my local Wal Mart and come right back in to use 8 $1.00 P&G coupons – two different transactions.

  4. I would like to see Food Stores give rewards like that on Food Coupons. I would like to see our Government get involved and give grants to Produce suppliers to encourage Coupons for a healthy lifestyle.

  5. Susan Clark says

    Darn I was so ready to buy all that Vicks this year. LOL I’m sure if we wait you will find us a deal that is just as good. I’m also like Emma once the “coupon craze” dies down some, the ones that are really trying to do what is right and save money while doing it can start getting some better deals. 🙂

  6. desiree dunham says

    Like mom always told me things have to get worse before they get better…so in this case its going to get worse before they get good again… what a great atricle. Thank you

  7. Thank you for this article. It really opens your eyes to what “that show” is doing to us. Hopefully, they won’t punish us honest and ethical couponers too long or hard for it. Here’s hoping “that show” goes off the air. It may be wishful thinking but, one can dream.

Speak Your Mind