Are Coupons Worth the Price of a Newspaper?

April 5, 2010
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I grew up with a newspaper delivered daily. As an adult I have continued this tradition, which, if you read anything about newspapers, is not the trend. If anything more and more people are not getting a daily newspaper anymore. A recent New York Times articles says that newspaper circulation is down 10 percent or more, what with people getting their daily dish via the Internet.

I’ll admit that I have the New York Times headlines sent to me via email, and I follow the Philadelphia Inquirer’s news via its tweets on Twitter. Neither is helping these papers’ circulation numbers, but it does help keep me informed.

The paper I pay for and have delivered daily is the local-local one–the newspaper that covers my county. We started getting it years ago when my husband was running for–and then was elected to–the school board. Being in the know about local news is key when you’re in local politics. While his term ended in 2009 and he did not seek re-election, we’ve continued the newspaper delivery.

Clearly, one of the benefits of getting the newspaper delivered is the coupons that come in the Sunday paper. The Coupon Council says that the average family saves between $5.20 and $9.60 using coupons. But I started to wonder this past Sunday if all the newspaper that ends up in my recycling bin each week from a week’s worth of delivered papers is worth the “waste” of getting the paper every day and if the yearly subscription is worth the money I save from getting those coupons–especially when I can go online to get coupons.

Based on those Coupon Council numbers, the subscription is definitely worth it. Even saving on the low end of the estimate ($5.20) provides $270.40 worth of savings annually, and I’m not even paying half that for the yearly subscription.

But I do wonder how long I’ll continue my tradition of the daily newspaper delivery. I mean, with the introduction this past weekend of the iPad, on which I could read my daily newspaper (I don’t have an iPad), at what point does the daily newspaper in print become obsolete? As someone who grew up reading paper publications and getting a degree in journalism, this possibility makes me sad. But at the same time I have to accept that it might just be the new reality of old journalism. But then what will I read when I enjoy my morning cup of coffee?

What about you? Do you still get a daily paper? Or do you get all your news digitally these days?

6 Responses to Are Coupons Worth the Price of a Newspaper?

  1. Karen Kessinger on April 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I’m a writer (formerly of TV news) and have the daily paper delivered. While I am a Facebook fan of the paper and read the local community news blog (the local print paper folded last fall), I am not always at the computer to read the news stories. The newspaper is very portable and can be read without having to log in to anything. I can also put it down and come back to it later very easily. I am also a big coupon user and do some stacking when I can, so what I pull out of the Sunday paper feels like it helps pay for the subscription. Fred Meyer stores also have 2-day sale ads in the Thursday or Friday editions that usually have a discount coupon for 10-15% off non-grocery items– clothing, home decor, etc.– so to me, that’s also worth the price of a subscription.

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  3. Amy S. Crawford on April 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I, too, have a degree in journalism. I refuse to give up my printed morning newspaper. My husband tells me I am old-fashioned, but I just don’t get the same feeling reading the news online. I do plenty of online news reading, blog reading etc for my work in PR, but there’s something about a printed paper that I hope to never give up. (And yes, the coupons are very nice, too…) If the day does come where the printed newspaper goes away, I will be very sad!
    Amy in Texas

  4. dee dee on April 5, 2010 at 8:07 am

    I feel very conflicted on the issue of printed newspapers. One the one hand, I’ve been reading the NYTimes every morning for most of my adult life and enjoy the experience. And the daily local paper is the only way to learn about school board and municipal issues in a timely way. You can get some of the local paper on line, but they don’t include all the articles, and never post their lifestyle section. On the other hand, the environmental issue is a big concern…all those trees…all that waste, even though we do recycle most of it. As for coupons, we use so few because we buy very little processed foods…the occasional coupon for cranberry juice, sour cream or laundry detergent probably wouldn’t be make up for the cost of the paper. And these issues don’t address the distressing fact that print journalism is becoming a dinosaur. As someone who used to make her living as a writer, it makes me very sad.

    • Leah Ingram on April 5, 2010 at 8:49 am

      So basically you are as conflicted as I am!

      Leah

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