It’s been a LONG time since I have bought a newspaper. Most cities have a local newspaper that is available for free. Coffee shops, bookstores, and more usually carry the daily paper to peruse through. We even get a local paper delivered for free on Sunday with several advertisements included in it.
Since I’ve been writing this blog, I have seen numerous references to newspaper inserts by other bloggers. As I am a ‘newbie’, I look to those bloggers as more experienced and therefore use them as a bit of a guideline in how I can improve on my money-saving skills. Therefore, this Sunday I took the plunge and decided I would go and buy a newspaper.
Since neither my husband or I had quarters on us, we needed to buy it from a store. We walked into CVS and headed to the newspaper stand. I saw the New York Times and saw that it was $6.00. No way was I going to pay that. Then I picked up the San Francisco Chronicle, found the ‘fattest’ one and dug it out of the pile.
I didn’t see a price so I asked my husband if it was $1.25 or $1.50. He said, “No way! The daily paper is more than that.” I asked the cashier and he said it was $3.00. “What?! Are you serious?!” I exclaimed. So we left, thinking CVS was seriously overcharging. We walked next door to Safeway and got the same paper. And wouldn’t you know . . . it rang up at $3.00. Man, have I been out of it.
So was the inflated price of the newspaper worth it? Not to me.
The problem that is facing many printed newspapers is that almost everything can be accessed online these days. News can be accessed directly from the station’s or paper’s web site with real-time updates via facebook or text alerts. The same is true with the advertisements.
Coupons.com, Red Plum, and Smart Source have online coupons that can be printed out – sometimes in duplicate or triplicate. Target has coupons that can only be accessed online. Even grocery stores such as Safeway now have savings that can be loaded directly onto your store card/account from Cellfire.com or Shortcuts.com. The other day I just pulled up a coupon from Borders on my iPhone and got 33% off!
I even compared the printed advertisements in the free newspaper to that contained in the paid paper. Aside from a few, the advertisements were the same. The ones not included in the free one (Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Best Buy, Radio Shack) all post their full advertisement on their website weekly and have no coupons. If there is a special discount, those are usually sent via email or posted on their Facebook page. The only noteworthy ad was the Walgreens one that contained printed coupons but the retail store has copies of that on a stand at their entrance most of the time.
So unless you are a die-hard couponer that can work your 25¢ coupon mojo or you just like reading the traditional paper, this frugal mom is going to save some trees and let printed newspapers die out.
One last thing, the ‘funnies’ are not so funny anymore!