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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Big City vs. Local Newspapers: My Experiment

Today I conducted a highly scientific simple experiment regarding newspapers. Since last July, I've been buying a Columbus newspaper instead of our local one. I had bought a Columbus paper last July and found a buy-1-get-1-free Cover Girl coupon in it. When my grandma gave me her coupons from the local newspaper, there was a $1 off Cover Girl coupon in the same location in the insert. That's a much lower-value coupon than I was expecting! I found several other missing coupons and was quite disappointed. I've been buying only Columbus papers ever since.

Because I knew that there would be four inserts today, I thought it might be a good day for an experiment. I bought my usual -- two copies of the Columbus Disptatch -- and added one copy of our local paper. I went through the inserts page by page and compared the quantity and value of the coupons. I was pretty surprised at what I found.

I'll give you the results insert by insert:

SmartSource Insert #1:
Local Value: $11.60
Columbus Value: $39.55

SmartSource Insert #2:
Local Value: $30.09
Columbus Value: $151.70 (plus Chuck E. Cheese's coupons on the back)

I didn't add up the RedPlum values, because the front covers gave them away.
Local Cover: Over $50 Savings Inside
Columbus Cover: Over $65 Savings Inside

P&G Brand Saver - Same for both papers

Since I did spend an extra $1.25 on my newspapers this week, I'm happy to report that I found a $10 pharmacy gift card coupon on the front of our local Kmart ad. It was for new or transferred prescriptions, and I can use it at CVS if any of us have prescriptions before June 6. So, that might help me recover my $1.25. I also found two Lowe's project starter coupons ($10 off $50 and $25 off $250). We may use the $10 one and pass the $25 one to my parents.

Some people think I'm crazy for spending $4.50 a week on two Columbus papers when I could get two local papers for $2.50. However, this week's experiment showed me that I'm getting coupons worth $164.56 more by spending an extra $2.00. Odds are good that I'm going to use at least some of them! In fact, as I glanced through the Columbus inserts I found some great coupons that weren't even in our local paper. I know I'll be saving more than the $2.00 extra that I spend each week. This small town girl is sticking with the big city newspapers from now on!