I got some very nice responses to my Drugstore Game guest post at Get Rich Slowly, but at the same time, the majority of comments there were negative. I think some of the concerns were valid, and I want to address them.
One observation that came up a few times was that even better than buying paper towels, no matter how inexpensively, is not buying them at all and instead using washable rags. And the commenters are right. This is one of those times when it's possible to be frugal, green, and clutter-free. However, while I'm trying to use fewer paper towels, I'm finding the transition to be a somewhat painful one. With two young kids, convenience seems to win out most of the time. I'm making progress, and in the meantime, I'd at least like to spend as little as possible.
More than a few people were put off by the inclusion of the Spaghetti O's I mentioned buying at Walgreens. I wish I'd thought to mention that I'd bought them specifically to donate them to the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. I responded to the first commenter who brought this up, but there were people who obviously didn't read it. I think the point here, however, is that The Drugstore Game can allow you to give more than you would otherwise, and if money is really tight, it can also help you feed your family.
The majority of negative comments seemed to be about time. As in, the commenters feel their time is too valuable to cut coupons and look for deals. Quite a few people responded that their coupon-cutting doesn't take much time at all. Several people noted that this is a very individual issue, and I agree. Whether The Drugstore Game is worth your time depends on who you are. In my case, I (obviously) think the time is well worth it. But that may be because my kids are young and The Drugstore Game is something that I can do even while I'm caring for them. I clip and organize my coupons while they're playing. They are both active kids who need to get out of the house a lot, and so I often make a trip to CVS or Walgreens our "outing" of the morning or afternoon. Or we'll stop by a drugstore to kill some time on the way to a playdate.
I have sometimes wondered if I'll want to stop playing The Drugstore Game or at least make fewer trips to the stores when the kids are older and I don't have to constantly be in the same room where they're playing or take them out of the house as often. It's possible, but I do think I'll keep playing to some extent because . . .
The Drugstore Game is a lot of fun. At least to me. But I'm weird like that (and so are a lot of other people, apparently). It's not for everyone. (Many of my friends think I'm nuts.)
But if you enjoy doing something and it saves you money, why wouldn't you do it?