“Why would you use vouchers if you have a decent job?”

Miss Thrifty13 February 27, 2013

who uses vouchers

I was interested to read that four out of five social media users  are “digital bargain hunters”:

“Fresh research conducted by GfK has elicited the perhaps surprising fact that 81% of social media users regularly use vouchers, coupons and deals when online; compared with just 69% of their offline compatriots.

“In part this is down to the greater distribution of such deals via social media with 27% of people finding such deals in this way, whilst just 17% got them from companies/products they follow online, 8% from a friend sharing it, and 4% from a friend posting a ‘like’ or comment about it.” – The Drum, 27 February 2013.

I was only surprised that the figure wasn’t higher! Surely, one of the lovely things about the internet is that if you buy something – anything – the latest vouchers and discounts are at your fingertips. A Google search takes seconds. Everyone loves a good bargain, don’t they?

In truth, I know only too well that my view is not shared by everyone. Just before Christmas, I was approached to appear in the woman’s section of a national newspaper. The newspaper was looking for somebody who was “coupon crazy”, and seemingly I fitted the bill.

The snag? My day job. Or rather, the fact that I had a day job.

It was all going fine until I was asked what my occupation was. The newspaper didn’t want to list me as a blogger, because “the editor doesn’t like it”.

I was asked if I was happy to be described as a “full-time mum” who also had a blog. That would have been fine… only, as anybody who reads Miss Thrifty knows, I’m not a stay-at-home parent. Ah, what a luxury that would be! In real life I, like millions of women and men up and down the country, juggle family life with office life. In my case I run a small business, which specialises in online publishing, copywriting and public relations. It’s hard work sometimes, but I enjoy it.

So I wasn’t happy to be described as something I wasn’t. What a big, fat fib that would have been.

“Perhaps ‘media company director’ would do?” I suggested in an email.

And lo, the answer came back…. No. ‘Media company director’ would most certainly not do.


Nope. It turned out it was “full-time mum” or nothing. At this point I rolled my eyes and dispatched the following email:

“!!! I don’t mind being ‘mum-of-one’ – but if it’s housewife or nothing, they can stick it. It’s 2012, FFS.”

Stick it they did. I don’t know if they found a coupon-crazy, stay-at-home mum in the end. But I was told that one major sticking-point was that the powers-that-be at the newspaper couldn’t understand why, if I had a “successful job”, I would be using voucher codes.

Erm, come again?

At this point the average household’s purse strings are pulled so tight, you could play the Macarena on them. We are five years into the credit crunch; the double-dip recession could yet become a triple-dip; shops and businesses around the country have closed their doors; household bills continue to rise; the job centres are overflowing; the UK’s credit rating has taken a bashing and Government cuts, from child benefit for the wealthy to legal aid for the poor, have affected all of us, regardless of our day jobs and incomes.

So who isn’t using voucher codes? (Apart from well-heeled newspaper executives, obviously.) Readers, get ready to clutch your pearls: something tells me that a lot of those four-out-of-five social media users who use online vouchers, coupons and deals work outside the home. Heck, I’ll even bet that many of them are good at their jobs.

In 2013, isn’t bargain-hunting a national pastime? Or is there still a stigma attached to getting a good discount? What do you think? I’m bouncing this one over to you…


Image credit: Nationaal Archief.

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13 Responses to ““Why would you use vouchers if you have a decent job?”

Sammy says:

I love a bargain, I am always on the look out for coupons or sites that offer cash back.

There is no shame in wanting to spend less whether you are on £100k or £10k.

Like Tesco say every litle helps : ) xxxxx

February 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Anne says:

Hmm, yes, why on earth would you pay less for things when you could pay more? I think people are oddly snobby about coupons, frankly.

February 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Zoe says:

Couldn’t agree with you more! My grandpa could have been a millionnaire with his salary, but chose to spend his money on extravagance and generosity to his loved ones. His partners were millionnaires because they counted every penny spent, used vouchers, always haggled and NeVeR paid full price. It doesn’t matter yourt income, if you’re not careful expenditure always rises to meet it.
I’d love to learn more about your coupon-ing please!

February 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Natalie says:

I have always loved a voucher or coupon as does my mother. Growing up her and ky dad had great jobs but were of a generation where you did look for a bargain. When I moved in with my boyfriend he was horrified that i would use them in supermarkets as we both earn a good wage. He would get embarrassed when I pulled out my phone to get money off in restaurants to. this was until our food shop orwent from £95 to £40 because of discount codes/coupons. now he loves it too.

February 28, 2013 at 7:48 am

Rosanagh says:

Great Post- I agree there is no shame in wanting to save money whatever your income.
Times are difficult for everyone but I found earlier this week http://www.ChicShoppingCodes.com, which features current season designer fashions from independent retailers with vouchers. Very reflective of the times that discounts are being introduced for even high end goods. I like the fact that you can browse a stylish website and get a discount that can actually save you quite a substantial amount, especially if like me your job requires you to look great!

February 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

Sandy says:

Why use vouchers? I only use them if it’s something I was already going to buy, or it fits in with an upcoming birthday or something. I use them in the same way I shop around for insurance, or the weekly groceries: because it is wasteful not to. Waste, in a world of want, seems immoral. Also, being frugal with what we have means we can share with those less fortunate. I really don’t mean to sound preachy (I realise it reads that way!) but that genuinely is my basic way of addressing financial things – when we have more than enough, we share. If everyone did that, the world would be a better place. That’s a profound answer to give to the journalisty people lol!

P.S. I love this blog and I wish I’d thought of the idea myself 😉

February 28, 2013 at 11:54 am

Zoe S says:

I earn what most people would consider to be a good salary but am still a total bargain hunter. I picked up the habit when I was a student (& there were far less vouchers around then!), carried on when I was a broke graduate with loans to pay and then as a first time buyer doing everything on a shoestring. Now I’ve moved in with my boyfriend and am gradually trying to convert his household too! There is no shame in it whatsoever – yes, I could afford to buy the item full price but why would I when you can use the money you saved to put by for a rainy day or another treat? Life is all about making the most of everything you have and that includes money! Love the blog Miss T xx

February 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Katie says:

That is barking?! Firstly, good on you, and secondly that editor can’t be much chop – there’s nothing newsworthy about the unemployed or people on low incomes using vouchers! But successful people using them and bargain hunting – now that’s interesting! Incidentally I have a friend whose family own a very well known global bag and luggage brand and are very wealthy. Where do they do their weekly shop? Harrods Foodhall? Fortnam & Mason? Waitrose even? Nope. Lidl. Most of the wealthy don’t get that way by chucking their money away when they don’t need to.

February 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I agree with Sandy, if I want to buy something I would look for a voucher, but I wouldn’t buy something just because there was a voucher. It does seem totally ridiculous that they think people with jobs don’t use vouchers – why on earth wouldn’t they!

March 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Hattie says:

I’m not actually sure that I’ve ever used a voucher in my life. I really should start. But what I find most irritating about this is that they didn’t want to present reality as it is, and as it clearly is for tonnes of homes around the country. They wanted to construct their own reality, in the face of evidence to the contrary. So infuriating.

March 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I have a decent job but whenever I can I use a voucher. It is in human nature to be willing to spend as little as possible if we only can 🙂 I actually started checking voucher codes for shopping products too and accidentally found a few when buying some digital stuff!

March 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

PJ says:

In certain areas you are almost overpaying if you don’t make use of voucher codes, deals and cashback websites. Like energy tariffs where the onus is on you to find the best deal and save money, the proliferation of vouchers makes me feel that unless you get a deal you one of the many that are now paying over the odds to allow the lower deals to be available. I use vouchers regularly and feel that you have a choice serach for vouchers and save or be perpared to over pay due to inertia. My main problem is the amount of time you have to spend to avoid the feeling of getting ripped off.

March 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

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