Sunday Paper Isn't Even Worth $1

Back in January I got an offer from the local newspaper to subscribe to the Sunday paper for just $1 an issue. I gave it some thought and drooled over the idea of getting all the Sunday coupons, the Sunday Business/Personal Finance Section, and all the store ads to keep up with local deals. I ended up subscribing for 26 weeks to see how I liked it.

Well it time to renew and I have decided its not worth it. Its actually painful for me to say -- I used to love getting the newspaper on the weekend - and taking an hour or so to go through it. I enjoyed taking advantage of the coupons (espically "free" or "free after rebate" coupons).

The best coupons I got:
-Coupon for free box of Electrasol dishwasher tablets
-Coupon for free BIC Soleil razor for my fiancee
-Several $1 off coupons for goods I normally buy anyway

In the end I felt I really wasn't getting my money's worth out of the newspaper. I can read most of the news online, the coupons weren't as lucrative as I thought they would be, and it just too took long to sift through all the "junk" in the paper to find the few sections I actually enjoyed.

I would rather spend $2.50 every once in a blue moon when I have an urge to read the paper than spend $1/week and feel like I am not getting enough value from it.


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Comments (10)


I get the Sunday paper strictly for the coupon inserts. Going through the paper also gives my wife and I time sitting together and talking about the next week's meals, plans, etc. We save a few bucks each grocery store trip. All of that is worth the Sunday paper cost. They also threw in the rest of the week for free, which has given me something to read on my commute to work!

I used to love the Sunday paper, too. Then our local paper made it so you couldn't subscribe for just Sunday -- you had to sign up to get the whole "weekend", Fri-Sun, which later expanded to Thur-Sun. Still for the same price, but it really irritated me having all these unread papers to throw in the recycling bin.

Your post makes me sad. It's probably not unusual though. I live in an apartment with 30 units. Only 3 apartments get the newspaper.

I have read the newspaper, no matter where I have lived, virtually every day of my life since i was a young kid. I read every section except the sports page, as I'd rather play sports than read about or watch them. The newspaper can be your connection to worldwide and local news, local opinions, entertainment, etc., all in one place and easy to choose what you might want to read. It gets you away from computer and gives you the opportunity to be introduced to stories and people you probably wouldn't search out on the net.

Yes, you can get much of what might be in the newspaper on the net but my experience is that few people actually do this. I have over 40 RSS feeds I follow daily. I also read about 10 magazines a month. I COULD find anything I wanted on the net.

But the newspaper is like an old friend. I don't have to build a webpage to decide what to read (which would likely be only things I am already familiar with). A newspaper is put together by others for all to enjoy. It is easy to read what I want, easy to ignore what I don't, filled with useful information, able to be read while doing my daily constitution or eating meals, outside or on the couch and with no worries about splattering anything on the screen or keyboard of a laptop at the table when I am reading and eating. I don't have to do anything except flip pages. And all for one low daily price!

Sharing sections of the newspaper on Sunday, discussing finds, interesting news, perhaps planning the day's events is a great bonding experience for the whole family.

My local newspaper is laying off 25% of their staff. Many other newspapers are suffering similarly. Here is a column from one of my favorite columnists [sort of] on the subject:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/06/13/DDGH3P19NQ1.DTL

Yes, the newspaper industry like Hollywood and the record industry have brought many of their problems on themselves through poor decisions, poor vision, poor management, etc. I will be very disappointed when/if newspapers stop being published and we have to hunt for everything ourselves on the net.

But to think that the newspaper is only about the coupons you can get is a narrow and very shallow viewpoint. I submit that your comments say something negative about you from a personality viewpoint. You might want to ponder this point in the future, perhaps on your upcoming trip to China, which hopefully will expand your perspective.

I used to subscribe to the newspaper on Sundays too. I also agree that it's not worth the money. I had weekends when the coupon insert was left out (I don't know if it was just mine or what happened).

We're always having to remember to buy our Sunday paper on Saturdays before they sell out at $1.25. Besides the local news - what's being built where -- they have local ads. It's stuff we can't find online easily. So when the $1 a week coupon came in the mail, we'll sent off for it to save $. Besides, I like something to read when I'm away from the computer. We don't use coupons unless something jumps out that we buy all the time.

A letter from my local paper today:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/22/EDGKOP3GPO1.DTL

Newspaper style

Editor -- I could not agree more with letter-writer Davi Gainer of Mill Valley (Letters, "A paper in the hand,'' June 18), and also feel the sadness, if we are to lose our daily newspapers.

There really isn't anything to replace starting each morning with doing the crossword puzzle(s) along with our daily cup of coffee.

The Chronicle's writers and features are so unique that no other newspaper or Internet news service can come close. As such, I no longer request subscriber promotions (discounts) and am willing to pay the full cost of subscriptions, even up to a full year in advance. You have the full and total support of many long-time readers, who are unwilling to turn to the Internet for news stories. It is a very different experience where the news isn't presented to readers newspaper-style. I, for one, will not scan Internet sites looking for news when my very own Chronicle presents it to me in a logical format that is so familiar.

Please tell us how to keep our favorite dailies alive.

E. WONG
San Ramon

jojo:

do you work?
do you sleep?
do you have kids under, say, 10 years of age?

if you answer yes to any of those three questions, i would like to learn more about time management from you!

"I submit that your comments say something negative about you from a personality viewpoint."

this is a finance blog, not a "mr. blogger-usa" contest, where the blogger needs to come across as a zen master before a trip to china! :-)

2million:

i thought that the savings you list should tilt the scales towards the newspaper. we never got a free pack of dishwasher tablets. the best i ever got was $0.75 off.

- s.b.

jojo:

do you work?
do you sleep?
do you have kids under, say, 10 years of age?

if you answer yes to any of those three questions, i would like to learn more about time management from you!

"I submit that your comments say something negative about you from a personality viewpoint."

this is a finance blog, not a "mr. blogger-usa" contest, where the blogger needs to come across as a zen master before a trip to china! :-)

2million:

i thought that the savings you list should tilt the scales towards the newspaper. we never got a free pack of dishwasher tablets. the best i ever got was $0.75 off.

- s.b.

To "some body" (very creative name!)...

Yes I work a full time job (often up to 12 hours/day), yes I sleep, yes I work out regularly, yes I go out now and then but mostly stay home, no I don't have any kids.

The fact is that many people live their lives inefficiently. They are disorganized, don't know how to use a computer very well, don't have the right software that would make their lives more efficient and in general, lack the ability to prioritize effectively.

There is much more to life than just counting pennies. One day I hope you and perhaps 2million will learn this as you grow older. Frankly, equating a newspaper's value against the amount of coupons you can get is beyond shallow.

So why haven't you chosen to include my last post replying to that ass "some body"? Because he defended you? Because you don't like to admit that you are a shallow person? Selective editing or posting of posts is fine when it eliminates spam but my post was not spam. I demand the right to reply to "some body".

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