I loved hearing my sister boast about her latest coupon-ing excursion, how she only spent $5 on a $50 shopping trip. I was always jealous of her skill, until I asked her to help me start coupon-ing myself. I was astounded by the amount of time that was spent researching deals and comparing them to coupons, and that didn’t include the time spent cutting them out, sorting them, and making a detailed list for each store. Suddenly I wasn’t so excited about the thought of coupons. I made myself coupon for a few months, trying to get into the swing of things, but I never enjoyed it.
Coupons often prompt people to buy in bulk, they use phrases like “buy 3, get one free” to get people to buy, but suddenly you find yourself with four shampoos when you only need one. It’s not a big deal if you don’t mind stockpiling, but if you don’t have much room to spare it is an inconvenience. I personally do not have room to store 6 months worth of body wash so I only buy one and skip the coupons.
Coupons often inspire wasting money. That sounds terrible, but you stare at the coupon you have for $3 off a bottle of very expensive facial cleaner (that you don’t even use) and you think “I have a coupon”, even the fact that $3 off still makes it twice as expensive as your ususal product. I would often find myself buying things that were more expensive, or that we didn’t need – because “I had a coupon”.
TIME TO SPARE?
Coupons take time! There are never enough hours in the day; hunting down deals and matching them with coupons can take a lot of time. For a while I would religiously buy the Sunday paper and look through all the coupons for things I would buy. I would end up with 3 coupons that would save me 75 cents, all for an hours worth of work.
ARE YOU ORGANIZED?
It is hard to keep track of deals and coupons, they all have different expiration dates and restrictions. I would often open my binder to find a stack of expired coupons. All of the work of finding and clipping the coupons went to waste.
investing in Newspaper?
A friend of mine recently attended an “Extreme couponing” seminar. At the seminar the main speaker recommended buying 5 Sunday papers, EVERY WEEK! In my city, the Sunday paper costs around $3, so spending $15 every week for coupons is kind of silly. Those coupons had better be printed in gold ink.
It is cheaper and quicker to simply keep an eye on store circulars and watch for deals that they are having in store. You might find a coupon that gives you 25 cents off of three cans of Cream of Chicken soup, so you buy all three at 90 cents per can after the discount is applied. Next week there will probably be a grocery store that has a sale on the same product for 65 cents. Making a list like A Cultured Nest recommends that tells you which stores have your most used product and what price they are can really help in the long run (she even has FREE printable to make it easier).
I do coupon a little on diapers, but I let others do the work, websites like Hip2Save or Money Saving Mom do the legwork for me, finding in store deals and coupons that pair together, then I can just follow their links to print off the coupons without having to dig through the paper
Share why you coupon? Or why you refuse to?