Everyone seems to have an opinion on coupons. Some people don’t leave home without them; others think they’re a waste of time. Some of the negative opinions are based on misconceptions that I’m going to address in this post. Hopefully after I’ve debunked some of these myths and you start to see how easy couponing is, you’ll be more interested in learning how to do it.
Misconception 1: I don’t have time to sort, cut, and organize all those coupons!
Reality: You don’t have to clip all the coupons! Just get as many coupon inserts as you can, but don’t cut coupons from them yet. Write the date on the front page (if they come in the mail, write the next Sunday’s date). If you don’t remember which date an insert was from, it’s written in very small print along the left spine of the insert. Next, store your inserts in a binder, on a shelf, or wherever you want. That’s it. No need to even flip through them yet.
Misconception 2: I have to spend money on a Sunday paper.
Reality: You don’t have to buy a paper unless you want to. In some areas, the same inserts that come in the paper come in the mail – but you’ll want more than one copy of each insert to get the best deals. At my apartment complex, people leave their unwanted coupons in the mail room for those who want extras. You could ask friends or neighbors who receive coupons in the mail or subscribe to the paper for their inserts. You can also buy inserts for cheap at sites like Sunday Coupon Inserts. Other ways to get coupons are from dispensers in-store, “peelies” on certain products you buy, or the Internet.
Misconception 3: Coupons are worthless and won’t save me more than a few bucks.
Reality: It’s all about timing. To maximize savings, wait until the product you want is on sale, then use a coupon. You can score big when items are “buy-one-get-one”. Say you have a coupon for 50 cents off a $3 item. The item is BOGO this week, so you get 2 for $3. If you have two of the 50 cents off coupons, you can use both (since you are getting two of the item). This means instead of 50 cents off one item, you get $1.00 off two items, which would have cost $3 without the coupons. Use the coupons and you’ll get both items for $2! This is why it’s important to get multiple copies of inserts, because they’re especially valuable for BOGO sales. See how that 50 cents off coupon can really save you money when used at the right time?
Misconception 4: You can’t eat healthy on a “coupon diet.”
Reality: There are actually coupons for all kinds of health foods. I’ve used coupons on produce, organic milk, eggs, cheese, meats, all-natural snacks, you name it. Not all coupons are for junk food.
Misconception 5: Coupons make you spend money on things you wouldn’t otherwise buy.
Reality: They can have that effect, but you have to fight it. Don’t buy coupon items in addition to what
you’d normally buy – buy them INSTEAD of what you’d normally buy. I usually buy Healthy Choice meals to take for lunch. If I find a great deal on Stouffers meals or Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice pouches, I’ll stock up on those instead of Healthy Choice.
Hopefully couponing is starting to sound better to you. Stay tuned for our next posts, and keep stocking up on inserts!
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
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