By: K.H. Smith
There are a lot of great blogs and websites out there that have great ideas on saving with coupons. I have read a lot of them! I think they have some great ideas! But there are a few traps that I have found myself in, and I want to help you avoid common couponing mistakes.
- The most common trap is that you should buy something just because you have a coupon/it’s on sale. WRONG! Is it free? Then maybe buy it, but there is no point in spending money on something just because it’s a good deal. The better deal is not buying anything!
- Not recognizing deals. The coupon price is not always better than the periodic sales run by the store. Buying 5 cans of soup for $1 off is only 20¢ per can. Not a good deal when the sales run 50¢ per can or more.
- Not using Ibotta with coupons for increased savings on groceries. Haven’t heard of Ibotta? It is a great, free, app that you can get cash back just by scanning your receipts. It works on fruits and veggies, as well as name brand and generic items. I am careful to use it for products I would already be purchasing and with that, I was able to redeem over $125 in my first 10 months! If you want to join my Ibotta team click here.
- Not reading the fine print of the coupon, i.e. expiration date, size, quantity, specific type. If that happens, you should not buy the item at full price. Ask the cashier to void that sale. I have failed on this a number of times!
- Letting coupons limit the healthier fresh foods you could be buying. Just because it is a good deal, doesn’t mean you need it or that it is good for you. Don’t blow your budget on cheap junk food! Some grocery stores have coupons on produce, so take advantage. And buying in season is usually cheaper as well!
- If there is a rewards card for the store and you frequent it often, you should take advantage of it. I personally only do this at a few stores, because the spam and mailers drive me crazy. At our grocery store, this is the only way to get the sale price.
- Consider what your time is worth. Don’t spend hours clipping and driving to 5 different stores to save $5!
Don’t get me wrong, couponing can be helpful for saving money on grocery bills and such, but only if you don’t get sucked into the traps!
Photocredit. David Niblick