Learning to use Online Coupons for your purchases can save you tons of money. But, like anything else, if you don’t use them correctly, what you think are savings will actually end up costing you more money in the long run. Below are 12 coupon traps you must avoid to be sure that your coupons are actually saving you money.
• Purchasing items you will never use : This is the biggest mistake that couponers make. Make a commitment not to purchase items that you will never use. These things will take up space and actually end up costing you more money in the long run.
• Not realizing that off brand is cheaper : Don’t be fooled by brand name products. Buying the off brand is probably cheaper than using the coupon. Because of the significant savings, it is worth giving off brand items a try.
• Lack of organization : Coupons, coupons everywhere! You certainly do not want this to happen. A lack of organization can cause you to miss out on savings. Having too many coupons is almost as bad as not using them at all. Get organized so that you know when to take advantage of savings and when to get rid of expired coupons.
• Going to the extreme with coupons : Some people become so consumed with coupons that it takes over their life. Saving money can become an addiction. Before you know it, you will be investing so much time in couponing that it is difficult to pay yourself back.
• Not paying attention to expirations dates : You can’t use a coupon if it is expired. This will leave you standing in the checkout line with items you really don’t want and that you are too embarrassed to put back. You end up spending even more money in the long run.
• Letting coupons determine what you eat and buy : Don’t go out and buy things just because they are on sale. The real savings is when you find deals on items that you actually use. Search for coupons for the thing that you use on a day to day basis. Stock up when the opportunity arises! Avoid adding things you don’t really like or need just because they are marked down.
• Working for coupons instead of letting coupons work for you : As stated above, you can spend so much time cutting coupons that you can’t really get anything else done. While this may not be costing you financially, you can never get back the time you lost engulfed in couponing.
• Taking too many trips to redeem your coupons : If you go to the store just to get that .20 savings on a roll of toilet paper or for a small discount on a specialty product like a Musical box or a beautiful Limoges. You’ve lost money and don’t even realize it. You must consider the gas it takes to get to the store. Don’t make special trips just to spend coupons.
• Thinking the deal will never come along again : Realize that coupon deals WILL come around again. If you don’t have the opportunity to use it, don’t fret. Simply wait until the next coupon becomes available. Don’t feel too anxious to run to the store and use the coupon.
• Chasing after deals : Let the deals come to you through sales papers, the internet, etc. You don’t have to spend valuable time chasing after meaningless coupons.
• Being fooled by the 2 for 1 deal : Be cautious of wording when looking for sales. 2 for 1 deals are the same as getting the product half off. Stores find creative ways to get you to buy more. Buying 4 for $1 is the same as buying one for .25. You don’t have to buy 4 to get the savings!
• Forgetting to price match : Many stores will price match coupons and sales from other stores. This can help you save money while shopping within the same store. You don’t have to run from store to store trying to get good deals. Simply bring your sales papers with you and take the time to price match.
If used correctly, coupons can and will save you money. Avoid the 12 coupon traps listed above so that you can avoid making costly couponing mistakes.