Using Your Coupons: Is It Really a Good Deal?

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

It is true that using coupons can save you a great deal of money. If you use your coupons effectively, it is possible for you to save hundreds — even thousands — of dollars over time. However, it is important to be careful when clipping coupons, since you might not always be getting the best deal. You want to read the fine print and make sure that there aren’t minimum purchase requirements. Another concerns is the size of the product, or a specific version or flavor of the product. When you take this into consideration, it might be that the coupon doesn’t actually offer the kind of deal you think it does.

Not only that, but you also need to be wary of name brand coupons. You might be “saving” some money on items bought with the coupons, but many name brands, even on discount, are more expensive than their generic counterparts.

Advertisements for New Products

In many cases, coupons are used as advertisements for new products. Many brands issue coupons for new items offered for sale. These items might be offered for $1.50 or more off when you use a coupon. The idea, of course, is that you go and buy the product with the coupon. In some cases, the product might actually not be a good deal when you buy it this way. This is because many name brand products are priced higher. If you get $1.50 off a product that is normally $6.00, you pay $4.50. But what if you can get a generic brand comparative product for $3.75? You’re not ahead, even when you use a coupon.

Getting a Truly Good Deal

Before you use coupons, make sure you are getting a truly good deal. My husband and I, for quite some time, bought items because there was a coupon for them. Instead of comparison shopping, we just clipped coupons and bought those items — sometimes even when we didn’t need them. Sometimes, we used coupons as an excuse to buy something. We wondered why we didn’t seem to actually save any money, even though we were using coupons.

When we finally sat down to figure it out, we realized that even though we were “saving” $1.00 on a tube of toothpaste, it still cost $1.50 more than another brand! We went through our coupons, and compared the after “savings” price to prices of comparable products. It became apparent that we could actually save more money if we stopped using some of the coupons, and instead actually looked at the prices. And, of course, we also realized that it was time to stop trying something out just because we had a coupon. We started looking for things we actually wanted to buy, rather than getting something because we had a coupon.

Once we stopped viewing coupons as the be all and end all, we started making smarter decisions and saving more money. A coupon can be a great money saving tool for living a frugal lifestyle. However, not all coupons lead to savings. Some merely convince you to spend more money. Before you use that coupon, do a little price comparison. Make sure you really are getting a good deal.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marie May 1, 2013 at 10:42 am

Correct. Coupons are not always the BEST deal, unless it is for an item that is tried and true in your household, like a brand you already like. Sometimes if you are willing to use another brand, it may be cheaper and a better deal. We have to shop with our heads, and not just the coupons.

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