Four Lessons from a Couponing Class

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

I recently attended a coupon class for the first time, a step I was reluctant to take but for various circumstances was obligated to. So I resigned myself to sitting through a few hours of information I would find entirely useless to me. It’s not that couponing isn’t a great way to save money – the proof is there, in the receipts. But I didn’t think couponing was something I had the time or the need for at this season of life; after all, I work full-time and don’t have kids. We aren’t exactly pinching pennies, so trying to save money on groceries or household items isn’t a high priority.

But, to my surprise, the class presented couponing in a light I hadn’t seen it before, and I’d like to share a few of my new-found insights.

You don’t have to be a crazy coupon lady or a hoarder to take an interest in shopping smart and saving on items you already purchase. The class helped me break the stereotype I’ve carried about what a coupon clipper looks and acts like and my aversion to becoming one of them. Ordinary people can benefit from the use of sales ads in conjunction with coupons in order to save money and become a better steward of their resources without becoming greedy or an annoyance to others.

Couponing doesn’t take as much time or effort as you may think. Regardless of your place in life, being aware of store sales ads and using your coupons in conjunction with them is a smart way to use your resources wisely, and, surprisingly, only takes a bit of effort. Once you get a system in place, it becomes easy to match up coupons for items you use with store sales in order to maximize your savings and streamline your shopping trips, as well as never run out of anything again!

Hoarding is frowned upon; stockpiling is good. The class instructor actually discouraged hoarding. Sales and coupons tend to follow a seasonal, predictable pattern, so if you stay on top of them, you can get certain items for free every few months without hoarding. Hoarding is greed, and doesn’t do anybody good. Stockpiling on items you normally use when they are on sale or free is not hoarding, but planning ahead. As a responsible coupon user, stockpiling when items are on sale can enable you to share with others by

  • Donating to local food banks
  • Sharing with relatives
  • Making up gift baskets for new mothers or newlyweds

The best way to save is by utilizing all your resources. Buying newspapers for inserts and getting on mailing lists is a start, but other ways to save include printing online coupons, using electronic coupons and retail chain reward cards, emailing manufacturers for free samples and coupons for products you love, and joining a coupon club in your area. Some coupon clubs provide weekly spreadsheets of retail chain sales ads and match them up with coupons located in newspaper inserts or online to make shopping easier than ever.

Now that I have seen what responsible coupon using looks like, I am more willing to give it a try. After all, saving money on food and household items can mean extra money in the budget for discretionary spending and savings goals, and who doesn’t want that?

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.

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