If you’re new to couponing–or you’re a seasoned pro–you know that there’s nothing quite like using a bit of finesse to save money on your shopping. But although couponing is a pretty simple idea, there are tons of ways to mess up and actually spend more money than you’re trying to save without even realizing it. Here are some coupon mistakes you could be making.
Buying What You Don’t Need
There’s a thrill in saving money with coupons such as target deals and free shipping. It’s almost like you’re cheating the system. But, it’s easy to let that thrill get to your head and cloud your judgement. Just because something is cheaper than it usually is, does that mean it’s worth buying? It’s not worth saving a little money to buy foods that are unhealthy for you and your family or stuff that you plain won’t use. That defeats the whole purpose of saving money in the first place. Before you put anything into your shopping cart, ask yourself if you will actually use it.
Buying a Higher-Priced Brand Instead of the Generic
Again, it might be tempting to see the big savings you can score, especially when they’re on well-known brands. But you still might be spending more money than if you were buying generic. Generic brands get a bad wrap, but they’re often quite similar to the big brands and for a fraction of the cost. That said, there will those certain brands that you prefer to splurge on – in that case, if you were going to buy it anyway, go for it.
Skipping Over the Fine Print
Just as with anything in life, sometimes it’s just too good to be true. Make sure that you understand the limits of the coupons you use. Some rules may restrict you from using more than one coupon at once, and some coupons might have even expired! It’s a little embarrassing to be pointed out at the cash register that you can’t use your coupon, and in that case, will that stop you from buying the product anyway? Similarly, be familiar with your store’s policy on coupons.
It’s best to have a gameplan before you set foot in the store, otherwise you risk forgetting how you can best make use of some of the deals you’ve found. Know ahead of time what products you’ll be getting and how. If not, you could find yourself wasting time in the store aisles flipping among all your coupons in confusion.
Setting Expectations Too High
When you’re going through your coupons before you visit the store, you’re likely to see those big percentages and dream of huge savings on your grocery bill. Then, at the register, you find that you didn’t save nearly as much as you’d hoped. Don’t let this discourage you! Savings are still savings, even if you didn’t reach your goal.
Buying Too Much
It can be easy to let yourself get carried away and end up with a cart full of stuff that you’ll use… but you won’t use for months (or even years!). While you might think you’ve hit the savings of a century and want to take advantage of the deal, remember to check expiration dates. There’s no point in buying so much of something that you can’t use it in time.
Your stockpile might expire before you have time to use the items.
Using Coupons Immediately
Sometimes you might see a coupon and already have a plan for it right away. However, it might be worth it for you to hold on to it for a little while. If you use a coupon right after you find it, you’ll be getting savings, sure, but you might not be saving as much as you could later on if you use the coupon in conjunction with additional store savings. It helps to know your store’s regular prices of the stuff you buy and if your store has any upcoming sales.
Vicki James is graduated from San Diego State University, with a Bachelor’s in computer science. When not working there is 99% chance that she is praying with her family at home. She loves exercising, herbs,printing,Plantronics office headsets,fruits,taking care of family health, shopping online and traveling all around the world.