You’re sat at the kitchen table, glass of orange juice or cup of coffee in hand, reading the morning paper. It’s hard to concentrate on current events, though, because annoying glossy sheets keep falling out of the paper all over your breakfast. You rip out the horrible stiff sections and bunch up all the ads and throw them straight into the trash.
Or you get your mail. Hidden between the bills and letters are envelopes of junk mail. Fliers for specific stores or products are stuck in with your mail. Without bothering to open anything addressed to ‘the homeowner’ or ‘the resident’, you throw the junk mail into your recylcing bin.
If this is how you respond, you are throwing money away.
Coupons can save you significant amounts of money. Think about it. If someone offered you the opportunity to make ten bucks in twenty minutes, you would probably jump at the chance. Yet most of us throw our coupons away when they could save us that much money! It takes relatively little effort to collect and use coupons, and the savings really does add up.
There are a few things to consider, though, when using coupons.
- Don’t buy something just because you have a coupon for it. If it is something that you usually buy or that you will use, then go for it. However, it does not save you money if you buy things you don’t want or need just because you have a coupon.
- Pay attention to brand names and relative prices. I know that I have often gotten coupons for maybe 30 cents off of a name brand product. Even with the price cut, it’s still twice the price as the store brand. Now, on some things, it may be worth it to pay the extra money. On other products, the store brand is just as good. It’s something to consider.
- Many stores have specific clubs that you can join, for example healthy living or parenting clubs. If you join these, you will receive coupons that are more specific to your needs. For example, because I joined parenting clubs while I was still pregnant with my daughter, I almost never have to buy full-price diapers because we are sent so many coupons.
- Pay attention to expiration dates.
- It helps if you keep your coupons organized. Consider getting one of those divided envelopes so that you can divide them up into categories like: cleaners, canned food, frozen food, etc. This will make it easier to use them whilst shopping.
- Keep them in a convenient place so that you will actually use them when you shop