Common Couponing Mistakes
It’s no secret that coupon usage has skyrocketed in the last few years. People are being more cautious about how and where they spend their money, and using coupons is a great way to save a few bucks (or more!).
However, when people first start using coupons, they tend to make a few mistakes along the way. I was one of those people. I made all of the following mistakes and then some – don’t be like me!
Here are some couponing mistakes I see many new couponers making:
Not being organized
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be organized if you want to be a successful coupon user. Even if you don’t want to dabble in extreme couponing, you still need to be organized.
Make sure you have a system for organizing your coupons, plan a shopping list before you head to the store, and throw out expired coupons at the end of every month.
Buying things just because they are a “good deal”
Oh, how I was so very guilty of this one! I know how exciting it is to get a good deal, but you have to remember that not every deal is worth picking up. Why would you buy Raisin Bran cereal if your family hates raisins? Who cares if the box only cost you $0.50 – that’s $0.50 that just went down the drain.
It’s okay to say no to a deal. Leave it for someone else and move on!
Not sending in mail-in rebates
The whole point of a mail-in rebate is to try out a product to see if you like it. Oftentimes, you are reimbursed the full price by the manufacturer (sometimes it’s a few dollars, special coupon offer or free gift card offer). You are wasting your money if you buy these items with the intention of sending away for the rebate and then not doing so.
Keep track of your mail-in rebates with a rebate tracker. I highly recommend writing down your rebate information right after you make your purchase and then mailing the rebate within a day or 2. Leave a note on your calendar if you have to – just do not forget to mail in those rebates!
Becoming coupon obsessed
It can be addictive, I know. The thrill of getting the deal and walking away from stores with free or close to free groceries is a feeling that many of us enjoy immensely. However, if you’re not careful, it’s very easy for couponing to completely take over your life.
One day you’re clipping a few dollars to save some cash at the grocery store, and the next day you are spending hours every day hunting for coupons and deals, and hours more doing your shopping (multiple times per week!).
Scale back and make sure your priorities are in check. I’m going to assume you are using coupons to save your family money and not as a sport – right? Keep your family happy by getting great deals and actually doing something other than couponing – like spending time with THEM, instead of your coupons.
Stockpiling too much
It can be very easy to go a bit overboard when you come across a great deal, so you need to make sure you are staying on top of the items you already have in your stockpile. Use our stockpile inventory sheet to track exactly what you have and make sure you are not buying more than you need.
No one likes coming across expired products in their stockpile. Avoid this by only buying the amount of items that your family can actually consume before expiration.
I love using coupons. They save me thousands of dollars every year and without them, I don’t think we would be as well off as we are, financially. However, it did take me some time to learn how to use coupons “properly”.
Now that I am no longer making any of the above couponing mistakes, I am able to focus more on just providing for my family without spending much money – instead of taking time away from my family and spending every waking moment focused on scoring great deals.