How to Save Money » Frugal Living

Using coupons just because you have them – don’t do it!

I remember the first time I ever used a coupon. It was a tear pad coupon for $.50 off a box of cereal.

The cereal was ridiculously over-priced at around $5 for a small box, but I felt like such an awesome, smart person because I bought it using a coupon. I thought I was saving money when in reality, I wasn’t.

Buying something just because you have a coupon for it is not always a good idea.

I always tell people to make sure they will actually use the product before they buy it.

Don’t use a coupon just because you have it. It’s so easy to get trapped into the whole “saving money” thing when it comes to coupons. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. To this day, it’s extremely difficult for me to turn down a great deal. For example, a $0.50 jar of jam (with sale price & coupon) that is normally at least $3 – that is an AWESOME price.

The thing is – we don’t eat jam often, so $0.50 is too much money for me. It’s hard for me to walk away from such a great deal, but I have to. I don’t want to buy something that will just go to waste.

Here are some tips to help you decide if your good deal, really is a good deal for you:
– Do you use the item?
– Can you use it before it expires?
– Do you have a place to store it?
– If you don’t use the item, can you afford to donate it?


  1. kanika

    This is so true!! I do the same I have to pause and think about it sometimes if I’m shopping by myself I stand there for like two minutes like im dead lol. 50 cent is still money!!!!

  2. Ashley

    I love this article, great tips! When I first started couponing, if I had a coupon I would use it. That was before I discovered trading and coupon trains! Now I don’t get it unless it’s free, and I can use it or can give it to someone who can! 🙂

  3. Cassie Howard

    i used to do that all the time when i first started, ashley. baaaad idea!

    kanika, it’s a good idea to pause and think before you buy! i do it too!

  4. Mo

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves over “couponing”. People assume because they are using a coupon, they are saving money. If you don’t use the product, it’s not a savings. If you normally buy the store brand which is still cheaper than the national brand with a coupon, it’s not a savings.

    And yes, don’t get into the habit of buying something just because it is on sale/good deal. If you aren’t going to use it, it’s wasteful.

  5. Theresa

    Totally true. I don’t get the whole “.50cents(or whatever amount)won’t make a difference” mentality. Even if it doesn’t, WHY would anyone want to give their money away to retailers who are already rich??? Same with hydro and natural gas. I watch usage, and turn down the heat because I can use that money sooooo much more than Hydro One or Enbridge. I think many people are just too embarrased. My husband likes me using coupons to get huge deals, but when I recently told him about the lady I saw at No Frills with a coupon binder(I have never seen that in Canada before)he told me that he would never be seen with me in public if I went “that far”. I said she was smart, he said she had a mental illness. He thinks that is being obsessed, I said she was being smart with her money. My husband would actually rather pay full price, than use coupons. Ugh! We grew up on Army bases for crying out loud, but you would swear he grew up with the likes of Conrad Black!!! LOL, glad there are people like me out there. To the lady at No Frills with the coupon binder, you are my hero!!! 🙂

  6. Cassie Howard

    coupon binders are aweeeesome!

  7. Michelle

    Loved your post Cassie.. I do so love using coupons and it gets easier over time. I love the savings when I get to use a coupon at the time of a sale.

  8. Cassie Howard

    thanks michelle!

  9. A.rajah

    Yes totally agree with you. I learnt my lesson last year and now I don’t buy it if I am not going to use it.

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