coupon tips

6 things that trip you up in the world of coupons (and how to avoid them)

coupon tips

1. Missing out on the deal

 DO:                                                                                                                                                                      

Whenever possible, you should always call the store before you make a trip.  You may be successful in having a store hold an item for you for a short time. Not all stores will reserve things, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If your store has an online inventory checker, use it. 

DON'T:                                                                                                                                                                        

Wait. If the deal is hot, and you've seen it shared online, so has everyone else. If you see a "Run Deal," realize that it's most likely a limited time offer. 

2. Coupon Burnout

 DO:                                                                                                                                                                           

Decide what type of deals are worth chasing, and stick to those. You might determine that a 75% off deal on dog food is worth an unplanned trip to the store, but saving 50% on cereal might not be worth the trouble. 

DON'T:                                                                                                                                                                        

Chase all the deals. You will get frustrated, tired, and completely burnt out. You'll spend more money in gas, plus time and energy than you save.

3. Overspend on coupons

 DO:                                                                                                                                                                                

Choose your coupon sources wisely. You should research what coupons are coming out each week and only purchase inserts when you are sure you will be able to recoup the cost. Ask friends and family for their unused coupons. You can save money on printable coupons by buying your paper and printer ink online. 

DON'T:                                                                                                                                                                             

Buy multiple copies of papers. If you are not getting a significant deal on your Sunday papers, purchasing multiple copies won't be your best bet. You should not buy any coupons you're not sure you are going to use. If you're buying whole inserts, make sure you'll use enough of the included coupons to cover your initial cost. Research online sellers before making a coupon purchase. Getting scammed never feels good. 

4. Build up a stockpile of junk

 DO:                                                                                                                                                                                

Build a stockpile of products that you know you and your family will use and enjoy. I love keeping a stockpile of tissues, paper towels, shampoo, laundry detergent, cereal, and snacks. 

DON'T:                                                                                                                                                                             

Buying things just because they're on sale can come back and bite you. I still have six bottles of L.A. Looks hair gel and four bottles of fancy, pickled olives on my stockpile shelves that I will never use. I got a great deal on those items, but they were still a waste of money.

5. Losing money/deals with apps

 DO:                                                                                                                                                                                

Choose your apps wisely. If your deal depends on a money saving app, make sure you don't miss the offer. You should consider making an App Cheat Sheet that includes how to redeem offers, the minimum payout amount, and any other relevant details.

DON'T:                                                                                                                                                                             

Forget to scan your receipts. By the time I get home from shopping, I often just want to sit down. I have missed out on offers by not scanning my receipts promptly. Some apps have limited quantities of offers so don't delay. 

6. Comparing yourself to others

 DO:                                                                                                                                                                                

Keep track of your savings. Make sure you're meeting your savings goals and staying within or under your budget.  

DON'T:                                                                                                                                                                             

Beat yourself up because you saved 45% on your grocery bill but someone else posted that they saved 65%. Try not to compare your savings with others. Couponing is not a competition. 

If you have any tips we should add, let us know by commenting below.

The Coupon Mentor

The Coupon Mentor

Kellie is the founder of The Coupon Mentor, having taught many workshops locally, she now brings content to you online. Read Kellie's powerful story about eliminating $65K in debt through coupons and mindful spending.
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