Whether you have just jumped on the coupon train or you are an old pro you will find helpful hints below to help you get the best bang for your buck when couponing. There are couponing mistakes that you may have been making for years but you just haven’t realized it yet! Whether you want to become an extreme couponer or just want to save a buck now and then these tips will help save you valuable time and money and keep your on track on your couponing adventure.
Buying Items you Don’t Really Need – We are all into couponing to save money and although you may be getting a great deal on an item it will not do you any good if you already have a huge stockpile at home. Let’s say you can get a bottle of shampoo for $0.50 each after coupons and sales but you have 20 bottles of shampoo sitting on the shelf at home. Then you buy 5 more just to catch the great deal. This is probably not the most frugal thing to do. Coupons will cycle through about every 3-6 months so you should be able to get it the next go-around saving you valuable money now.
Missing the Expiration Date – Having a coding system that helps you easily see the expiration date often helps you get the best deals. Have a different colored highlighter for each month and mark on top of the expiration date to help you keep track of the expiration date. Let’s say you use pink for January so any coupon that is going to expire that month you mark with a pink highlighter – that way you can easily tell just by glancing when the coupon expires. This helps greatly when you are cleaning out your binder or organizer at the beginning of every month. Once the end of the month hits grab your binder and discard any expired coupons or better yet check online and see if you can send them to military personnel. A lot of time they can use expired coupons on base.
Buying Items You Don’t Really Want – Often times you are able to grab an item free after sales and coupons are taken off but if it is a product that you really have no use for you may not be getting it free. You do have to pay sales tax on an item and although you may think it’s just pocket change it can really add up over a year’s time. Not only that, you have to store the unwanted item until you figure out what to do with it taking up you valuable stockpiling space.
Not Having Your Coupons Organized – This may not be the worst mistake of all time but having your coupons organized when checking out will help you avoid embarrassment and wasted time at the checkout. Some find that having a special compartment in their coupon binder for the coupons they are planning to use on a trip is a good idea. As you pick up items throughout the store take the corresponding coupon and slip them into your special compartment so you are ready to rock and roll at the checkout.
Not Bringing ALL Your Coupons With You – A giant couponing mistake is not carrying your coupons with you into the store. Often times you will find things in the clearance isle that you can actually make money on if you use your coupons. I had this happen to me about four different times before I decided to make a coupon binder and keep it in the car just in case I ended up browsing the clearance isle.
Not Reading the Fine Print on a Coupon – Even if you read about a great deal on your favorite coupon website (that’s Couponing to be Debt Free, right?? 🙂 )ALWAYS read the find print before you use it. Coupon bloggers are human too and have been known to make mistakes every now and then. Double check the date on the coupon and if there are any restrictions.
Purchasing Name Brand Products when the Generic is the Better Deal – Often time’s rookies will buy a name brand product just because they have a coupon and it’s on sale. This may not always be the best deal! Check the generic item first and see which price is actually cheaper. A lot of times you will find that buying the generic and not using the coupon will save you more money.
Making Impulse Purchases – There is a reason that stores offer products at next to nothing prices. They want to get you in the store so you will buy other things making them more money in a round about way. Stick with the items on your list and avoid any impulse purchases! The new nail polish they have on display is very inviting but do you really need it??
Forgetting about the Cost of Gas – Every time you go to a store it costs in gas and that alone is enough to scare anybody! Gas prices are insane!! So when calculating the amount of money you will save by couponing make sure you calculate in the amount you will spend on gas while driving around town hitting all the good sales.
Printing Off Every Coupon Available – There are a ton of coupons offered online every month which can greatly help with your couponing endeavor but if you waste time and money printing off coupons you will never use it will end up costing you in the end. Every coupon you print uses paper, ink and energy so be selective and only print the ones you KNOW you are going to use. Also check with your stores coupon policy because some will accept coupons that are printed in black and white which will save on your ink supply!