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Coupon Tip #2 – Stay out of the store and throw away that coupon

by Freebies4Mom on January 2, 2008 6:30 am

Sometimes you just have to stay out of the store or throw away a coupon to save money! Today I’m offering you this tip based on my personal experience (successes and failures). Since most of us use more coupons at the grocery store than any other store, I typically will discuss the grocery store as I offer you general coupon tips.

By decreasing the number of shopping trips you make you will save money by avoiding opportunities to make impulse buys and avoiding the transportation costs associated with that extra trip to the store. Yes, the grocery store is full of impulse buying traps even if it isn’t a “Big Box” store. Your grocery store wants you to make an impulse buy so they tempt you with convenience foods, products on the end cap or in a special display, and holiday-related merchandise. Make a grocery list before you go to the store and stick to the list unless you have a really good reason to buy items not on the list. Simply recognizing that your store’s layout and merchandise selection is specifically tailored to encourage impulse buying will help you avoid the temptation.

I also want you to be aware that not all coupons are good coupons. So, feel free to throw some of them away or just let them expire! I want you to keep this list in mind when you are about to purchase an item with a coupon:

* Do I need this item today, this week, this month, this year? Or is it something extra I want?
* Would I be buying it even if I didn’t have a coupon?
* Is this a special coupon, or one that I would expect to see several more times this year?
* Let’s pretend that I don’t have a coupon, and this item was regularly priced for what I’m about to buy it for (sale price minus the coupon value) – would I even be buying it?

Asking yourself a few questions before you use a coupon will help you determine if you are tempted to buy an item just because you have a coupon for it. Remember that in most cases you’re not “saving money” when you use a coupon, you are “spending money” (albeit spending less than others who don’t have the coupon to use). Spend your money wisely!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so please post a comment or send me an e-mail! I’m looking forward to bringing you Coupon Tip #3 tomorrow, so keep reading!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon Turnbull August 12, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Great post. I need to change my bad habits of impulse buying just because I have a coupon. I am still trying to adjust to being a stay at home mom after having twins that are almost 2. For the first time in 14 years, I do not work for my own money. We are trying to survive with 1 income. Thanks for the great tips.


Heather January 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for everyones thoughts and for sharing your tips on saving money with coupons, even if it means throwing the coupon away!


S.B. January 3, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Great post. I made a post today with some of my ideas on how to save on groceries. totally agree that not all coupons are good ones! I think the save amount when you buy 2 or 3 are tricky ones. Sometimes you end up buying more product just to use the coupon.


Chief Family Officer January 2, 2008 at 10:49 pm

This is definitely true! My problem is less at the grocery store than at mall stores (the $5 off $25 purchase at Hallmark coupon sitting in my bag has been on my mind … but I don’t need $25 worth of stuff from Hallmark!).


Lori January 2, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Great tips! I also agree w/NeedANap. Sometimes I go in with a coupon to buy something I truly need, then end up leaving the coupon there for someone else, as I buy the store brand! Though I have found out the hard way that the store brand isn’t always “the same” as the name brand. So there are a few name brand things I continue to buy based on their quality. I try to make sure I have coupons for those!


NeedANap2 January 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm

VERY TRUE!! I also like to look at the price after coupon to compare, sometimes Aldi or storebrand is cheaper.


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