With couponing finding a whole new audience lately, I thought I would cover a few beginner’s pitfalls. As a new couponer, there is so much new information at your finger tips and oh so many deals, but there are a few things to watch out for. Here’s what NOT to do:
Do not go to a store for just one deal.
The reason for this is two-fold. First, the items you are going to buy might be sold out or the deal might not be the same at your store. That is why you often see on couponing blogs the letters YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary. Not all stores have the same prices on items, which I know can be frustrating. Second, the gas you spend to go to just one store is not worth it most of the time. Now, if you are driving around anyway and are passing the store in question, then I would say stop by, but do not make a special trip for just one deal.
Two examples of this mistake, from personal experience –
I went to Rite Aid because they had items on sale. I went right after I dropped my daughter off at school, only to find out they did not open for one more hour. I could have just given in, but stubborn me went home and then went back later. When I went back, all the items were sold out. They were clearance items so there was no getting a rain check. FAIL
Another time I went to Target to get Glade candles. There were supposed to be coupons on the outside of these candles making this a great deal. When I got there, there were plenty of candles, but only a few had coupons. However, to make the deal “work”, I needed to purchase 5 candles with 5 coupons. I felt defeated, but went ahead and bought a few just because I could not leave the store empty handed. So not only did I waste gas, not get the deal I went for, but I bought items that I really did not need and not at the cheap price just because I felt like I should leave with something. FAIL
Do not buy items just because you have a coupon
This is one of the biggest pitfalls out there. How often does the item then sit in your pantry because you never use it? Do not let the deal overcome your common sense. Only buy items you know you will use or someone close to you will use.
Do not spend too much time clipping coupons
When you start couponing it is easy to get caught up in the process of it all. I have heard of people spending hours clipping coupons and looking for deals. If you realize that you are telling your family members to leave you alone because you are clipping coupons, there is something wrong. The goal of clipping coupons is to save your family or yourself some money, but if it is becoming an obsession then you need to stop. Family and friends will always be there for you, coupons will not 🙂
I hope that these tips help as you start your adventures in couponing. Please feel free to share your own experiences or add to my list of beginner pitfalls in the comments section!