Sunday, May 11, 2008

Coupon Myths

I’ve been using coupons to save tons of money for over 4 years now. Over the years, I’ve heard several myths about coupons, which give coupons a bad name. These myths are discouraging for those looking to save money. I hope that this article will set things straight.

Myth #1 – Coupons are only for processed and junk foods – which are unhealthy.

It is true there are a lot of coupons for processed foods. However, there are just as many coupons for good healthy foods also. More often, I have even been seeing coupons for fresh fruit. Periodically, there are always coupons for yogurt, bagged salad, frozen veggies (which have less salt than the canned veggies). Even coupons from Tyson and Perdue help you save money on fresh chicken. Keep in mind – just because your using coupons and saving money, you still choose what you buy and what you eat.

Myth #2 – You can’t save money if a store doesn't double coupons.

I have found that I save more money shopping at CVS and Walgreen’s (who don’t double coupons) than I do at my grocery stores, which do double coupons. The reason is because CVS and Walgreen’s have some really good store deals and rebate programs. Don’t overlook shopping at a store just because they don’t double coupons.

Myth #3 – Discount stores save you money.

Family Dollar and Dollar General are just as expensive as other stores. The disadvantage is they don’t have the store deals, rebates and sales like other stores do. As far as true dollar stores, (where everything cost $1), most everything I buy, using coupons, I get for less than $1 – so it’s really not a bargain for me to shop at dollar stores.

Myth #4 – Only poor people use coupons.

We are talking coupons here – not food stamps. We are talking about saving money – when did that become such a bad thing to do? Actually, according to statistics, it’s the lower income people (under $25,000/year) who are less likely to use coupons. The most likely people to use coupons are middle aged, middle class people who have some sort of collage background.

Myth #5 – Generic is cheaper than name brand.

Yes, it’s true that generic is a little cheaper than name brand. However, generic is not cheaper than name brand, on sale, with a coupon. The key is to combine the store sales with coupons. This goes along with the theory that coupons are only for the higher priced name brand items. However, when those higher priced name brand items go on sale, the cost isn’t much different from the generic brand. When you add a coupon to this – the cost ends up being less than generic.

Myth #6 – Don’t clip coupons for products you won’t use.

Since I started couponing, there are a lot of things I thought I would never use or buy. However, when the right deal comes along I get things cheap or free – I have no problem using most things. Don’t dismiss a coupon just because you haven’t used the product in the past – you might be surprised what you can get. Besides, if you have a baby and your friend has a cat, wouldn’t it be nice to swap those coupons you didn’t need so you both get more of what you need?

Myth #7 – People who use coupons spend more than people who don’t use coupons.

In an article, I read awhile back it stated that people who use coupons spend more on luxury items than people who didn’t use coupons. So, I guess people who never use coupons, never buy luxury items? Besides, if I save $50 bucks using coupons and I want a new pair of shoes, which cost $75 – why shouldn’t I be able to reward myself and get them? In reality, the shoes will cost the person who didn’t use coupons the whole $75 bucks. However, the couponer really would have only paid $25 for them (because they saved $50 bucks on groceries.) So really – who’s spending more?

Also, keep in mind, if you use coupons the right way, that is by combining store sales and coupons together than you won’t spend more on groceries. If you are going to the store and buying anything, you have a coupon for, especially if the product is not on sale – you will spend more.

Myth #8 – You can’t save money by spending money.

This all depends on what you are buying and how much you are spending. If the store is having a BOGO sale on meat – it can be worth it spend a little extra and stock up for a few weeks. Even if you go over your budget, a little you will make up for it next week by not having to buy as much meat.

Myth #9 – Only use coupons for products you normally buy.

After using coupons for so long now, I don’t know what I normally buy anymore. By using coupons, I have found I’ve gotten things so cheap or free that I otherwise, would never have dreamed of buying or paying for. I’ve been buying these new Glade Flameless Candles for .99 cents or less (I think they retail something like $8.99). Are they crazy? This is something I would not normally buy. However, I get them cheap so I don’t mind stocking up on them. They actually came in handy one night when our electricity when off during a storm. It was something safe the kids could carry around and didn’t have to worry about the house burning down. Okay back on topic…

Myth #10 – It’s not worth it to shop at multiple stores.

I’m lucky, the 4 main stores I shop at are on the same block and 5 minutes from my house, and so it really doesn’t take me much time to go from store to store. However, it can be worth it to shop at multiple stores even if they are farther apart. You do have to take into account how far the store is, your time and gas. But if you are able to get $100 worth of product for only $20 then I would say that would pretty much be worth it.


Coupon Magnet said...

Hi! I found your blog on stumbleupon! I love your myths. They are very informative. I have a coupon blog that I would love to add your blog to so my readers can read your myths. Also, if you would like to link to me to share some of my deals and coupons with your readers. We definitely think alike. :)
I am now following, so i will keep up to date on your blog!