Are Coupon Books Worth It?
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Are Coupon Books Worth It?

Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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You are probably familiar with coupon books. They usually take the form of entertainment books, local coupon books, or school sponsored coupon books. I was recently approached by several neighborhood kids selling local coupon books as a fundraiser. The coupon book cost $20, but boasted to have hundreds of dollars of savings inside. So, I got to wondering, are coupon books worth it? Here are my conclusions.

It’s Worth It If…

  • It includes coupons for places you shop regularly.
  • It includes coupons for items you are going to buy anyway.
  • The savings associated with the coupons you will use exceed the initial cost of the coupon book.
  • The book contains high-value coupons. Sometimes the book will pay for itself with the use of just a few coupons.
  • The proceeds support a good cause in your community. Even if you don’t need the coupons, someone you know might.
  • You can split the cost of the coupon book and share the coupons with a friend.

 

It’s Not Worth It If…

  • It encourages you to spend money you weren’t originally going to spend. See how coupons can cost you more.
  • It doesn’t include coupons for places you shop regularly.
  • The book contains low-value coupons. The more coupons you have to use to pay for initial cost, the more likely they are to expire or be forgotten.
  • If you can get better deals at stores not associated with the coupons in the book.
  • You can get better deals using your own coupon strategies and free coupons.
  • You forget to use the coupons in the book.

 

Before spending money on a coupon book, make sure you take a look at what coupons are inside. Stick with the rule, “don’t spend something to save something.” The truth is, buying something simply because you have a coupon for it doesn’t save any money. So, take a minute to evaluate your shopping habits and decide if a coupon book is right for you.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.