Are You Couponing Incorrectly?
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Are You Couponing Correctly?

Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Coupons are great, but that doesn't mean they are always going to be your best choice for saving money.  You might be couponing incorrectly.People use coupons because they are a quick and easy way to save some money and stretch their dollars. Our love of coupons makes it easy for us to make mistakes that could end up costing money (instead of saving us money). Are you couponing incorrectly?

How to Avoid Couponing Mistakes

Your Family Doesn’t Like That Brand
The members of your family strongly prefer a specific brand of soda. You brought home a different brand because you had a coupon for it. Maybe it was the store’s version of that flavor of soda. Perhaps it was a similar soda from a competing brand.

You probably thought that coupon was going to save you money on soda this week. Instead, your family complains about the unfamiliar or unfavored brand of soda you brought home. The next day, your spouse brings home a case or two of the preferred brand. That coupon cost you more money than it saved you.

You Didn’t Do The Math
Busy people who have to rush through grocery shopping might not take the time to do the math and work out the best deal. You came to the store with a coupon for a specific brand of cereal. You find it, toss it in your cart, and continue shopping.

If you had taken a moment to look, you may have discovered that there was a better deal than the savings that the coupon gave you. That coupon saved you fifty cents on the cereal. The competing brand may have been seventy-five cents cheaper than the brand you selected (even with the discount from the coupon). The store brand might be even less expensive, especially if the store’s loyalty card gives you an automatic discount.

You Bought More Than You Can Use
Something happens when people see “Buy One, Get One Free” on a coupon. Everyone loves the opportunity to get something for free. At first glance, it sounds like that coupon saved you a lot of money.

Look closer, and it becomes clear that these kind of coupons are usually for the largest sizes of the product. If the product is something that your family uses, and consumes quickly, then the coupon may have given you a good deal. If not, you may end up throwing both products away before they got used up. That coupon made you waste money!

You Aren’t Using Couponing Apps
There’s nothing wrong with getting coupons from your Sunday paper. But, if you aren’t using at least a couple of couponing apps – you are really missing out! Couponing has gone mobile, and those apps offer special coupons, sales, and deals that you will never find in the Sunday paper.

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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.