Dealing with Coupon Regret
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Dealing with Coupon Regret

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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You know that feeling you get when you just know deep down inside that you paid more than you would have liked? It can happen happen to even the savviest couponers – coupon regret! I know I’ve experienced it a few times. In fact, after a trip to the grocery store just last week I got home and realized I’d purchased  things I didn’t want or need just because I had coupons. Oops! This got me thinking about times I have experienced coupon regret and ways I can help others avoid these shopping mishaps. So, here are some suggestions for how to stop coupon regret from happening to you!

I Bought Something I Didn’t Need or Want…

I’ve found this to be one of my most common couponing mishaps. That is, buying things I don’t need or want just because I have coupons. When couponing, it is important to remember what you really need. Don’t let all the discounts and savings coax you into buying items you wouldn’t normally buy because chances are, you won’t use them.

Avoid this couponing mishap by searching for coupons for the things you buy and use regularly, rather than buying items you just happen to see coupons for. Trust me, with a little patience you can and will find coupons for the items on your list. Don’t let the coupons own you, you own the coupons!

I Bought Something Without a Coupon…

This is also a pretty common predicament for avid couponers. You always have a coupon for everything and you never pay full price. But maybe you didn’t stockpile enough last time there was a sale or coupon. Now you are out of an item you need and there’s not a sale or coupon in sight. Instead of waiting for a sale or coupon for the item you need, you break down and buy it at full price. I did this once and, of course, there was a coupon in the next weeks Sunday inserts. Ouch!

Avoiding this scenario takes time and experience with couponing. We all make mistakes when we are learning something new (sometimes even after we’ve mastered it!) so don’t let this mishap discourage you. If you’re new to couponing, you can check out our list of stock up prices. When you see one of these prices, stock up! You should also keep track of what you buy and how often you buy it so you don’t run into the dilemma of whether or not to buy something at full price when you are out and don’t have a coupon. If you always have a stockpile, you can replenish when there’s a deal without ever letting your stockpile run out!

I Bought Something With a Coupon, Then Saw it Cheaper Somewhere Else!

This scenario isn’t as common, but it does happen from time to time. So, what do you do when you find out your purchase with a coupon actually cost more that the regular price at another store? For anyone who coupons, this can be pretty discouraging. But don’t let one coupon-gone-wrong incident get you down. If the price difference is substantial enough, check into the store’s return policy. If you can, return the item you bought with the coupon and go buy the cheaper alternative!

The point is, don’t let some occasional buyers remorse discourage you from couponing. Even if you find you’ve made one of these mistakes, think about all the money you’ve saved because of couponing!

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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.