How Coupons Can Cost You More
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How Coupons Can Cost You More

Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 8:42 am
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Coupons are meant to save money, right? While coupons can save us tons of money, they can also cost us money. After all, manufacturers produce coupons in hopes of making money, not to give us a financial break. It’s important to be aware of costly coupon downfalls in order to avoid them and keep those savings up. So what are some of the most common coupon errors that cost more than they actually save and how can they be avoided? Here are 3 major pitfalls that couponers often encounter:

  1. Unnecessary Purchases. This is one of the biggest coupon mishaps. It’s no surprise that people often make purchases they didn’t intend or need to make simply because they had a coupon for a product. I know I’ve caught myself doing this more than once! To avoid making costly unnecessary coupon purchases, search for coupons for the items you need rather than buying items for the coupons you just happen to have.
  2. Excessive Bulk Buying. Another costly coupon error is excessive bulk buying. In other words, buying more product than you can use just because you are getting a deal. If you don’t have a need for excess of the product, don’t stock up. I’ve found that when I make excessive bulk buys, I forget about it a few months later and end up repurchasing the same product. Before you know it, you’re bulk buy will have expired. Avoid this coupon pitfall by only buying bulk products that store well for extended periods of time and that you use regularly.
  3. Costly Upgrades. Generic and store brands are almost always cheaper than name brands. However, coupons are often for name brands rather than generic or store brands. Sometimes, buying a name brand with a coupon is actually cheaper. However, watch out for instances when upgrading to the name brand, even with a coupon, is more expensive than the regular priced generic brand!


Of course, don’t let these costly coupon pitfalls deter you from couponing. Simply be aware of ways that coupons might cost you more money so that you don’t end up spending more than you need to. A savvy couponer can save a lot of money!

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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.