Money Advice

6 Reasons Why I Stopped Extreme Couponing

When individuals discuss concerning the apply of excessive couponing, they throw a variety of numbers round about how a lot it can save you in your grocery invoice, and the way a lot stuff you may get without spending a dime. However, what isn’t said is how a lot time they’ve spent on the apply. You in all probability additionally gained’t hear about the truth that a variety of the “savings” come from shopping for merchandise that aren’t wanted, wished, and that in all probability shouldn’t be bought.

How do I know all of this? Because I was an excessive coupon shopper myself from 2007 to 2010 – however I haven’t minimize a coupon since.

Why I Stopped Extreme Couponing

1. Freebies Aren’t Really That Desirable

Extreme coupon purchasing usually entails combining retailer gross sales with producer coupons to get objects without spending a dime or very cheaply. In many instances, you should utilize not solely retailer and producer coupons, however “money-off” coupons as nicely (reminiscent of coupons that supply $5 off of a purchase order of $20 or extra).

When I was a coupon shopper, the purpose was all the time to get sufficient into an order to make use of a money-off coupon. However, the purpose wasn’t simply to purchase merchandise – the purpose was to make use of the coupons to get merchandise without spending a dime. Often, I’d store at drugstores like CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens, that are prime retailers for excessive coupon consumers. This meant shopping for issues like diabetes screens, toothpaste, and chilly medication.

These objects (particularly diabetes screens) usually could be acquired without spending a dime with coupons – the screens are free as a result of the take a look at strips are costly, and the producers need to get you hooked.

The drawback, in fact, is that I didn’t want the objects I was shopping for. The coupon craze created an incentive to purchase pointless items. While I may resell them (and generally did), they usually sat on cabinets in my home for weeks or months, taking on space. The acquisition of those undesirable free objects additionally made it appear to be I was saving much more than I really was. Often, once you hear about individuals getting $500 value of stuff for just a few {dollars}, they’re shopping for no matter is free with out concern for whether or not the merchandise are helpful.

2. The Same Items Continually Go on Sale

Another main drawback with excessive coupon purchasing is that to maximise your financial savings, you might be restricted to purchasing objects which are on sale or that coupons can be found for. The drawback with that is that the identical objects go on sale and have accessible coupons week after week, which might lead you to purchase these things repeatedly. Some individuals declare to save lots of a whole lot or 1000’s of {dollars} – nonetheless, these financial savings generally come from shopping for 20 tubes of toothpaste or 15 bins of Rice-a-Roni.

3. Extreme Couponing Often Leads to Stockpiling and Hoarding

Extreme coupon purchasing usually goes hand-in-hand with stockpiling, which is the buying of a giant amount of a single merchandise when combining coupons with a retailer sale to make the merchandise free or considerably diminished in worth. For occasion, when a pasta sauce sale strains up with an accessible coupon, you would possibly purchase 10 jars of the pasta sauce. This behavior can shortly lead to an enormous surplus of things in your house that should be rotated and arranged so you possibly can entry them, and infrequently, meals merchandise develop into spoiled and are wasted. What could be even worse is that you could be not have sufficient meals storage in your house, and the objects could begin to encroach in your dwelling space.

Extreme Couponing Hoarding

4. Bargain Shopping Often Leads to Unhealthy Choices

The apply creates one other drawback: You could end up compromising wholesome consuming. While chances are you’ll hear you can get offers on produce and even natural fruit and veggies, the truth is that these sorts of offers are few and much between they usually don’t present the 1000’s of {dollars} of financial savings that you simply so usually hear about from excessive coupon consumers.

Instead, the overwhelming majority of the coupons accessible are for junk meals, ready-to-eat meals, frozen meals, and processed lunch meats. When you purchase these things on a regular basis as an alternative of more healthy meals, your well being takes a backseat to saving money on the grocery retailer.

5. Coupons Are Often Used Illegally

When I was an excessive coupon shopper, I would frequent boards and take part in discussions about using coupons. While I don’t do this anymore, I do watch excessive couponing reveals sometimes.

One factor I’ve seen on these TV reveals is that some individuals purposefully use coupons incorrectly. There are some ways to make use of coupons improperly, from photocopying Internet coupons, to utilizing a coupon for a unique product than it’s supposed, to sharing coupons that aren’t imagined to be shared. This was an enormous concern for CVS, because the company would ship out $4 coupons to new clients, who would then share the coupons on Internet boards for use by numerous individuals every week.

While I by no means participated in these practices, I may see how it will be tempting to take action – particularly when caught up within the couponing craze. It can also be fairly clear that such scams occur usually, as quite a few articles have appeared in mainstream information retailers about coupon abuse.

It could seem innocent to make use of a coupon to purchase the flawed product or a pattern dimension as an alternative of a full-sized model. However, the very fact is that somebody, someplace, could get in bother or must pay to your improper use of a coupon.

6. Couponing Can Become a Time-Consuming Obsession

Lastly, a significant drawback with couponing is that it might probably develop into a time-consuming obsession. To actually expertise vital financial savings, you possibly can’t have only a coupon or two – you want to get the coupon inserts each week. You want to purchase a number of newspapers to have sufficient coupons to get a number of objects without spending a dime, and you want to manage all of these coupons so you possibly can entry them once you want them. Many excessive coupon consumers carry total binders stuffed with coupons.

Buying a number of papers, organizing the coupons, studying up on the offers, making purchasing lists, going to a number of shops, and trying out whereas utilizing 100 or extra coupons can take big quantities of time. Ultimately, it might not be time nicely spent in case you are saving 1000’s of {dollars} on issues that you simply don’t want and shouldn’t purchase.

Final Word

While utilizing a coupon or two to purchase a product you’d purchase anyway is usually a good strategy to save money, excessive couponing is commonly a passion that yields little besides aggravation and the irritated seems of different consumers within the shops. Buying one thing you don’t want – and even buying it without spending a dime – isn’t a discount. And excessive coupon purchasing is a sport that encourages mass consumption for the sake of supposedly “saving” just a few {dollars}.

What do you consider excessive couponing?

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