If you’ve ever watched TLC’s Extreme Couponing program, then like us, you’ve probably been pretty amazed by just how much money a person can save by clipping (or scanning) coupons. And while it might seem as simple as selecting a couple of coupons, taking them to the store and earning your discounts, like most things in life, couponing does actually have a bit of a “science” to it.
If you’re interested in becoming a coupon pro, we certainly want you to be successful at it. That’s why we’ve provided you with a list of five newbie couponing mistakes that many people tend to make along with the things that you can personally do to avoid them.
Not researching many coupon websites. Sure, there are fliers that tend to come in newspapers and you might be familiar with the more popular websites such as Coupons.com, but the reality is that there are all kinds of websites and blogs that one, have different coupons posted and two, can show you how to get the most out of them. So, as you’re learning more about couponing, make a point to visit websites such as Couponing101, ImTHATLady, Fat Wallet, and Ebates for the best online shopping deals.
Only clipping for groceries. Although when we tend to think about using coupons, we usually do so for the purpose of going grocery shopping, the reality is that there are a lot of drug stores and even places like Wal-Mart and Target that take them. That’s why it’s important to search for coupons at any retailer that you use.
Buying what you don’t need. Remember that the whole reason why you’re using coupons in the first place is so you can save money. So, it doesn’t really make sense to spend them on things that you don’t really need to begin with. Even if it is tempting to get 12 rolls of toilet paper for the price of 10, that’s only a smart deal if you don’t already have a three-month supply in your linen closet. Definitely make sure that your coupons are going to make you a wise shopper more than a big spender.
Not keeping up with the expiration dates. It would be a shame to go to a website like iBotDis.com or RetailMeNot.com, see an awesome deal, print out the coupon or save the link only to see that it has expired once you’re ready to use it. Indeed, another part of being a successful coupon user is that you remain organized and that includes keeping up with the expiration dates that are on them.
Paying with a debit/credit card rather than cash. There are many financial experts who strongly believe that if you can’t afford to pay for things with cash, then that’s a clear sign that you don’t need to buy them. When it comes to couponing, by using your debit or credit card, it’s pretty easy to go over budget simply because you’re not keeping a close eye on your purchases. So, if you want to stick with a better financial plan, yes, pay for everything in cash. That way, you’ll truly be a smart coupon user.