Ok, so that’s not quite true. You can save on things like toothpaste, batteries (even the reusable kind), and, sometimes, toilet paper. But what I noticed about my coupon use was that it was encouraging me to buy things I didn’t actually need or more expensive brands of things I did need.
Now, I’m not knocking coupons for those who are smart about it. I just found it difficult to be smart about it.
As a recovering spender, I realized that what I was doing was looking through the coupons and finding ones that looked good – for brands my family likes or things on my shopping list – and buying whatever I had a coupon for, regardless of where the best deal actually was. I felt like I was really saving money because I had a fistful of coupons. I know, it’s my own fault, but I can’t be the only one.
Coupons can be great for people with the discipline to use them only on what they need, after comparing prices to make sure the coupon yields the best deal. I am not that person.The cost of the newspaper delivery to get the coupons in the paper isn’t being recouped anymore. Coupons can be found all over the web. Don’t make my mistake and think, “there’s a coupon, it must be a deal!” I know, I know, but I’m better now. I use coupons for some paper products and to stock up on chocolate around holidays to freeze for the rest of the year. Sometimes I find a coupon for one of the name brand things my family can’t seem to give up and use that, but mostly I’ve given up searching out coupons. Organics don’t often have them, neither do fruits and veggies. Mostly it’s just not worth my time anymore, given the way I shop.