Saturday, June 5, 2010

Couponing Myths

Couponing is about matching great sales with a coupon to save significantly on items your family uses.  Lots of times I hear these things, when talking to people about using coupons, so I know they don't truly understand the art of using a coupon. This is what I have learned:

I don't understand how a $.35 coupon here and there can save you over 50% off your grocery bill!?
Like I said above, pair a coupon with a great sale, plus if you store doubles (BONUS)  you can buy items for 50%-100% off.  Then I stockpile the item by purchase 6 or 20 of the item (depending on what it is) to last me till the next sale at that price again, because items go on sale cycles every 6-12 weeks.  Do that with ever item you bring in your home, and you can slash your bill in half.  I buy 6 newspapers a week and order coupons off the internet for items I want to stockpile.

I Can't Find Coupons for Items I Use or it's all for JUNK FOOD!
Nearly 60% of coupons are for health and beauty products!  Do you used toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, body wash, cold medicine, pain medicine or cleaning products?  Well let me tell you most of that stuff I don't pay a DIME FOR by shopping at CVS and Walgreen's.  Yes, I buy brands that I have never tried before, but if it's FREE, I'm willing to take the shot.  And I'm rarely disappointed with a body wash or cleaning spray.  There area also coupons for yogart, healthy cereals, pasta sauces, canned veggies, bread, frozen veggies, and if you keep your eyes out, I have found free eggs, money off fresh meat, fresh fruit, and bagged salads.  I never pay for any sauces, barbecue, salad dressings, mustard or ketchup.  There are also lots of printable coupons.  I've even come across an organic couponing forum called Organic Grocery Deals.

You Can't Be Brand Loyal!
Totally not true.  I have certain toothpaste I like, snack crackers, etc.  I just buy enough to last me until another good sale!  Sometimes that means I have to order coupons for a few bucks off the internet, but most times my 6 newspapers a week gives me enough coupons to stockpile my favorite brands.

The Generic Is Cheaper!
Yes this can be true if you shop without any coupons verses.  I have found this totally false in my shopping trips when using coupons.  Pairing a great sale with a coupon to buy a brand named product is almost always cheaper than the generic!  Don't fall over now, and I'm telling you the TRUTH!  My boxes of Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Mini Wheats etc, I don't pay more than $1 for!  And snack crackers & granola bars, no more than $.50 to $1 for.  You can't buy the generic for that price!  There have been times I've been in NEED of an item I don't have in my stockpile, I will buy the generic, if it's cheaper than buying the item with a coupon.

I Don't Have the Time! 
Well if you can't find the time, then what are you doing reading this?  We are all busy!  Our lives are all about what we make a priority, if you need to find money in a tight budget this is a great way!  If you want to find the time, you will, and couponing can be done with minimal effort.  But you must stay organized, and make it a weekly chore.  I search for more deals then the next person, but on average it could take a minimal effort of 1-2 hours a week to start saving a significant amount.  Also other people do all the bargain hunting for you, if you find a great blog who does your weekly store matchups, you don't have to go hunting for all the deals!

Buying in Bulk is Cheaper!
Actually if you pair the sale and coupon together you pay less per unit then buying in bulk.  This is where a price book can help by tracking what you pay per unit.  I don't really keep one, so I can't elaborate on this, but again, pairing a coupon with a great sale, you actually pay less per oz/unit then buying in bulk on most items.

It's not worth shopping multiple stores!
Like I said above, it's all what you make a priority.  Most of us already shop at 2 stores each week.  Start couponing at those stores!  You don't have to shop at 10 stores to save money.  I make my lists at the beginning of the week, and when I'm running around, I make a stop on my way by the stores I regularly shop.  Multi-task!  I don't waste anymore on gas, I plan ahead, and I save money on a shopping trip that I HAVE to go on anyway!  

It's not worth it if my store doesn't double!I'm lucky, I have two local stores that double, Kroger and Meijer.  BUT I also have stores that don't double, CVS, Walgreens and Target, and I still shop at those stores.  I find almost all of my cleaning products and health and beauty items for next to nothing at these stores!  Plus I find a lot of high value coupons over $1 to use at my non-doubling stores on cereal, deli meats, juice, pasta etc. 

If you have any questions, please email me and ask!