Some people are extreme couponers - they’ve mastered their coupon game and spend hours on an end looking for ways to maximize their coupon benefits so they get their money back or save double. But most people don’t take couponing this seriously - mostly because they are not sure if it even works and can help save money. We tell you whether couponing is really worth it, or if it’s just a time-consuming hobby.
What is Couponing?
Couponing is the process of searching for discounts and deals by looking for ads in catalogs and newspapers and searching for promo codes online (through a retailer’s website or app or a coupon-specific app)
Why Do Stores Offer Coupons?
Retailers are extremely smart - they know the more discounts they give, the more likely you are to shop at their store. Some stores discount their items so much that they’re actually selling it to you at a loss. Don’t worry - this doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t making money. The discounted items are just a lure to get you into their store. Chances are that you’ll buy the discounted item and a whole lot of other things, helping the store make a profit.
Does Couponing Help You Save?
This is tricky - sure, you save money by buying an item on discount with a coupon you found. But have you really saved money if what you bought wasn’t something you needed? Say, for instance, you have a budget of $250 for groceries, but you come across a great coupon for a new set of pans. So, you spent half your grocery budget on purchasing the pans - at a discount with your coupon. Did you really save money here?
It may seem like you are saving money on paper, but unless you’ve actually managed to get a deal on something that was on your list of things to buy, it may not really count. In fact, you may end up spending more because of this. That said, if you can resist making unnecessary purchases and you are getting good value from the time you invest in looking for coupons, couponing could be a good option for you. Before you pick up couponing though, ensure that you create a budget for yourself and stick to it.