If you are like most people, you probably think you are at the mercy of the retailer and have no choice but to pay the high prices in order to feed and care for your family. I’m here to show you how to beat the retailers at their own game. It’s perfectly legal. It’s easy. And it’s fun! It’s coupon redemption .
According to CMS the leading provider of promotions logistics services, 331 billion dollars in savings were distributed in coupons 2006. Although CMS did not release the dollar amount saved by consumers, it is noted that 2.6 billion coupons were redeemed. Nearly 142 million consumers used coupons in the last 12 months! Unfortunately, that means billions of coupons met their demise without every having been redeemed. Why, one wonders, would Americans simply throw away perfectly good coupons? The answer is quite simple. People have many misconceptions about coupons.
So, let’s dispel a few of those myths ….
Myth #1: Buying brand name products with coupons cost more than buying store brand products.
Fact: Brand name products are on sale regularly. Combining a coupon with a sale often results in savings that make it less expensive than store brand products. In fact, once you begin to take coupons seriously, you will learn how to stock your cupboards with BRAND Name products for a fraction of the cost of the store brand products you are already buying.
Myth #2: Buying in bulk saves money.
Fact: Although this is often the case if you are not using coupons,when using coupons it is often a better deal to buy a smaller package.Let me explain. Your coupon is for cents off on a product. Because your coupon is for cents off on a product, saving $1 on a 4 pack of toilet paper may bring your overall cost per roll down to 25 to 45 cents per roll. If you use the same coupon on a larger package (say eight rolls) you may be paying 50 to 55 cents per roll. It would be better to use two coupons and buy two smaller packages than to use one coupon on a big pack.
Myth #3: I can only use one coupon for a certain item on sale because my coupon says “one per purchase“.
Fact: Generally, you may purchase as many items as you want, but you must have a coupon for each one. Some stores do limit the number of like items you can purchase with a coupon at one time, but will generally take anywhere from four to eight identical coupons.
Myth #4: I can only buy one item because my coupon says “Do Not Double“.
Fact: You can buy as many as you wish (check with your store policy on purchasing multiple items with coupons) as long as you have a coupon for each one. Some stores double the value of coupons. Do Not Double is simply a statement to the retailer from the manufacturer telling them not to double the value of the coupon.
Myth #5: People who use coupons usually buy a lot of things they don’t need and end up spending more money while shopping.
Fact: Although you may see people with coupons buying more than they need at the moment, they do indeed need the item. Let’s take toothpaste for instance. Last summer, I found a great sale on toothpaste. I had coupons and I ended up spending $1.47 (total) for 6 large tubes of brand name toothpaste. This same toothpaste sells for $2.99 per tube. At regular price, these would have cost me $17.94. Granted, last summer I spend $1.47 when I didn’t need to buy toothpaste, but it saved me a lot of money in the long run.
Myth # 6: Getting started at coupons takes a lot of money and I just can’t afford to get started.
Fact: You can’t afford not to. Just like I found an extra $1.47 last summer to invest in toothpaste, you can find a $1 or $2 to get yourself started. The secret is: On my next shopping trip, I did not have to buy toothpaste (which would normally cost me around $2.99) so I now had $2.99 to invest in purchasing multiples of another item my family normally used.
Myth # 7: I can’t purchase multiples of items because I simply don’t have enough room to store it all.
Fact: You haven’t looked hard enough! Nooks and crannies abound in even the tiniest of homes. Try using wasted spaces behind or under furniture to store canned goods in a box. Use inexpensive containers to organize closets and shelves to hold extra items. Add a shelf under the sink to store cleaning supplies.
Myth # 8: There are never any good sales in my area!
Fact: There are sales everywhere, granted some are better than others, but there are sales. You probably don’t notice them because they are not on the items you plan to purchase that week. As you become aware of the regular prices of the items you use, and the coupons that are available, you will begin to notice sales you would have passed up in the past.
Myth # 9: I don’t have time for coupons.
Fact: Like everything else in life, you need to make the time. with an hour or two a week, you can clip, organize and store your coupons.
Myth # 10: I always forget to take my coupons with me.
Fact: If you leave your coupons at home, you are choosing not to use them. Do you have a problem with remembering to take your ID and money with you? Of course not. Coupons are no different. Once you get into the habit of taking them with you every time you go shopping, it will become second nature … just like your ID and money.
Now that we have the myths out of the way, you can concentrate on exactly what it is you need to do to make using coupons work for you and your family.
Watch for: Getting Started with Coupons by this author.