Avoid “The Coupon Trap”

I’ve always been amazed when I’ve heard people say they can save more money buy shopping at discount stores, or by purchasing store-brand products, than they can save by using coupons. While I fully agree that store brand products are less costly than name brand products at regular price, you can often get far better deals by combining store sales with coupons.

For example, it will be a rare occurrence when a discount store’s price will be less than a buy one, get one free (BOGO) price. Then if you can add coupons on top of the sale, you’ve gotten a great deal. If your stores don’t offer the BOGO sales, you’ll definitely want to do some price comparisons between store brand and name brand products.

However, you also have to learn to avoid The Coupon Trap! What I call The Coupon Trap is when you are motivated to purchase a product that you wouldn’t normally purchase because you have a coupon, or because it’s on sale.

Here’s a humorous example for you. Years ago, a college co-worker went shopping with his roommates. He came to work telling us about all the great deals he got. One of the items was cat food. However, he didn’t have a cat! So, I asked him why he would purchase cat food if he didn’t even own a cat. His answer – you guessed it – “because it was on sale and there was a coupon right on the package.”  Now, I know this seems extreme (but it is a true story!) and I’m sure that the majority of us would not do something quite so outrageous unless we planned to donate the cat food to a worthy cause. However, we get tempted constantly for frivolous purchases.

So, while it may be a good deal price-wise, you have to ask yourself, “Do I NEED this item? Would I purchase this item under normal circumstances?”  If the answer is no, then you need to weigh your other considerations. I know I often buy items for the kids for which I would never pay full price. But, if I can get them for a low price on occasion, it’s a nice treat for them. However, I know people often get duped into purchasing way too many unnecessary items. So always give yourself a few minutes to really think it over before making that final decision.

Also, if possible, shop without your children! They are a constant source of temptation – always asking “can we get ____.”  I often have no choice but to go shopping with the kids. However, I have continually taught my children that if the item is not on sale with a coupon, it won’t make it into the cart! So, now my kids say “Mommy, next time it’s on sale and you have a coupon, can we get it?”. I’m so glad they’ve learned this lesson early on in life!

Now for some other good stuff!

All You Magazine April Coupon List – ClipperGirl has been kind enough to provide us a list of coupons that will be in Walmart’s All You Magazine that hits the newsstands on Friday, March 25. You can check it out here to see if you want to stop by and pick up a copy. Last time I purchased one off the newsstand, it was less than $2.

Walmart Deals – BeCentsAble has some good Walmart Deals posted. You can go check those out here.

For local calendar events:

For Delray Beach, click here.

For Boynton Beach, click here.

For Boca Raton, click here.

Now, on to the deals this week!

Know the Lingo
BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription

Whole Foods: Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.

Publix Greenwise: Click here for their weekly ads.

Many thanks to IHeartPublix.com for their great tips on shopping at Publix!

For Publix “Super Deals” for 3/31-4/6/2011, please click here.

For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups for 3/31-4/6/2011, please clickhere.

For Publix Advantage Buy Flyer sales, please click here.

Renita’s Favorite Money-Saving Sites













E-Book now available!

I’m excited to tell you that my book is now available as an e-book! So, you can save money while you learn to save even more money by purchasing an e-book instead of a traditionally bound book! For more information, please clickhere.

Kindle book now available!

My book is now available for the Kindle! Please click here!

Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website athttp://wowyousavedhowmuch.com.

“Copyright © Renita R. Perrone All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article on your website without alteration (excluding the weekly deals) if you include this copyright statement and leave the hyperlinks live and in place.” http://wowyousavedhowmuch.com.