Coupon clipping is a popular pass time for many cash-conscious people. We have all stood in line waiting to pay for our groceries, behind someone with a handful of coupons while the cashier goes through each one making sure the item has actually been purchased. The amount of time some people spend on collection coupons has led some to question whether coupons really do save you money.
The way that you obtain your coupons is the key to whether they are actually going to save you money or not. Purchasing an item simply to gain the coupon on the side of the box is not going to help you save. The best way to gain coupons is to look for them on items you already purchase regularly, or inside a newspaper or magazine that you already buy.
Most coupons are produced to entice the shopper, not only to purchase that specific item but also to purchase other items on the same shopping trip. Large supermarkets are masters of the art of enticement. The reason they move their produce around the store regularly is to get shoppers to see things they may not otherwise try. If your coupons are going to save you money, you must resist the temptation to spend on other things!
Even smaller shops will vary the layout of their stock to take advantage of the special offer hunters. Placing a coupon advertisement in a local paper is a sure way to draw in shoppers. Placing the item that the coupon relates to at the back of the store means many people will pick up a few other things while in the shop.
Coupons will only save you money if you use them to purchase things you would normally buy. It is a good idea sometimes to use a coupon for a different brand of mayonnaise than the one you usually choose, but only if you know you like the taste of the new brand. If the brand you normally purchase is already cheaper than the coupon-related brand, you may be setting yourself up to spend more in the long run if you find you prefer the more expensive brand!
Setting up a coupon exchange with friends or family is a great idea if you find the only coupons you have are for things you never purchase. It is a fun way to have a girlie night in, to invite your friends over along with their coupons, have a few drinks (bought with coupon offered of course) and swap all of your unused coupons.
Coupons can be a way to save a little off your weekly grocery bill. Some coupons can also help you reduce the expense of shopping for Christmas and birthday presents if you use them throughout the year. However, use of coupons for random purchases rarely saves you any money at all.