TOP 6 mistakes that people make with coupons!

Published on December 30, 2013 By Lauren

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  • Many people start off using coupons to save money and realize that saving money with coupons ins’t as easy as they thought.  There are 6 common mistakes that people make when first starting to use coupons – here are the top 6 mistakes that new couponers make.

    Top 6 Coupon Mistakes New Couponers Make:

    1.) Buying an item with a coupon, JUST because they have a coupon for that item.

    • I think this is the #1 reason why people quit using coupons. They spend all this money on things that they don’t really need, just because they had a coupon for it. You need to be patient and wait for that item to go on sale to use the coupon.
    • The manufacturers make the coupon so you will spend money on an item that you otherwise may not have purchased, however the goal of couponing to to make those coupons instead work for us to SAVE us money.

    2. ) Only clipping coupons for the things that you your family will use.

    • Many times you will miss out on great deals at Drug Stores that will give you overages because you didn’t take the time to clip out a certain coupon. These FREEBIES are great to donate or just hang onto in your stockpile until you need them.

    3.) Not shopping with a shopping list.

    • It still surprises me how many people go shopping without a shopping list. Plan your trip before you leave the house complete with shopping list and the coupons you plan to use set aside. This will help you stay away from those impulse buys.

    4.) Setting an unrealistic budget.

    • Take a look at the money you average every month on groceries, then split that average up over 4 weeks. Start your budget this way, and slowly work your way down to spending less and less. Many new couponers want to go from spending $200 a week down to $25, this can leave many feeling discouraged if they don’t hit their mark. The goal of a budget is to stick to it, so make it realistic for you and then work on lowering it week by week.

    5.) Not knowing your store’s coupon policies.

    • Many new coupon users go out with their coupons, get to the cash register and are told that they cannot do the deal they are trying. This may make you want to give up and you leave feeling embarassed and discouraged. I always recommend printing out your stores coupon policies ahead of time and bring it in with you to the store. Does you store double coupons, do they give you overages, how many coupons can be used on B1G1 FREE iems? Knowing this is KEY in effective couponing.

    6.) They use their debit card instead of cash.

    • Along with setting a budget comes discipline of sticking with the budget. I have found over the years that if you shop using a debit card you are so much more likely to go over budget. It is so easy to swipe that debit card when you have gone overbudget, and over the month that extra $5 adds up. Set aside cash in a special grocery envelope only to be spent on your grocery trips.

    Have you made any of these mistakes?  I know I did when I first started using coupons.



  • Thanks for these great tips! I am just starting and made a classic rookie mistake today by not adding properly! I think I was too caught up in the moment of “trying to save” and I didn’t plan properly!  I know this just takes time, and starting out is confusing, so I really appreciate all of the helpful tips!!!

  •  We just made a coupon binder this weekend!!!  I’ve made one mistake or maybe two… I bought ice cream bars on sale for 2/$7 , instead of 2/$6 at another store. Then,I somehow only had one of my 5 coupons for that product with me. So I bought one box of ice cream bars for $2.50 instead of $2 (sale w/coupon) but I also didn’t pay the $3.99 retail either… It wasn’t a devastating mistake so I’m ok with it. 😉

  •  Great tips! I’m still making those mistakes, but I don’t get the sunday paper so I’m limited to the coupons that come in the mail. Any tips on how to get more?

    • I very rarely get coupons in the mail. If I didn’t get the Sunday paper I wouldn’t have any coupons at all. Buy a paper…it pays for itself in the long run. Besides you get the ads in the paper. And if you really don’t want to buy a paper ask friends, family, co-workers to give you their coupon inserts…thats how I get mine. Also All You Magazine has tons of usable coupons… again it pays  for itself. I really don’t do a lot of internet coupons.

      • Thanks! I don’t have a working printer so downloadable coupons aren’t my thing. How much is the All You Magazine? Again thanks for that info Ann!

  • Great tips,I really love the one about lowering your bill in 4 weeks,I have really notice a big difference going once a week with coupons,then going once a month with no coupons.This month is when I really started seeing the difference,I have spent alittle more then half of what I use to spend.It takes alittle while,but if you stick with it,it really does show the money you are saving.

  • Great tips! I would add buying the LARGEST size of an item using one coupon instead of 3-4 smaller sizes of that same item with 3-4 coupons . . .

  • I think I’m ok at all of those — except just bringing cash. I know I should do that!
    Tracy, I always thought it was better to get the smaller item for really cheap or free, than get a discount on a larger item. I think I remember reading that in The Tightwad Gazette. 🙂

  • I have made some hilarious newbie mistakes! I’m going to blog about them at some point. It’s hard to believe the things I didn’t know when I was just starting out 🙂

  • I took my monthly amount that I usually spend which is $200.00 and just divided it out into four $50.00 increments.  And… I just started taking cash instead of my card.  Granted, I have it on me just in case something were to happen but use just my cash.  This past weekend I spent only $35.00 of my $50.00 dollar budget.  So I used that extra for my husbands contact solution this week and some for sand for my daughters sandbox.  And what gets me the most is that only spending $35.00 I got MORE than I would have on a trip with $100.00.  At walmart I purchased 3 items that were non coupons..the rest were which saved me tons!!

  • I’ve been using coupons and shopping lists for a year now and I’m still a victim of #6. It’s a hard habit to break!! Hopefully you can teach me so much more on Friday because I plan on coming! see you then!

  • I made a rookie mistake last week.  There was a great sale going on at Wegman’s for Oral-B toothbrushes ($.99 each), so I purchased 40 coupons for $1.50 off from a coupon clipping site, I completely didn’t check to see when the sale was going to end AND didn’t check to see how long it would take to process and ship and I received my coupons 3 days after the sale ended and the coupons expire 5/31/11.  So I went from a $20.00+ moneymaker and 40 toothbrushes (which I ordered so I wouldn’t clear the shelf) to donate to the local community center to 40 pieces of paper and a $2.00 loss…But you know what?  It was a great lesson learned.  In your eagerness to get a great deal, check your dates…now lets just hope that someone has a sale next week on Oral B Advantage toothbrushes!  🙂

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