Not everybody is cut out for coupon use. Coupons can save you money, lots of money, but if they are used improperly then they will actually cost you both time and money. Here are five good reasons to not use a coupon:
- You do not get the newspaper. Most of the best coupons are printables or come from All You Magazine. You can also get coupon inserts at recycling centers, libraries, and friends/family. If you cannot find somebody who can give you the inserts then do not run out and buy a subscription. If you keep up with the printables, All You coupons, and various other “found” coupons (facebook, mailers, etc) the newspaper coupons will pale in comparison. Your newspaper subscription might not save you as much as you think it will!
- You make all your own food from scratch. If you are truly self sufficient (grow your own fruits and vegetables, raise your own meat, collect your own milk and eggs, etc) then coupons will not save you money.
- When coupons will tempt you to buy things you do not need. If you are the type of person who will buy something simply because the coupon exists then do not tempt yourself. Coupons are best when paired with a sale. If they are used on full price items then they will not save you much. One of the ten reasons why you are not rich is that you buy things you do not need.
- When you can get a generic brand for less. When a coupon is paired with a sale you can get a name brand item for cheaper than a generic brand. However, if you use a coupon on a full price name brand item then it might still be more costly than the generic brand.
- When you are already “stocked”. There is no reason to buy things that you already have enough of. This can be hard to remember when you can buy your household supplies for free at CVS and Walgreens, but you still do not need to overbuy. Figure out how large you want your stock to be and give the extra supplies away.
And here are two BAD reasons to not use coupons:
- You eat too “healthy”. Almost all food comes with a coupon. My favorite quote was from a newspaper article where the writer said that “I don’t use coupons because you always see them for corn pops, never for Special K”. Special K coupons are always out there. If you grow your own food then you cannot save money. If your idea of healthy is Special K than you can save lots of money using coupons. There are coupons for produce and coupons for organic food out there (my organic coupon list has over a hundred coupons available).
- You make too much money. Being financially free is about increasing your income AND decreasing your costs. Without both you will be doomed to the “rat race” forever. If you read The Millionaire Next Door you will learn that millionaires use coupons, live in a small house, and live below their means! The more you save, the more you can put towards the things you want (a vacation, retirement, or that new pair of shoes you’ve been watching).