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Coupons Galore

You have probably seen news stories about women who have paid three dollars for an overflowing cart of goods. I am amazed there are ‘couponers night out’ and ‘coupon swapping clubs.’ A quick Google search for ‘coupons’ returns about 1,220,000,000 results. Well, since we all strive to be financially savvy, maybe there is money to be saved with this idea. Let’s see.

Like many, I tried my hand at couponing…really couponing. Websites, newspapers, mailers, you name it. Here’s what I found…

…coupons galore.

Roughly translated that means coupons over here, coupons over there, coupons everywhere. Coupons for stuff I really didn’t need and probably shouldn’t even try to see if I may need it in the future. I tend to overdo and overdo with gusto. Thirty-eight bottles of ketchup and four hundred rolls of bathroom tissue might be classified as an overdo {I exaggerate – but you get the point}.

While on your quest to save every penny possible on purchases, consider these 3 points:

  1. NET BOTTOM LINE. Do you really need the item for which you have a coupon? If not, is the item something that you would like to try? Can you use the coupon where you usually shop or is it only redeemable at a store across town? Let’s calculate : 1 gallon of gas to drive across town $3, coupon value $3, equals savings of $0. On the other hand, if you are using the coupon along with other shopping that you would do anyway, savings equals $3. It is important to evaluate. Does the coupon REALLY add to your net bottom line?
  2. TIME, WEAR and TEAR. You have $30 worth of coupons for all the things you REALLY, REALLY like, need, and want. But it requires a stop at three stores. You drive, park, go in, get the goods, stand in line, use coupon, pay, take to car, drive to next spot and repeat. Plus, you had to take a rain check on one item necessitating another trip next week. And it started raining while you were there. It took you three hours to get it all done. $30 divided by 3 hours = $10 per hour savings. Or is it? How do you value your time? What about the wear and tear on you? Did you feel energized by the experience? Or did you have to lie down when you got home?
  3. IF YOU ARE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT, CLAP YOUR HANDS! Do you find the whole coupon clipping process pleasurable? Or have you placed so much emphasis on saving $3.49 that it’s actually cost you the good feeling/good mood/happy day? Did you scream at the children while zooming around the aisle corners on two wheels like a crazy woman on a quest to find the treasure? Have you made the family eat/wear/use, dare I say, something they hate, because you bought it because you had a coupon and because you are a financially-savvy-couponing-woman?

Obviously, this post is designed to make you laugh; however, its components are true…very true. Think about it. Have you let the goal of saving money overtake common sense associated with the net bottom line? Don’t get me wrong – I am an advocate for couponing – particularly for items ordered online or for large ticket items. A Google search will turn up coupons that actually save you money. Recently, I ordered an item online and found a 15% off coupon with a couple of keystrokes. Fifteen percent is a nice savings when it takes less than two minutes to find it and apply it in the coupon code box at checkout.

The moral of the story is to count the cost and evaluate the true net bottom line {in dollars and sanity} BEFORE you begin. If you enjoy the process and find it to be like a treasure hunt, exhilarating, fun, or want something to occupy your time like those peeps on Wall Street…I say “clip on girl…clip on.”

Question:  Are you a “couponer” or have you tried it?  Do you have any tips-or-tricks that have helped you?  Share you comment by clicking here.

 

AboutDeborah Hightower

Deborah Hightower’s hyphenate: financial consultant-speaker-songwriter-singer-author-expansion expert. In the financial arena, Deborah helps individuals, corporations, and organizations develop and implement comprehensive plans for accumulation and/or distribution of wealth. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a minor in Communication; a Master’s Degree in Organization and Management; and is well on her way to completing a PhD in Leadership. She holds several professional designations and is well versed in the challenging financial issues of today.
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