When striving to save money during a bad economy, it is often easy to make several common mistakes as you try to stretch your dollars to the maximum. One of these is falling into the “coupon trap”. Using manufacturer’s coupon can be a great way to save money but it can also cost you extra if it’s approached in the wrong manner.
The offers are numerous and show up everywhere. Buy one and get one free. Get a dollar off if you try the new and improved version or an almost endless number of other seemingly great offers. It is important to remember that businesses use coupons to get you to spend “your” money on “their” products. Here is where the danger of using coupons can be costly.
People are creatures of habit and once they find a good product they tend to continue to buy and use that product. Coupons are often used to entice you to buy something you don’t normally use. Just the simple act of trying to find a discount coupon for something you normally use can be a frustrating experience.
Saving money by using coupons is great when you can do so in a manner that affords you the opportunity to save money on products you actually use. If you’re buying items simply to take advantage of the coupon, you’ve fallen into the trap. New and improved versions are sometimes simply the same product in a different package (often with less in it) and only slight variations from the regular product.
It’s very easy to fall into the “coupon trap” if you’re not careful. Been there and done that! What’s hard is realizing that you spent “your” money on a product that you never used or eventually threw away because it didn’t fit your actual needs.
Coupons are a good thing and can be used successfully if done with the intention of saving money on things you actually use but can waste money if they’re used on items that your family won’t.
Be aware. Be informed. Be prepared.