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Why I Hate Coupons

Well, I don’t HATE coupons, but I’m actually not a big fan of them.  Don’t freak out!  Let me explain.

Coupons encourage shopping, and when you are shopping, you are spending money.  I can hear you now, “But when I use a coupon I’m saving money!”  If you are using the coupon to buy something you would have bought anyways, then yes, you are right.  But the majority of people don’t use coupons that way. 

Most people get a coupon and use it to spend money they wouldn’t have spent otherwise.  Don’t believe me?  The proof is in the coupons themselves.  If they didn’t work to bring in additional income the manufacturers wouldn’t put them out.  Putting out coupons make them money.  They get money they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, which means people are spending money they wouldn’t have otherwise spent.

It’s hard to pass up a good deal.  And that is exactly why coupons work.  When you get a coupon, or see a sale, you should always ask yourself… “Would I be buying this even if it wasn’t on sale?”

 I had a college professor once who loved him some coupons.  I can still hear him saying “It’s like printing money!”  It’s only like printing money if you use them correctly and don’t get suckered into shopping when you weren’t planning on it. If you do your weekly shopping based on the flyers and available coupons to shave a few dollars off your grocery budget, fine.

About three months ago I got a coupon from Famous Footwear.  I signed up for their membership program where you earn points when you buy things, you know the deal.  So finally, after like a year, they send me my first reward, a $10 coupon.  Sweet!  This is my coupon, I earned it!  My son needed some new sneakers so we headed down there, coupon in hand.

Well, they didn’t really have anything we liked for a price I was willing to pay, even after the $10 off.  But while I was there I saw a super cute pair of shoes for me.  They were $60 marked down to $40, then with my coupon they were only $30.  Hey, alright… 50% off!

I’ve worn them once.  So let me ask you, did I save $30 or did I spend $30?  I would have been better off if I had just thrown that coupon away.

4 comments… add one

  • Jeffrey April 12, 2011, 3:20 pm

    This is all very true. I guess that’s why they make the coupons in the first place!

  • Ashley April 12, 2011, 3:46 pm

    @ Jeffery: Exactly!

  • sandy @ yesiamcheap April 12, 2011, 5:38 pm

    come on, they’re not SO bad. Only an amateur would buy something that they don’t need because of a deal. I specifically look for things that I buy and clip those coupons. I’ve been known to e-mail specific manufacturers of products that I use a lot for coupons. They are usually good about sending some over. :)

  • Khaleef @ KNS Financial April 29, 2011, 6:54 am

    Hey Ashley, you have a good point. I know that a lot of people buy things they don’t need, simply because they have a coupon. The other thing that I notice is that they will spend more just to get a deal – buying 5 of an item, instead of the one they intended to buy!

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