Most Common Mistakes Made by New Couponers

Couponing, Frugality, Saving Money

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With the possibility of huge savings to spur you on, it’s easy to get caught up in couponing. When you’re just starting out, however, it’s equally easy to commit errors that cost you money or cause you some embarrassment in the checkout line. These are the mistakes most commonly made by new couponers, and how you can avoid them.

Not Doing the Math

A lot of new couponers don’t do their math before heading to the store, and end up having to pay hundreds of dollars more than they expected. Always take the time to do the math so you know how much your total will be before and after the savings from coupons.

Failing to Read the Fine Print

Coupons come with a lot of fine print, and you ignore this at your peril. Make sure to read it carefully so that you know the exact specifications of the item a coupon is for. That way, you won’t end up with the wrong product in your shopping cart. You should also pay attention to a coupon’s expiration date.

Buying Things Just Because They’re On Sale

Many new couponers fall into the trap of buying things they don’t like simply because they’re on sale. No matter how big the discount is, doing this will waste your money. Don’t pick up items your family won’t use unless you intend to give them away as donations or gifts.

Refusing to Buy Products Without Coupons

Another extreme is refusing to buy the products you need unless you have coupons for them. Don’t put your family through a shortage of shampoo, cereal, or other necessities just because you’re waiting for a good deal. It’s alright to buy something at regular price if you need it immediately.

Chasing Down Every Deal Available

Couponing is hard work, and you’ll burn yourself out if you chase down every deal available in your area. Learn to pick and choose the sales that will be most useful to you, and don’t get frustrated if you miss one. After all, sales always come around again.

Using Coupons Immediately

Another strategic error common among new couponers is using a coupon immediately after finding it. Unless you need the product right away, you’ll save more if you wait for sales or mix and match coupons to get the best deals.

Clearing Shelves

There’s nothing more frustrating than preparing your coupons, driving to the store, and finding out that somebody else has cleared the shelves of the products you wanted. Don’t be the person who does that! Leaving some items behind for other customers is basic couponing etiquette.

Losing Patience with the Cashier

Couponing can be tough work for cashiers as well, and you won’t be doing anyone any favors if you lose patience with the person who’s ringing up your shopping. Don’t hold up lines by arguing with them about the store’s coupon policies. If you think the cashier has made a mistake, ask to be moved to customer service with the bare minimum of fuss.