Tuesday, April 26, 2011

5 Couponing Myths Debunked

I've been thinking about this post for a few days now. I've put off writing it because my feelings were hurt a little. Just a little. Partly because I want so badly to help others to be able to do what I do, which is be able to contribute to my household in a very tangible way.  But it seems as though, when I mention couponing, people would rather pay full price, and continue shopping the way they know how, than learn something new.

Because of this, I decided to debunk these couponing myths. I'm sure some of you will read this and say, "Yep, I feel/felt that way too". I hope that you will keep reading, however, so that you can overcome the obstacles holding you back from couponing.
  • I only use a certain brand. To this I ask, "Have you looked for a coupon for that brand?" What folks don't know is that you are not limited to the coupons that appear in your Sunday paper. These days, you can purchase the time and effort of a coupon clipping service, or an ebay seller who can cut, and mail the coupons you want to you. Also, companies LOVE brand loyalty. If I've not seen a coupon recently for a product I "MUST" have/use, I write to them, and you can too. Writing to them often results in coupons for those very products.
  • I don't have time to coupon. Ah yes, the old no-time-for-that excuse. I say: "I spent under 15 hours just last week, researching, collecting, matching up my coupons and shopping with them." In that time (which is less than a part-time job), I was able to provide over $400 in retail value of merchandise for, literally, nothing." Now sure, not every week is going to result in savings like that, but you can come really close. By my math, I paid myself $26.66 an hour to coupon last week. That's really good wages where I live. 
  • I'm not a very organized person. This is a habit that can be changed. Personally, when I had a dedicated desk for myself, it was a wreck. Oh, I knew exactly where anything I needed was, but no one else did. When I decided that coupons were going to be a big part of my shopping, I taught myself to become more organized. This did not happen over night, but it did happen. I am now the proud owner of an awesomely organized binder. (Watch for an upcoming youtube video of my binder in the coming weeks.) You don't have to start with a binder. You don't have to go to a binder at all. There are several ways to organize coupons, and only you can decide what works best for you. 

  • I don't get a Sunday paper. Well, it would behoove you to get one. It would also behoove you to get multiple papers when the coupon offerings are great. However, you can turn to friends, and relatives for coupons if they are willing to give them to you. One Extreme Couponer, Joyce, from the Extreme Couponing series on TLC showed us that she goes door to door asking her neighbors for their unused coupons. Believe me; Ask and you will receive. You can bid on eBay, or utilize a coupon clipping service to get great coupons. You can even print coupons on your own printer at home. You will soon have so many coupons you will be glad you taught yourself the art of organization.
  • You only get good coupons for cleaning products OR You only get good coupons for junk food.  This, I assure you, is not the case. There are coupons for every category of item imaginable. While yayacouponz is geared toward grocery and drug store shopping, you can even get coupons from your favorite clothing retailer. Personally my food budget is super tight. This is why when a great cleaning or non-food product is available for super cheap or free, I get it. Because money not spent on those items frees up money in my budget for my food needs. It comes down to matching up sales at the stores with the coupon that will give you the best savings. Stick around, because we are doing our best to show you how to do just that.
Finally, and getting back to having my feelings hurt, just a little.

Recently my own flesh and blood said to me: You can shop for me, I'll pay you.
Hmmm, tempting. I'm not going to "out" the person, who I love dearly, but I will say this: I believe in the Chinese Proverb-Give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you will feed him for lifetime. Besides, the truth is, what I might think is a great deal, you may not. What I need and want for my family may be very different than what you need or want for yours. By learning the basics of couponing, and combining that with the needs of your family, you can score some really great deals. Besides, I'm liking that $26 an hour wage I'm already paying myself.

I encourage you, today to:

Make a promise to yourself that you will no longer pay retail prices for the items your family uses.

Make a commitment to trying to be more organized, and to welcome couponing into your life.

Give yourself a chance to get used to the changes you make and watch how blessed your cupboards will become.

Until next time,


Bailey said...

I have learned not to take it personally when you offer people help and they reject it. I have been working with family for ages on budgeting and other money related issues. When people are open I will help. However, others have to get there on their own.

I managed to stop myself from laughing out loud when my SIL started bragging to me on Easter and trying to teach me about couponing. I realize she has just "found" her way after ignoring the rest of us for years. However, it is hilarious to hear her lecturing us on the deals that can be found and where to find them.

I go by the motto you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. I said nothing to my SIL. I'm just glad she found the water.

WAH Adventures! said...

This will be great for a couponing group I joined on Facebook. I will be sure to share with them!

Chrystal Mahan said...

LOL@ Bailey.

I used to be really good about couponing. I am at a point in life where I am going to have to take the time to get back in to it. I found a few clipping sites online that I feel would be better than the Sunday papers that are available around me.

It does take time, which is something I really don't have right now with school and work. I use the coupons that are available to me, but that's all the effort I have right now.

Once life slows down after school I plan to get back to work full time and spend more time getting better organized with my coupons.

Anna said...

I have had lots of success finding coupons on Ebay. Lots of people are against the idea of paying for coupons, but it's actually helping you out in the long-run if the coupons are not available just everywhere and it's a brand you buy a lot. We got lots of organic stuff, and there aren't as many coupons for organic items in the Sunday paper, so Ebay has been really useful for that.

Carrie Beasley said...

I hear all the excuses you listed all the time! I just go on my way and enjoy all my free products by myself. I have taught a few people how to coupon, but have had many more want to just give me a list and let me shop for them. For my husbands elderly aunt, I do it. Everyone else can gather up their inserts and get to work themselves!