Is Couponing Hurting You Financially?
When I first started using coupons, I had a few coupons and one shelf in my closet where I stored my extra products (I wouldn’t have even called it a stockpile). But after more than a year of serious couponing, I had built a large multi-shelf stockpile with plenty of products.
Having a stockpile is a great way to save money, but lately I have been wondering: “has using coupons and building my stockpile made me spend more money than I would have spent normally?”
I was going to be all scientific about it and do the math to see the actual spending difference, but around the time I became more serious about using coupons and stockpiling, I went from a single gal to a couple and their dog.
Since my partner and I were spending more money with more people in the house and more income coming in, that threw all the math out the window.
So without being scientific about it, this is how I figured out the ways that I avoided overspending:
I stuck to my budget
Whether you use coupons or not, it’s important to stick to your budget when shopping. And using coupons won’t actually save you money if you still spend, spend, spend just because something is a “good deal”.
Before shopping, I made sure to check the sale flyers, so when using my coupons I knew I was getting the best price possible and only stocking up as much as my budget allowed.
I only bought things I needed
My stockpile is full of items that we use on a regular basis; toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher tabs, lotion and juice, just to name a few. Some things you won’t find in my stockpile: cat food, coffee, diapers and baby wipes.
You won’t find these items in my stockpile because these are items that we do not use. We will not spend money on these items just because we have coupons for them. I would much rather trade coupons or give coupons to others who will actually use those products.
The exception to only buying what we will use is when I buy items for my donation bin. If I can get a great deal on items that I know the shelter or food bank is in need of, I will pick some up. Of course, still making sure I am staying within my budget.
I didn’t buy crazy amounts of items
One thing I have learned is that just because you have 10 coupons doesn’t mean you need to buy 10 of that item. In addition to staying within my budget, I also make sure not to buy more of a product than I need.
I will admit though, that in the past, I have gone a little crazy on a good deal and bought more than I really needed to have on hand. It was a mistake, and I don’t recommend you do this.
So do I think that using coupons has made me spend more money? Nope! Have I made some mistakes? Yes. I’ve gone over my budget for the week a couple of times and I definitely bought way too many boxes of tissues on one of my shopping trips.
Many new couponers make these same mistakes, but it’s okay. We learn from our mistakes and we move on. As long as you are sticking to your budget and not buying items just to use up coupons, you will be saving money and you will have a great stockpile for your family.