Saving money, much like making money, requires one key thing – planning. Every few days, we all have to make that essential trip to the grocery store for our necessities; some of us arrive equipped with an arsenal of coupons. But the real question is: how much money are we saving by using them?
It has been suggested that what draws consumers into coupon culture is the notion of “free money”, or the illusion that they are making smart choices by getting bargains on products. Of course, the problem that has been identified with this is that people are more likely to spend money on something they don’t need if they have a coupon for it; the company still makes a profit, and the consumer has now unintentionally blown their budget.
In some cases, deals on items only exist if you buy them in greater quantities; this is beneficial for non-perishable items that you can hold onto and use whenever, but other than that, it may not be completely worth it.
The overall argument is that they are predominately a marketing strategy. Companies use them to get more customers, draw attention towards a certain item that one wouldn’t purchase otherwise, or try a new product. Coupons offer discounts to the shoppers that use them, while those who don’t – or are unaware of the deal’s existence – will buy it for regular price.
However, there are ways around this; ebay coupons and discounts can be used consciously, thus meeting the consumer’s expectations. A quick internet search will tell you exactly what you need to do in order to save the money you intended.
The use of food coupons requires a lot of thinking. It is not wise to waste money on food you won’t eat, just because it was on sale; that being said, keep an eye on any couponing cycles that may exist with your regular supermarket – and always read the fine print.
For those who find couponing to be too time-consuming or complicated, buying store brands or shopping at wholesale stores like Costco may be a better alternative; there, you can buy larger quantities at regular low prices.
Paying close attention to what you buy can save you the money you intended, rather than causing you to throw it away after too much time on the shelf.