I’m not a coupon person. It’s a tough thing to admit when you spend as much time as I do writing about frugal living. Yes, I know coupons can save you thousands of dollars a year and I know diehard coupon clippers who swear by them. Me, not so much ‒ it’s one thing to clip a coupon, but it’s entirely another matter when it comes to remembering to pull it out of your wallet at the checkout. Here are five of my main pet peeves!
1. The ticking clock
Subscribers to deal-of-the-day sites like Groupon get daily emails offering discounts on everything from yoga classes to hamburgers, and all with a clock ticking right at the bottom of the offer. The message: act fast or lose out on a great opportunity to save! That kind of pressure is a recipe for impulse purchases. Sure those craft winemaking classes are a steal at $119, but if it’s not in your budget, then what have you really saved?
2. The fine print
Another thing about deal-of-the-day sites is that coupons often have an expiry date. If you don’t think you can use those spin or yoga classes in the next 360 days, then you might be throwing your money out the window. Coupons might also have strict guidelines about when you can use them, what you can buy and where you shop. You need to be careful and read about what you’re actually getting.
3. Is the coupon really the cheapest option?
A lot of coupons offer discounts on big name brands, which is fine if that’s your preference. But since I usually buy no name or store brands, coupons don’t always save me money. Even with the discount, the name brands tend to be more expensive. Make sure when you’re using a coupon that you are actually getting the best deal out there.
4. They can make you spend more
I got a “buy one, get the other 50 per cent off coupon” from a local boutique I like. That’s a great deal if you’re planning on buying two things. If not, the coupon could make you overspend just to get the 50 per cent off. If that’s the case, have you really saved anything?
5. The pressure to buy on sale
Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need it. If that Niagara wine tour isn’t in your budget at full price, a sale doesn’t mean it’s in your budget or that you can afford it (no matter how deep the discount).
Do you love or hate coupons? Feel free to share below.