Coupons Are Like Cash

6 Oct

I read several blogs each day and this is an article that was posted by Heather.  I have actually been working on a post on this exact thing, but why reinvent the wheel.  Here is her article.  Enjoy!  I have made a few comments along the way in green.

Using coupons on products you normally buy keeps more cash in your wallet. That’s why you should treat your coupons like cash.

Here are some tips on how to respect and protect your valuable coupons:

Avoid fly-aways
You wouldn’t let a dollar bill fall on the ground outside the grocery store, so why would you let a coupon that can potentially save you a dollar? Do not throw those Catalina coupons that spit out at the register on top of your bagged purchases. You should immediately put those coupons inside your purse or your coupon file so there is no chance they will “fly away” between the cash register and your car. I have found lots of coupons on the ground outside the store, and I’ve even found coupons for free products and Walgreen Register Rewards! That’s like leaving cash on the ground – and I like to keep cash in my wallet.

Keep them organized
If you can’t find a coupon to use it before it expires, then it’s not saving you any money. A well-organized coupon file saves you time and money. I like to keep things simple and file my coupons in a plastic accordion-style file labeled with major categories.  (My coupon file is labeled as follows:  Baby, Beverages, Bread/Cereal, Cleaning, Dairy/Meat, Frozen, Paper Goods, Personal, Sauces/Seasoning, Soups/Canned Goods, Veggies and then a general area for miscellaneous coupons like batteries, light bulbs and things like that.  Being organized is so very important.  Keep coupons that will expire soon in the front of each category.  Not using the coupons on things that you would normally buy is just like throwing money away!)

Protect them if “Lost and Found”
Write your name and phone number on your coupon file. This increases the chances of it being returned to you if you loose it. I personally have lost my coupon file (with over $100 worth of coupons inside) by leaving it in the grocery cart in the parking lot. I did not have my name and phone number on it, but fortunately it was returned to the Customer Service desk and I picked it up the next day.  (I hadn’t ever thought about this, but I will be writing my contact info on my file immediately!  I would hate to lose it.  It definitely has more than $100 in coupons inside!)

Don’t commit coupon fraud
Don’t even try to use a coupon that has expired or coupons that have been copied. There are enough legitimate coupons out there that everyone can save money. When coupon fraud becomes a problem at stores, guess what happens? All consumer lose because that store stops accepting these types of coupons that are being abused (free product or printables).  (Please do not commit coupon fraud.  I thoroughly enjoy the savings using coupons, but many stores will discontinue accepting coupons if people are being fraudulent.  I am not sure if Target has changed their policies corporately, or just in my area, but Target stores started placing a 5 coupon limit on each person, and they were not accepting coupons printed from the computer.  I need to check on their written policies, but this is just an example of a store’s response to coupon fraud.)

Be generous with coupons
Some coupons might not be capable of saving you cash because you’re already stocked-up on a product, or they are for products you don’t normally use. Give these coupons to others who can use them, or simply be a coupon fairy.  (I was a coupon fairy on Sunday night at Walmart.  I was standing in the soap aisle and I was thumbing through my coupons looking for ones that would soon expire, when I noticed a young couple comparing prices.  They really wanted to buy the Dove Body Wash which was $5.47, but that was too high.  They were going to settle for another brand that cost about $2 less.  Well, as I flipped through my coupons, I came across a $2 off Dove Body Wash coupon and kindly handed it to the couple.  They looked very puzzled and then happy about being able to purchase the body wash they really wanted.  So, share the savings and bless someone else with a coupon!)

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