It is hard to find an article about frugal living that does not mention clipping coupons. The activity has become synonymous with saving money. However, it doesn’t come without pitfalls. In fact, the list below highlights some good reasons why you should hung up your scissors and stop clipping coupons altogether.
- The cost-reward ratio is low.
Traditional coupon clipping requires a lot of time and effort. Compared to the modest savings that it offers, you can sure find better uses of your time. The task is just so demanding – from buying the newspapers, clipping the coupons, organizing them, staying on top of expiration dates, and finding the stores that allows stacking, you should get the item for free with all the work you put in!
- You buy things you won’t normally buy.
Coupons are manipulative. They get you to buy products that you otherwise would not buy, just to get the savings. It tricks your mind and even creates a new habit of purchasing that product. This is a problem if you are on a budget. You want to minimize wants and impulse purchases and focus on your needs. Most coupons distract you from your goal and wrap wants in a false idea of savings.
- There are better deals.
If you want to get your money’s worth, you do not need coupons. Just buy generics or wait for in-store sales. You will get the same deals, if not better compared to coupons, without going through an obstacle course. Some generics fair well against their branded counterparts. You still get good value even without commercials or fancy packaging.
- Coupons are mostly for processed food.
How many coupons have you seen for apples and other fresh food? Most coupons are for convenience foods like pre-made meals and ice cream. Healthy eating is almost impossible if you are trying to use coupons to save money on your groceries.
- You buy more items than you need.
Often, coupons require multiple purchases of an item. This is a good idea if you already love the product and use it a lot at home. But what if you are just trying out the new brand of coffee or new flavor of chips? What if your family ends up hating it? What are you going to do with the 10 boxes that you purchased? In this sense, the coupons encourage more waste than helping you to save money.