Couponer: Beware!

Today we’re featuring a second post on couponing by our friend Whitney Sparks, a financial coach recently featured on the Dave Ramsey show. Every year she literally saves THOUSANDS of dollars by her smart use of coupons. Since I’m not an expert at couponing, I asked her if I could share her message with you. I hope you enjoy! (You can find Whitney’s blog at www.whitneysparks.net)

Couponer: Beware

Well, the weekend is upon us and it’s that time again…time to go grocery shopping. Ugh! I know it can be dreadful and tiring but it has to be done. Eating at home makes more “cents” than eating out. Remember that when going on your dreadful shopping trip. So before you head out this weekend here are a few tips about using coupons (I learned some of this the hard way).

Using Coupons Could Actually Wind Up Costing You More Money

Last week I showed you where to find coupons. If you have forgotten then click here. Finding coupons and then ordering more can be a great technique if you are wanting to start a stockpile. I have a small stockpile of things in my garage and upstairs in one of our closets. The problem with stockpiling is that you could be spending your hard, earned cash on junk. When we were very poor and pinching every penny, I found myself buying a lot of junk just because it was cheap or free. Now I am a little more selective. I will say, though, that it’s very hard to pass up free. I was watching a television show on using coupons one night and I saw the funniest thing. One lady had stocked up on I don’t know how many bottles of mustard and the husband said, “Well, I don’t even like mustard”.

That’s what I mean by spending more than you actually need to spend. What a waste! Now if you were collecting that mustard to donate to a food bank then that’s one thing, but to take it home and have it just sit there on the shelf and never be used is ridiculous! If I can get something for absolutely FREE (and I don’t mean a rebate) then I might stockpile on certain things. But there have been times that I could have gotten certain items for .50 and I refuse to spend the money if it’s not something that I’m going to use or donate. I would rather spend that .50 on something that I’ll actually use!

Is Your Time Invested Really Worth The Savings?

I can speak from experience when I tell you not to go overboard with the use of coupons. I used to go out early on Sunday mornings trying to find 6 papers. Now that using coupons has been made into a reality series, it seems like it is getting harder and harder to find papers. Which is great! That means that people are getting out there and really using their coupons. But if you are spending so much time organizing and preparing your coupons for a very small savings then you’re having to take that time away from something, or someone.

Now, instead of running all over town on a Sunday morning, I enjoy that time with my kids. If I get out that afternoon and find a paper then great! If not, then I can order coupon inserts online. No biggie. I used to spend every Sunday afternoon clipping coupons and then organizing them. One day I would like to get back to that routine, but for right now a nap is on my agenda every Sunday since I work full-time during the week and devote most of my weekends to my small business. I hope this does not deter you from using coupons. Just like with anything, it just needs to be done correctly. Anybody can overspend if they’re not careful.

From Wesley

Whitney has a couponing class which she is going to start soon. If you’re interested, click here. You can do it in person if you’re in the College Station area in Texas, or you can do it via Skype. She is charging a ridiculously low-cost for this, which you will easily recoup on your next trip to the grocery store after taking her class. I’m not benefitting in any way from this, other than feeling good about spreading a message that you need to hear if you’re on the journey of becoming debt free.

Committed to your success,

Wesley

P.S. Please leave us a comment – how have you benefitted from using coupons? Any tips you’d like to share?

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One Response to “Couponer: Beware!”

  1. MK Adams Says:

    Whitney offered her coupon class free of charge during our Financial Peace University classes over a year ago. It was so great! I used to think that coupons weren’t worth the effort, then I learned that was because I was doing it wrong. The class changed the way I coupon, and I even got the kids involved. My 11yo once told me, “Mom, you should wait to buy that, I know we have a coupon for it at home.” I learned so much from Whitney both in the coupon class and at FPU. She is an tremendous individual and truly has a passion for what she does- an amazing mom and a great teacher. You can’t go wrong by taking either class from her.

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