Editor’s Note: Lindsey will be holding her next coupon class on July 9, 2011 at The Meeting Place (near Belk) in the Vicksburg Mall. Space is limited, so you’ll need to pre-register. The cost for attending is $15, but you’ll get your money’s worth in coupons and when you put the lessons you learn into action, you’ll save that money hundreds of times over. Get in touch with Lindsey through her Facebook page or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many people do not coupon because there are some common misconceptions about couponing and couponers. I hope to clear up a few of the most common misconceptions that I hear for reasons not to use coupons.
Misconception #1: You have no time to use coupons.
This is the misconception that bothers me the most. You can MAKE time to coupon. Yes, using coupons does take time. The savings that you will see in the end are worth the time it takes to coupon. I have a crazy schedule and I make time to coupon. Time is money. If you take the time to coupon, you will save money.
Misconception #2: Coupons are only for products I wouldn’t buy.
I think this may be the most common misconception. The best part of couponing is that you get to pick and chose what is right for your own family. Just because you can get a product for free doesn’t mean you have to. I only use coupons for products that my husband and I already use or for products that we would like to try. Coupons are offered for all different kinds of products all the time.
Misconception #3: It’s cheaper to buy the generic brand than to buy a name brand product.
It is true that the generic brand is cheaper than the name brand. However, the generic brand is not cheaper than the name brand product on sale with a coupon. Most of the time, I don’t even look at the generic brand price because buying the item on sale and using my coupons, the name brand is going to be cheaper.
Misconception #4: You can’t eat healthy, balanced meals if you use coupons.
There are coupons for good healthy food. Yoplait and Dannon put out coupons regularly for yogurt. Dole and Fresh Express have coupons for bagged salad and Kraft would never let you go without dressing for your salad. You can even buy fat-free dressing if that is your choice. I personally like stocking up on the frozen veggies and Birds Eye and Green Giant are always offering coupons. There are many other coupons for foods that are healthy. You can find coupons for whole grain breads, peanut butter, 100% juices, protein and nutrition bars, and healthy drinks. Remember, you still choose what you eat when you use coupons.
Misconception #5: It is embarrassing to use coupons.
If my mom would have used a coupon binder when I was in high school, I would have been mortified! This is how I use to think of coupons when I was younger. I admit, the first time I took my coupon binder in the store I was a little embarrassed. I thought everyone would look at me and think that I could not afford to buy the items in my buggy. I soon got over my shyness with the binder and I now PROUDLY take my pink binder everywhere. I realized that I am being smart and saving money by using coupons. People should be embarrassed for throwing their hard-earned money away so easily on items.
Misconception #6: Couponers are hoarders.
The “Extreme Couponing” show has given many people the idea that couponers are hoarders. As with most anything in life, there are always a few fanatics. Most couponers shop just for their families or donate items to people in need. I only buy what my family can use up within a few months. Buying more than one of an item does not make you a hoarder.
I hope that I have helped to clear up some common misconceptions about using coupons. Couponing can be a resource to you and your family if you give it a try. I always tell people if I won the lottery tomorrow I would still be a couponer and carry my coupon binder with PRIDE! Remember, “Saving Money Makes CENTS.”