Collecting coupons and using them in stores is a common enough thing, but some people make a few obvious mistakes that do not seem obvious until you point them out. Here are five you should look out for.
1. Buying extra because you have a coupon even though you do not need it
This is a very common superstore trick and millions fall for it each day. Have you ever noticed how stores always have offers on the same stuff all year round? If you go into a store right now you are guaranteed to see packs of yoghurts in multi-buy offers–you may even have a coupon for it. But, they are there to encourage you to buy more. The store knows that you do not need that many and they know that they perish quickly. This means they can put them on multi-buy discounts and ramp up the price of singles. You think you are getting a good deal whereas if they were charging a smaller price for the singles you would only buy one or two to get you through the week.
Look at those taster bottles of wine. How come they are always on offers in threes or fives? It is because the store knows you want a taster of the wine but they can convince you to buy more than one and ramp up the prices of singles. They charge you more for a single mini bottle than they do in pubs and clubs, but allow you to have three for just twenty or thirty cents more. This makes it look as if you are getting more when really they are just making you spend extra and giving you stuff you do not need.
Now consider onions which rarely have a discount on them. You can buy three in a pack and save a few cents on each onion or buy a single one for a fair price. They know that no discount on multiple onions is going to affect many people, so they keep the prices of singles down to a fair rate and do not give offers on onions. If you get an offer for money off of onions or multiple onions in one purchase, then consider it an extreme rarity. Take a look at your coupon and ask yourself if it is going to get you money off on something that you actually need. If you were putting that item on a list, would you have added that many on your list (two, five, etc).
2. Buying because there is a coupon
You didn’t really fancy pizza, but because there is a two for one offer on them then you buy them. It is the way of things and it is a manipulation technique called creating artificial time limits. You don’t fancy something right now, but because the coupon will expire you do not want to miss out. Many people justify the purchase such as saying, “Oh I can put it in the freezer.” If the item is not what you were going to buy then do not. If you do fancy the item but not now then make sure it will last a long time because either it has a long shelf life or because it may go in the freezer.
3. Assuming that you are missing out if you do not use the coupon
Just keep in mind that no coupon has ever been created just to save you money. It is created to stimulate sales, so buying something just because you have a coupon is silly.
4. Forgetting that you have a coupon
This is a common mistake and is one of those weird things because it is the one time you are not being manipulated. If you have bought an item but have not brought along a coupon then it is hard to say that the coupon manipulated you into buying. This is because you were probably going to buy the product anyway, which makes it even more of a shame that you forgot your coupon.
5. Not stacking or being unaware of coupon stacking rules
The idea of coupons is not to save you money. It is to increase sales and that is why companies do not like you using more than one coupon per item, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. You need to learn which coupons may be used with which because they are where you will genuinely save money. The most common stacking coupons involve a manufacturer coupon coupled with a store discount coupon. They normally run on different systems so the till/checkout will accept both coupons.