Do you use coupons?
I’m not too great at couponing usually. My busy schedule combined with the fact that I always forget to bring the coupons when I go shopping makes me a terrible “couponner”. On the other hand, I really want to get my spending under control and want to save money, especially this year since I just bought a pool. Let’s just say that budgeting has become my #1 priority this summer.
I’ve already gone through my main expenses and tried to cut everywhere I could. The next step is not to pay less for what I usually buy, right? This is why I came to the decision that couponing could be a good solution in order to spend less money.
And There Goes the Coupon Booklet Guy!
As I am currently in this mindset, the doorbell rings right before we have supper. This is never a good sign. Nobody knocks on your door at 6pm during the week… unless it’s the Coupon Booklet Guy!
I opened the door with my little one in my arms. I’m already ready to close it as fast as I opened it. But the booklet guy starts his speech and he is pretty good. There is something telling me that they go through an intensive three week “sales rep boot camp” of pure practice 18 hours a day! As the guy starts his sales pitch I’m thinking:
“Aaahh, I need to go back to the kitchen, the kids are hungry”
“What is he talking about anyway? 25 bucks!?! That’s a lot for a booklet!”
“All right, give it to me, I’ll take a look to be polite…”
“Wow… there are definitely places I go in here… hum… the rebates are not bad at all…”
“Darn… he just left my house and I just bought the coupon booklet!”
Am I Poorer of $25 or Richer by $250?
You know how they sell right? You pay a *small* $25 and get a *huge* package worth more than $250… As long as you spend $2,500 in these stores I guess… right?
I’m not too keen at buying something when someone knocks on my door. In fact, I rarely buy stuff as I have absolutely no problem to close the door while the guy keeps talking. Don’t worry; they are fine even if you close it while they talk. It’s one of their strategies as they bet on the fact that you will be polite and would never end an ongoing conversation. We were not raised like that, right?
This time though, I bought the booklet… This was a month ago.
I was half happy, half upset as I wasn’t sure if I was richer or poorer with this coupon booklet in my possession. But after a month, I can tell that I’m richer. I’ve already benefited from $15 in rebates from things that I planned to buy anyways before buying the booklet. After all, it was a good deal since most rebates I will use are not linked to restaurants (mind you, there are tons of rebates at good restaurants… but dining out is not part of cutting in my budget!).
A Few Rules To REALLY Benefit From Your Booklet
When you look at it with your calculator, coupon booklets are always a great deal. It is true that you will save more money than you spend to buy it. But you need to follow a few rules if you want to really benefit from it and not spend beyond your budget to get the additional rebates!
#1 Study your booklet: You need to look at the booklet once a month to remember which stores have rebates and if you plan to go there this month.
#2 Establish Your Budget BEFORE looking at your booklet: It’s important to assess your needs before assessing your rebates!
#3 Keep your booklet close to you: The worst thing you can do is keep your booklet in a drawer. Leave it on the kitchen table or in your car to make sure that you see it from time to time.
#4 Keep a few coupons in your wallet: Keeping the booklet with you can be too cumbersome. However, having a few coupons in hidden in your pocket could be very useful.
#5 Plan your shopping journeys accordingly: Try to plan your expenses with the booklet in mind. This will help you save more when you plan to spend anyways!
What Do You Think of Coupon Booklets?
Readers, I’m curious to hear about your own experience; what do you think of coupon booklets? I’ve bought a few in the past and they resulted in bad experiences. Only this time, I think I will get more than my $25 back! What about you? Do you use coupons? Do you pay for coupon booklets?