Coupons are nothing new. In fact, they have existed since the 1800s, attempting to lure shoppers into buying their products at a steep discount.
Even extreme couponing has been around for a while. But recently the craze has seen a lot more coverage as some moms go to extraordinary lengths to save some money. There are even whole TV shows dedicated to this phenomenon.
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But is extreme couponing everything that it is made out to be? How much does it really save you? I love saving money just as much as the next mom, but to go to such extreme lengths doesn’t seem like a good use of my precious little time.
So let’s take a look why people do it, and whether it’s really worth all that effort.
What is Extreme Couponing?
Coupons are just adverts that you used to have to cut out of newspapers or magazines and bring with you to the checkout so that you could receive the specified discount. As the internet age dawned, coupons moved online, with whole websites dedicated to providing these deals.
Extreme couponing refers to the activity of spending hours scouring the coupon websites, buying and cutting them out of local papers, or pouring through junk mail to find deals and discounts. “Extreme couponers” then proceed to use them for anything they can, often saving a bunch of money in the process.
A common use for coupons is for buying items that form part of your weekly grocery shopping. However, there are some moms out there that shop for their groceries solely using coupons.
So How Much Can Coupons Save You?
Usually coupons present you with a big enough discount to make you choose one brand’s product over another, but not so much that they would lose money on the offer.
In monetary terms, and this of course varies from item to item, you are usually looking at $2-$4 dollars per coupon. Now you may be able to understand why some moms arm themselves with dozens of coupons before hitting shops. There’s definitely some serious savings to be made if you manage to find enough coupons.
So what’s the downside?
Is Extreme Couponing Time-Efficient?
In this day and age, time is money.
If you want to get into the craze of extreme couponing, then you are going to have to give up a lot of time to make those savings.
You could be spending an hour a day scanning the several different coupon websites, before heading out to buy local papers and magazines, and don’t forget meticulously going through your mail when you return!
All for total savings of less than $25.
Instead of putting this much focus into reducing your grocery bills, you would be better served using that time to earn money either by setting up a side hustle or working part-time for a local company. That way you could earn hundreds of dollars a week and not have to worry about spending your days seeking out the best deals.
Can Extreme Couponing Actually Cost You Money?
In a word, yes. You can actually lose money by using a coupon.
There are several different ways in which this could happen, but I’ll give you a quick example of how easy it is to lose money without realizing it.
You see a coupon for $2 off your favorite branded cereal. So then you print it off, which leaves you with one less piece of paper and reduces the ink left in your printing cartridge.
Then you head off to do your shopping, however you have to go to a store that’s further away as it’s the only place that this particular coupon is valid. Once you add up the cost of the paper, ink, extra fuel and the wear and tear on your vehicle it’s clear that the $2 dollar will have actually cost you money to redeem!
Wrap Up – Should You Use Coupons at All?
I’m not against coupons, if one happens to turn up in your mail offering a discount on a product at a grocery store that you happen to be shopping at anyway then you would be silly not to use it.
Coupons that you don’t have to go out of your way to use are great for making those little savings that only us moms can really appreciate!
But do not waste your time seeking out every possible deal online, or spending small fortunes on local newspapers. You would be much better served dedicating that time to either quality time with your family or working on a money-making venture that can eliminate the need for using coupons in the first place!