People see the shows on TV, read the articles in magazines and even know people that play the coupon game and win big. It's easy to get caught up in the hype of getting free groceries. There's only one problem. Did you know that coupons can actually increase the cost of your grocery bill? It's true. If you don't play the coupon game properly, you can lose big. Here are just a few of the ways that coupons can increase your spending.
Buying Things You Don't Use
One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying things they don't use because there's a coupon for it. Even if you're able to get that item for less than $1, it's not a deal. You have to clip your coupons wisely and only clip coupons for what your family uses. The only exception to this rule is clipping coupons for free products. There are times when companies will put free coupons in the paper so that people will try new items and if you think you'll like the product, by all means, clip that coupon!
Not Reading the Fine Print
This is one area where you can get in a lot of trouble. While a coupon may seem like a good deal, there are times when it's not. Upon reading the fine print you usually find out that you need to buy two or more products to use the coupon. When you get to the register, you find out that you can't use the coupon, but many people buy the item anyway. This can have a big impact on the total of your grocery bill. Clip responsibly and only use coupons that require multiple purchases if it's a great deal and you will use that much of the product.
Purchasing More Than You Need
It's obviously a great deal to score canned goods at $0.25 per can, but can your family eat 10 cases of baked beans before they go bad? If not, you're wasting money. It may not seem like you're wasting much, but let's say that five of those cases expire. That's $15 wasted. Don't buy more than you can eat before the expiration date, even if it's an unbelievable deal.
Shopping Based on Coupons
One last mistakes that can raise the cost of your grocery bill is making a shopping list based on your coupons. The truth is it's rare to find coupons for produce and fresh meat. This means that if your entire list contains items that you have coupons for, you may find it hard to make a complete meal once you get home. This means you'll have to go back to the store and try to plan meals around what you bought. It shouldn't be this way. You should instead plan meals around what you have on hand and what's on sale. If you have coupons, that's a bonus.