Do you believe these couponing myths?Couponing is a great way to save big on everything... from body wash to biscuits. With all of the media attention on coupon use, you may be left wondering-- what's real and what's hype? Here are a few of the most common couponing misconceptions.
Myth 1: You only save a dollar here or there, it's not worth it
Most people who are new to the world of couponing will get a coupon and run to the store to use it. This is a mistake that costs them more than they save. You can save more. Manufacturers know when they put coupons out, and so do stores-- and they adjust prices accordingly. The trick is to wait until the item goes on sale and then use your coupon. This means more money in your wallet. There are sites all over the internet that will provide you with a list of current sales and what coupons to use along with the sale to get the best prices. My personal favorite is DiscountDame.com but I may be biased (since that's my site).
Myth 2: Couponing is embarrassing
I remember when I first tried couponing five years ago. No one was into couponing, and doing it and frugal was the "F-word." In a "bigger is better" and "more equals merrier" culture, saving money with coupons seemed embarrassing and daunting. Times have changed with the recession. The one up side (yes there is an up side) is that attitudes towards frugal living have changed dramatically. Those of us who clip coupons have become the rock stars of our local grocery stores.
Related: Couponing for Beginners
Myth 3: Coupons are only for junk food
Junk food is restricted to one shelf in the smallest cabinet in my home. We are a whole grain, organic when possible, veggie loving family and we pay for those veggies and whole grains with coupons. Stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods accept coupons-- Trader Joes accepts coupons for brands besides their own. Whole Foods even offers a 10% discount for purchasing by the case. Another tip: Safeway is great about offering coupons on their website for their O organics line that you can load directly onto your club card, no clipping necessary! Bottom line-- there are plenty of coupons out there for healthy food.
Myth 4: You have to devote 40 hours a week to save money using coupons
Not all couponers are extreme... on average, a smart couponer will spend between two and four hours a week "prepping" for their weekly shopping trip(s). Using online matchups and having an organized coupon system are the key to trimming time.
Related: Savings in the Fast Lane - How to Read a Coupon Matchup
Myth 5: I'm going to save 99% on my grocery bill or get everything free
Unless you devote every moment of your free time or make it your full time job it's not likely. You will get free items a few times a month at first, and as your coupon collection grows, maybe a few times a week. But many stores, especially on the west coast, do not double coupons. Most stores don't allow for overages to be paid out, so don't expect to get money back at the end of your shopping trip. Do go online before you shop and print a copy of your stores coupon policy and read it through.
So is clipping coupons worth it? I think so. Smart couponing shaves between 40-70% off your weekly grocery bill, affording you the time and money to do the things you love.
More from GalTime: