Are Coupons Just a Manufacturer’s Gimmick?

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by on September 3, 2009

shopping sale If you use coupons, more than likely you have had someone ask you this. I recently had a reader comment along these lines and although I respect the reader’s opinion, I disagree.

Do manufacturer’s release coupons to get consumers to try their products? Of course. But that doesn’t mean that we have to buy something just because we have a coupon for it or that we have to pay the highest price for that item. I have tried many new products with my coupons, but they are usually higher quality products that are cheap or FREE (another reason I don’t buy generic).

Coupons are a blessing to people trying to save money. In this economy, many people need to find a way to feed their families, buy gifts, or enjoy a few splurges, and using coupons can help make that possible, especially when matched with a sale.

So, how can you get the best deal, and not get “suckered” into spending more? Here are a few tips:

  • Make a list of what you are going to buy AND stick to it.
  • Organize your coupons ahead of time so you are ready to get the best FREE and cheap deals.
  • Limit impulse buying: Don’t shop hungry, only go to the aisles that you are getting products from, or only pay with cash.

You are in control of your spending, not the manufacturer’s or the stores, so enjoy those sales and your coupons!

What tips do you have to make sure you don’t spend more than you intend?


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  • The Grocery Game helps a lot too!

  • I think people need to learn to educate themselves when something hits its lowest price. Got Hefty veggie bags for free at Ralphs today — would I have normally bought? No. But free is free. Ig to buy a splurge is just pocket change, I will go ahead, because I feel it improves my standard of living without harming the bottom line. But you’re right — lists are the best strategy Know the prices. And look at your percentage off. I personally use as my planning site (and it’s free). But whatever works for you.
    .-=´s last blog ..Download coupons to your grocery store card =-.

  • I believe a big part of maximizing your dollar value when using coupons is to know your lowest price. Sure you might have a coupon that can pair with a sale but is that the lowest price you’ll find on that item? If it is, then buy it. If you are still paying more than you would for say another similar product then no, it’s not a good deal. I also find that if you buy something no matter how cheap you get it for, if you don’t use it, you are wasting your resources and time by buying it. It just depends on your own personal needs and what you value.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Printable =-.

  • I completely agree, Amanda. This really fits in line with a previous post about Being Frugal and Valuing Your Resources. I always compare prices and go for the cheapest, which a lot of times is FREE. I really wanted to address the concern that some people may have with going for a FREE (or very cheap) product and spending additional money. I think that when you value your resources (time, money, etc) you don’t just aimlessly spend money on pointless products.

  • Definitely! Educating yourself is key to know what a good price is in your area. But you are right, FREE is FREE- I just don’t recommend getting free things if you know you won’t use it-that would be a waste.

  • Back when I was in college studying advertising and communications (a million years ago), one big thing we were taught was this: the purpose of advertising is to sell a product. Why not? What’s the point of manufacturing an item and rarely selling it? I’m all for capitalism, and if that means manufacturer’s offer coupons (a form of advertising), so be it. You are right, it is up to us to make our decisions whether or not to use something. I love that I can get brand-name items free, or practically free. I love that I can try new things without breaking the bank. I love that I have a well-stocked pantry because of them!
    So…bring on the coupons!
    .-= mom2fur´s last blog ..I’m glad I was… =-.

  • Beautifully said!


    Stop by and visit me over at Free 2 Be Frugal!
    .-= niki´s last blog ..Frugal Friday…Keeping Company Simple =-.

  • Pingback: Frugal Friday: Get Out of Debt with a Budget | Life As Mom()

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