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Monday, March 27, 2017

5 Signs Couponing Isn't For You

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Do you have too many couponers in your life?

Are you tired of seeing other people's savings all over your social media feeds?

Do you wish the couponers you know could just shop like normal people for once?

Here are five signs that might indicate couponing isn't for you.

Sign #1: You have enough money to cover all your family's needs and wants.  

I'm not quite sure how you found this post, but good for you!

Seriously, statistics have shown that households earning $100,00 per year and up are actually more likely to coupon than lower-income families.  

That's because couponing is a terrific way to help your family achieve savings goals, plan vacations, or just set money aside for mom-needs-a-spa-day moments of stress.

So if you're ever having trouble keeping up with the Joneses, just remember that the Joneses are probably clipping coupons on the down low.

Sign #2: You literally don't shop for groceries.

I don't mean to be flip here -- depending on time and stress levels, I personally have experienced times in my life where my family bought basics from the gas station and otherwise ate out for virtually all our meals.

That is an expensive and frankly not very healthy way to live, but it CAN happen.

Luckily, now many areas have grocery delivery services like Instacart which can help you avoid sinking to that embarrassing point in your life.  

You probably won't save as much money on Instacart as you would fully couponing, but it will be loads cheaper than eating out multiple times per day. (And from my experience, it will probably also save you about 20 pounds as well.)

Note: The Instacart link above will save new users $10 off their first purchase plus free delivery.  See? You're saving already! 😁

Sign #3: Your family eats paleo/gluten-free/low-sugar and you can never find coupons.

This is something that my family is currently going through (a doctor-prescribed low-sodium diet, in our case) and it is absolutely true that it is harder to coupon for food when you have special diets to work around.

But it's still just as easy to coupon for cosmetics, personal care products, paper products, and pet food as it was before, right?  

Then depending on your family's size and usage of those items, you can funnel that savings into your new eating plan.  

A family of four, for example, could easily save between $50 and $100 per month just couponing for non-food items.  

That annual savings of $600 to $1200 per year will buy you a fair amount of extra veggies, or gluten-free frozen pizza, or whatever it is you now need.

I also recommend reaching out to companies that produce your products on social media and asking for coupons.  

You will be surprised how many gluten-free/organic/diabetic food brands are willing to send you coupons if you just ask.

Bonus: if you find yourself eating less because of your new special diet, you will also be buying less food, and saving money that way as well.  We are certainly finding that to be the case!

Sign #4: Just the thought of couponing stresses you out.  

What if a cashier denies your coupon?

What if the guy behind you in line starts yelling at you?

What happens if you go to the store and they are out of everything you wanted to coupon for?

If you're like me, your anxious brain can come up with all sorts of scenarios to help you avoid a maybe-possibly-sometimes-stressful experience.  

And trust me, those scenarios are way scarier when you are thinking about them than when they actually happen.

So it might be worth practicing doing something scary in order to reap the benefits from it. 

(I also have to give myself this advice when it comes to going to the doctor or calling utility companies to correct a billing mistake.)

But if you really want to fly under the radar, my advice would be to get really good at using store apps and rebate apps.  

That way, cashiers and random angry people in your checkout line have no idea you are couponing, but you still get to save money.

For example, I personally have saved over $8000 using my Ibotta rebate app since it launched back in 2012!

Sign #5: You see people on social media posting amazing savings and you don't even know where to start.

For some new or potential couponers, seeing crazy haul or stockpile photos is really inspiring.  

For other new or potential couponers, it's intimidating to see others having success with something you don't know anything about.

But remember, Rome wasn't built in a day -- and stockpiles aren't either.

If you fall into the 'this is really overwhelming group', go here for my free 5-step couponing checklist I put together earlier this year.

After all, it's easier to learn any new skill once you break it down into smaller, more readily understandable chunks of information.

And think a little bit about how you learn, as well.  For example, if you learn by practicing -- which is most of us -- you are going to eventually have to get out there and practice in order to learn.

So maybe hit up that friend who's always sharing those haul photos and ask to tag along on a shopping trip.

The only thing most couponers love more than couponing is talking about couponing!

Or if you don't know any of those people in real life, you can always take a class

What other reasons can you think of not to coupon? 

If you didn't coupon in the past but do now, what were some of the roadblocks that held you back -- and how did you over come them?

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

See more couponing tips here.

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