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6 Couponing Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

I’ve been couponing for years now, it’s how we pay off our debt, and so many beginner coupons aren’t saving money because they are making these common coupon mistakes. 

“HOLY COW! My eyes lit up so big I thought I had just seen Leonardo Dicaprio! So I only paid $5 for all of that?! And this is food. I don’t have to feel guilty about this because WE NEED FOOD. Oh, I can’t wait to get home AND get some more coupons and come back in an hour. Then tomorrow, I can get this deal.
Then I go to that store on Thursday…..”

Ever been in that situation?! Maybe you are just starting to coupon, and you experience the fantastic “COUPON HIGH.” If you want to dip your toes in but are not quite sure- Go ahead and do it. But, just before you dive in, check out these tips below. You don’t want to make these mistakes when you are a couponer.

Let’s take a little walk together and go over some mistakes you may be making- The good news is you are on your way to a better tomorrow! 

6 Couponing Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

Getting Every Deal

When you first start couponing, you can get overwhelmed. Why?! Because there is always a deal.  We have the luxuries of seeing many of the same $0.60 toothpaste on sale at CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc.

If you run to every store all the time, mistakes will happen. For example, you may end up using the wrong coupon, or it’s expired, and a coupon burnout will shortly follow.

If you get overwhelmed and stop, you may go back to buying whatever looks good at the time, which is a sure way to overspend your hard-earned cash. We don’t want that.

So pick one store to start. You can get started couponing the right way in my four-week step-by-step Learning How to Coupon Series Here. 

6 Couponing Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

Buying things you don’t need

Two years ago, I was guilty of this.  When I started couponing six years ago, I was shocked you could get things for free and cereal for $0.50 frequently.

I started getting something we didn’t like or wouldn’t use up before they expired.  I wasn’t used to getting brand-name items for cheap.

So, in the beginning, when I saw French mustard for $0.66 a bottle, I bought four bottles. I had them for three years. They expired. Guess we don’t eat that much mustard. I wasn’t even able to donate them because they had already passed.

Of course, you can buy things and donate the items you do not want, but be aware if you are buying things you don’t need, with money you may not have, and storing them in places that are taking over your house is time to cut back.

You are not buying a printer.

Many say, “Oh, I want to start couponing but I don’t have a printer.”  We are technology-driven, and although there are more e-coupons for us to save, a printer is a must for couponing these days.  70% of the coupons I use are online.

When you have a local store that doubles coupons and you pair it with the online $0.75/1 printable coupon, you have hit a goldmine.  The good news is there are always deals for printers.

6 Couponing Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

Taking all the Peelies and Tear Pad Coupons

There you are at your favorite store, and what do you see?! A coupon peelie on Oreos for $1 off one package. You have not received a $1 off one on Oreos in .. NEVER. So you grab it and all the others. These coupons will make a great deal when they go on sale.

WRONG. We have a coupon code. Taking peelies ( coupons found on a product) is incorrect. These coupons are meant only for the person who is buying the product.

Tear pad coupons are found throughout stores on a tear pad. These coupons you can take without buying any product. Yet you have to remember only to take what your family will use. Taking 25 coupons and leaving 5 for others is wrong. We need to think about our fellow savers.

couponing mistakes

Not Using Your Stockpile

Many couponers think in the beginning they have to grab every deal that comes around.  As a blogger, I see many of the same deals come around every 4-8 weeks.

Sure, that sounds like a long time, but when you grab a few of the items while they are at a stock-up the price, they should last you until the next rock bottom price. This gives you time to let some of the other deals you don’t need go.  I am currently on a spending freeze.

In our local grocery store ad, I see that pasta is on sale for $0.66 a box. It’s tempting to grab some even though I just looked in my pantry, and I have ten boxes of assorted varieties of pasta. 

Don’t waste your time and funds to keep stocking up when you are already stocked. You can easily get caught into the trap of “HOT DEALS NOW.” But you can also go broke, grabbing every deal. Remember that we have sale cycles meaning every 4-8 weeks, the identical items will be on sale again.

You’re Not Following A Matchup List Every Week

“Not now, Hunny. I’m still searching through this ad for the best deals.” Whoa, whoa, whoa. That, my dear, is a thing of the past. There is no more searching through the ad yourself than searching through your coupons to match the items up. This is all done for you.

I have 20 store coupon matchups lists here, and if a store you love isn’t on the list, you can download the FREE app and get your store and then price compare.

Matchup lists are the best way to coupon and save time.  You can quickly scan the items weekly to find the best deal and add them to a printable shopping list. Multitasking at its finest! If you are unfamiliar with these lists- please do yourself a huge favor and check them out!

Plus, they are time-consuming, and I appreciate all the clicks to those matchups 🙂

There you have it my friend. Six essential factors to keep in mind when you start couponing.

Share with us do you use coupons? Did you make similar mistakes? 

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Mihaela Echols

Wednesday 11th of May 2016

Love the printer idea! And yes no one should buy just cuz they might get a good deal on something.


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

This is important! I see so many people cocooning but buying random things they'll never use! That defeats the purpose!


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

You gave great tips without it reading like a dos and don'ts post! I should do this more, I know, but haven't taken the time to develop a system. I especially liked how you shared about doing this long enough to get a feel for how long it would be between specials for certain stores and items. Very savvy!


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

Thanks Traci! Once you find your rhythm couponing becomes second nature and doesn't feel like a chore. It won't happen the first couple shopping trips but it does get easier!


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

I stopped couponing a couple of years ago, due to the burnout you talk about in #1! Eventually I'd love to hop back on the couponing wagon, but still don't feel that I have it in me. Buying things you don't need is something I tried to stay away from, and seemed to do pretty well...after all, the point is to save money, not fill your house full of junk you'll never use, and actually spend more in the process. And - great point on the peelies! It kind of bugs me when I can see that someone has done this on ALL of the trash bags or whatever else it may be....especially since this is the only couponing I have done recently. Great post...has me considering getting back in the couponing game!


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

Thanks Kori! You totally should! Even just grabbing a couple deals a week can add up to big savings! The peelie coupons drives me crazy! I wish everyone would only take what they need and use the peelies when they actually buy the product!

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