Reasons why I like couponing.
First of all, it’s a game. It’s a competition. It’s fun. I like the feeling of being able to get what my family needs and watching the sales, watching the prices and playing the game. It truly doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I’m just playing around.
Secondly, my husband and I (even before we lost our main income) were on a budget (thank you Dave Ramsey). So, each month I go to the bank, take out the money we need for the month and put the money in envelopes. I can only spend what is in that envelope and I can not go over my budget. So, when I use coupons, it actually keeps my envelopes full of money and I can buy more for less.
Thirdly, by saving money and having more money in my envelopes, I am able to buy more presents/gifts for friends/family/strangers. I love giving out of our abundance and by couponing, I am able to share with those in need, or just share for the fun of it.
Fourthly, when our family runs out of a household need, like toilet paper, or deodorant, I can just go into my pantry, and take out the next item for use. I don’t have to run to the store and pay exorbitant prices for convenience sake. I am prepared and it keeps my household running smoothly.
Fifthly, we currently save anywhere from $200-$400 a month which adds up to $2400 – $4800 a year.
And lastly, I feel like I’m managing my finances in a godly manner akin to the Proverbs 31 woman. As a Christian, I desire to be a wise steward with what God has given me, and by planning, spending carefully, and being organized, I can accomplish this.
The biggest obstacle to my start in the world of couponing was myself. I had many many excuses and reasons why couponing would not work, and why it did not work for me. I also received encouragement in my anti-couponing reasons from friends and family who also did not understand the point of couponing or how it works.
My original objections:
Couponing is too little of a reward. My answer: This is because I didn’t understand how to play the game at first. Saving 50 cents on an item is not as fun as getting four months of dish soap free, or a year’s worth of toothpaste for free.
Couponing takes too much time. My answer. The start up does take time. Depending on how you organize, it can be anywhere from 3 hours to 20 hours. Also, it takes time to learn the strategies. Just like learning how to play checkers takes a little bit of time at first, but after you know how to play and how to maneuver the pieces, playing doesn’t take that long.
Coupons are only for items I don’t want. My answer. This is partly true. There are a lot of coupons out there that you don’t need the item. But, if you consider those coupons as potentially giving you money in your pocket for purchasing an item, (which we call “money-makers’) and if you don’t need the item, you can give it away to someone who does need it. Also, there are a lot of coupons which everyone could use from toilet paper to toothpaste to frozen vegetables to breads to deodorant, etc. Also, for my organic friends, the organic food companies are beginning to get into the couponing business because they see the results of the advertising to consumers. I predict that we will see more and more of specialty foods coming up with coupons.
Coupons cause us to want things we normally wouldn’t buy. My answer. Yes. They do. But most people who are trying to save, will recognize what amounts they will spend to get a “good deal” and will be able to keep from buying spontaneously.
Couponing is stealing from the grocery stores. My answer. Not at all. The stores are reimbursed from the manufacturers plus “handling costs”. They actually make money on the coupons. The manufacturers use coupons to advertise their products and get their name out there. This is a cheaper option for them than to use marketing prices. This is a win win for all involved.
Couponers will spend more time at the store. My answer. Actually, that depends. It depends on how prepared they are, if they know what they have coupons for, what they are going to buy, how much of it, and where it is located in the store, the couponer actually takes less time in the store.
You have to buy a newspaper. My answer. Some newspapers give free coupons to people who do not already have a subscription. Call your local paper and ask if they offer this service. If they do not, then most likely you have to buy a paper. There are also coupon clipping services you could look into, or you could ask neighbors/family members who get the paper but do not use their coupons if they’ll give you the leftover coupons.
There are probably other little reasons here and there that we throw out to avoid couponing. But, truthfully, I can’t force it on people. I couldn’t force it on myself. I had to ingest it internally and now I am able to breathe couponing. It’s a strange mind-set change that occurs. I hope that you will come to accept couponing in your heart as I have.