Guest Post: Nine Coupon Myths Debunked

Guest Post by Jody Connelly

Myth #1: Coupons are only for unhealthful processed junk foods.
There
are a lot of coupons for processed junk foods. However, there are just
as many coupons for good healthful foods also. More often, I have even
been seeing coupons for fresh fruit. There are also often coupons out
for yogurt, bagged salads, and frozen veggies (which have less salt
than the canned veggies). Keep in mind, just because you’re using
coupons and saving money, you still choose what you buy and what you eat.

Myth #2: You can’t save money if a store doesn’t double coupons.

My
two favorite stores to shop at are CVS and Walgreen’s–neither one of
which double coupons. Most of the time, I find I save more there then I
do at my grocery stores that do
double coupons. Most drug stores have excellent store deals, sales, and
rebate programs that most other stores don’t have. Don’t overlook
shopping at a store just because they don’t double coupons.

There
are also often higher dollar coupons out which, combined with sales,
can net you excellent savings–even if your local stores do not double
coupons. Start looking around at sales and matching your coupons to the
sales and you just might be surprised!

Myth #3: Shopping at discount stores and dollar stores will save you more money than using coupons.
Family
Dollar and Dollar General are often just as expensive as other stores.
The disadvantage is they don’t have the store deals, rebates, and sales
like other stores do. As far as true dollar stores where everything is
$1, I’ve found that I rarely save money by shopping there since most of
the items I buy with coupons and sales, I get for less than $1 in the
first place. So for me, shopping at dollar stores are not a bargain.

Myth #4: Only poor people use coupons.

When
did saving money become such a bad thing? Contrary to what some may
think, according to statistics, people with lower income (under
$25,000/year) are less likely to use coupons.  Middle class, middle-aged people with a college background are the most likely to use coupons.

Myth #5: You should only use coupons for products you normally buy.

After
using coupons for so long now, I don’t even know what I "normally buy"
anymore. By using coupons, I’ve gotten things so cheap or free that I
otherwise would never have dreamed of buying or paying for–brands and products which would usually be quite out of our budget range.

In
addition, I’ve learned to be more creative in planning my menus around
what is on sale and being less brand-loyal so that we can save more
money by buying the brand which is the best deal.

Myth #6: Generic products are always cheaper than name brand products.

Yes,
it’s true that generic is a little cheaper than name brand. However,
generic is not usually cheaper than name brand when it is on sale and
you have a coupon. The key is to combine the store sales with coupons
to get the best deals.

Myth #7: People who use coupons spend more than people who don’t use coupons.

If you are going to the store and buying anything you have a coupon for, especially if the product is not on sale, you will spend more. However, if you use coupons the right way by combining store sales and coupons together to get rock bottom deals, you will most definitely cut your grocery bill.

Myth #8: It’s not worth it to shop at multiple stores.

The
4 main stores I shop at are on the same block and 5 minutes from my
house, so it really doesn’t take me much time to go from store to
store. But even if your stores are not as close as mine, it can be
worth it to shop at multiple stores. For instance, if you are able to
get $100 worth of product you need for $20 and you only spent $6 extra
in gas and an additional 20 minutes, then I would say that would certainly be worth it!

Myth #9: You shouldn’t clip coupons for products you won’t use.

Don’t
dismiss a coupon just because you haven’t used the product in the
past–you might be surprised at the great deal which comes along for
that very product! Besides, if you have a baby and your friend has a
cat, wouldn’t it be nice to swap the coupons you didn’t need so you
both get more of what you do need?

-Jody
Connelly is a stay-at-home mom with 5 children between the ages of 14 -
3 years old. She’s been couponing and saving money for over 4 years.
She also likes to cook, read, sew, and garden. Visit her blog here.

FOR MORE COUPONS, search our comprehensive Coupon Database for manufacturer coupons, printable coupons, eCoupons, and more!

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Comments

  1. says

    Check out this great new FREE Tulsa web-site http://www.sendmemydeals.com it lists all of Tulsa’s best restaurant deals (kids eat free, BOGO free, daily specials, birthday specials). You can sign up to recieve email and text message alerts for special deals. I think this would be a great addition to your site.

  2. says

    Great post — nice addition to this blog. I like the change of pace.

    What I’ve come to realize is that as the mother of young twins and a husband who isn’t around much except on weekends that I do not have time to clip all those coupons and shop multiple stores. Stores like CVS do not make carts to fit young twins except our major grocery store.

    So, I have figured out that I only need to cut what I think may work for us — this means no cleaning products because we are a green household, no drug products that aren’t used regularly (mostly pain or cold meds) and nothing that would not be used and have to be donated. I, personally, am just not going to buy something I do not need even if it is free. I believe in having less stuff, not more.

    That said, a note to Crystal: My favorite part of your blog, besides everything else, is links to really great online coupons. As much as I wish I could scour the web for those, I just don’t always have time. Thanks for all you do.

  3. says

    Another thing I recently learned is that you can use one coupon per item NOT per transaction. (I know most people already know this) I still have some cashiers try to tell me I can’t use more than one coupon if I buy two of the same item but luckily many manufacturers have started changing the wording on the coupons to make it clearer.

  4. says

    This is so true! I save so much on my groceries and household products by using coupons.

    I worked in a grocery store for 8 years and the people that appear to have the least amount of money never use coupons. It is always the middle class appearing women and some men.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Trixie

  5. says

    Thank you for posting this! I try to tell people these things all the time! I’m sure I will be referring to this in the future when trying to sway non-couponers to join the ranks! :)

  6. says

    Great post about coupon myths. I really like shopping a few different stores – it is worth the time!

  7. says

    Thank you, Joy!
    I believed many of those myths (especially #2 and #5). And I didn’t do well with coupons … because I wasn’t really working at it. It never seemed worth the effort to save fifty cents here and there. Thanks to people like you and Crystal, I’ve been learning a lot and am saving far more than fifty cents — using coupons. It’s worth the effort if we take the time to learn! Please keep up the great work and thank you for encouraging us to give coupons a chance! I still have to learn how to save with grocery shopping … but now I’m excited to try!

  8. says

    I wanted to second the thanks for the links to online coupons. I do fine with the ones in the circular each week(I clip them when I’m done eating breakfast on Sunday while the kids are still eating.) but being able to just click a link to the online coupons that match up each week is a great time-saver for me. It’s one of the reasons I keep coming back to this blog at least once a day. (I also love all the tips on frugal living. I can use all the advice you can give!)

  9. JBLeach says

    I have been reading your blog for about a month and really enjoy all of the great tips and advice. I have begun couponing and appreciate all of the deals you report.
    I have found, though, that quite a few of the items you have been able to get great deals on (for example Fast-Fixins chicken, Muir Glen, Cascadian Farms) are not available in my area.
    We also do not have Kroger or CVS in our area and none of the stores around here double coupons. I am disappointed to miss out on these deals, but very much appreciate the ones I am able to locate.

    With regard to your $40 per week food/household items budget, how do you fit milk into those numbers?
    Between my husband and our three kids, we go through at least four gallons of milk per week. Walmart’s Great Value brand 2% milk is currently $3.32 per gallon.
    At 4 gallons per week that is $13.28. At almost 33% of a $40 per week budget, any ideas on stretching the other 67%?

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
    –JBLeach

  10. Hannelore says

    Thank you, Crystal, for serving so many families with your blog. In the past I have thought coupons were not worth the effort. However, with my family of seven to feed, I am giving it a try again and finding it to be very helpful and fun. To encourage the mom of twins (I think her name is Melanie) who posted recently-give yourself some time and grace. I had 5 children in two and a half years (yes, two sets of twins and a singleton) and I was lucky and happy just to get to the grocery (in or out of my pajamas). When you feel more ready and able, maybe just start with baby items (diapers, wipes, ointment, etc) because of their tendency to be exhorbitant. Another tip for everyone it to also check the “scratch and dent” section of your local grocery store-I have found so many bargains there ($ .25 spaghetti sauce, huge $3 pack of pull-ups….)Sometimes this is a shelf or just a grocery cart of reduced items (who cares about a dented can?). Also be on the lookout for stores that have been bought by other stores (I’m sure there is some sort of technical term for this but it escapes me) or stores going out of business. In a years span, two grocery stores in my area did this and I took advantage of about 75% savings on most items.

  11. says

    I wish coupons worked for me. Here in Alaska, NO ONE doubles coupons, prices are a bit higher so programs like the Grocery Game are never the same. We don’t have any chain pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, and RiteAid. We are getting Target in October, so I will be excited to see if any of the coupons will be helpful there. I would say 90% of the time, coupons wind up allowing me to buy snacks and junkier type foods that we don’t usually want to eat, just because I like the feeling of getting a good deal. We don’t seem to get the same coupons in our Sunday paper as MSM and TGG get! I’m fine with shopping at multiple stores but all we have is Fred Meyer and Safeway. For us, Costco is the best deal on most basics [canned beans, tomatos, cheese, eggs]Otherwise I just keep a keen eye out for manager’s reduced specials at Fred Meyer.
    To keep our family’s budget low [at $100 a week for 6 of us, and that's a comfortable amount]we need to eat as much unprocessed food as possible, cook from scratch, and not be afraid to buy stuff close to it’s sell by date. Almost everything we buy is a manager’s special. Scratch and dent at our Safeway is still insane. It was 8.99 for a smallish pack of diapers-sadly, this was a good deal for there. But still way too expensive. I look forward to trying more couponing if we ever leave Alaska, but the other benefits of living here outweigh getting killer deals on food. We can catch our own Salmon and the scenery is great. :)

  12. Jan says

    Hmm, I have never seen a coupon for fresh fruit in my life. So I don’t know about that one. Coupons definitely save money though. I usually carefully plan my grocery trip each week because I only have time to shop one store per week. I usually budget $60 a week towards food. Last week I didn’t have time to do coupons or make a list so I just went to the store and “winged” it and I spent $86- way over budget!

  13. says

    Myth #9 You shouldn’t clip coupons for products you won’t use.

    I went by this “myth” for awhile. Now I find myself in a store and see something on sale and think “If I only had that coupon it would be FREE!” Very frustrating to know that I threw out coupons that would have got me free items!

  14. says

    I’m a recent convert to couponing. It has made an incredible difference to our family. Our grocery and household expenses have actually lowered by over $100 a week.. and we’re getting more and more for our money. I’ll never go back to paying full price again.

    As a matter of fact, I bought ice cream for the kids on the way home on Sunday and DH gasped and asked if I had a fever because I didn’t check my coupons first! HAHA

  15. Christina says

    I shop at Dollar General weekly and they do have great sales, mark downs up to 90% off and rebates. They have not always done this but the last couple years, they have had more and more sales.

  16. says

    Myth no. 4 is so not true. I read in a study somewhere that higher income households do in fact record a higher rate of coupon use. Smart and wealthy people use coupons too! And so should the less fortunate.