When Not to Coupon

When you first start getting into the groove of couponing (if you want to learn how, see my free coupon class), you always learn how important it is to stockpile. Stockpiling, is essence, is buying things at rock-bottom prices before you need them – so that you will never have to pay top dollar again. Although I fully endorse this strategy, there is a point at which you simply may have too many things in your stockpile, and you just don’t need more. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I regularly argue for going out of your way to coupon – even if you don’t need items – because you can always give them to someone who does.

But what if there a particular item that you really don’t realistically think you will donate? Is it worth your time to continue stocking up for your own stockpile way in the future?

Here are two rules of thumb I’ve been living by that may help you make the decision “Is it worth buying – even if it’s nearly free?”

  1. If you’re going to make money on the transaction, consider getting the item. This week is a perfect example. At Walgreens you can you get $15 in Register Rewards by spending out about $10 plus taxes for Almay foundation and blush, eyeshadow or lip gloss. Given that you are making nearly $5 for every transaction you do – this one is worth it in my book!
  2. If you have too many already – and don’t see yourself donating it – then don’t buy it. Take this weeks’ example at Walgreens of razors. While I was doing my Walgreens deals this week, I actually had this deal in my cart before realizing I really just didn’t need it. Here was the deal:
  3. Gillette Disposable Razors: $5.99
    Receive $2.00 ECB (limit 1)
    $3.00 off MC from 11/1 P&G insert

    Final Price: $.99

    Now, part of the reason it was easier to let go of this deal was that I was still going to have to pay $.99 – and so it wasn’t entirely free. However, even if it was free, this is the type of deal you need to really consider. Is it worth picking up this if you really don’t need this?

    If you’ve been doing the couponing game for any real amount of time, you have seen that the deals come around again. Thus, if you’ve got a year of razors already stocked up, it’s perhaps not worth it to spend $.99 for any more. Instead, wait until they are free. But even if they are free, there is a limit. For example, this week there were some fantastic free Theraflu deals at Walgreens. But if there is one thing I know – it’s that I do not need more Theraflu. If I’m not planning to donate it to someone, then it’s a good deal to pass over.

    clipping coupons

So those are just some helpful tips when couponing! Don’t fall into the trap of just getting something because it’s there!