Put Down the Scissors and Step Away From the Newspaper We Do the Math on Coupon Clipping
If it wasn’t for coupons, you wouldn’t be able to afford everything you need, right? Well, there are two ways to look at it. Coupons can
— like rice, beans, oats, and salt — that you’ll use eventually and won’t go bad. If you’ve wanted something for a long time and it goes on sale, it makes sense to buy. But don’t let the coupon section dictate your desires! The second question is, “How much is my time worth, and how much time do I spend hunting down the best deals and clipping coupons?” If you’re saving $25 a week on stuff you actually need, but it takes 4 hours a week to get those savings, you’re losing money — even if you make minimum wage. That’s time you could be spending with family, picking up a half-shift at work, or finding innovative ways to make money. We won’t deny that there are great deals that are now more available than ever thanks to apps like Groupon. But remember: Coupons come from businesses trying to trick your brain into buying more stuff. Use them wisely, but don’t let them rule you.
be a way to put food on the table that you otherwise
couldn’t afford. But they can also trick money-
conscious consumers into buying stuff they normally wouldn’t. To find out which option describes your situation, answer two questions. The first question is, “Do I need — and will I use — everything that I buy with coupons?” Coupons affect you psychologically; the same part of your brain that governs basic instincts (like hunger and pleasure) also loves a screaming good deal. That means you may spend money on things that you normally wouldn’t, because you have a coupon for them. Instead, stick to the staples
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