7 Reasons Why Coupons Rock

Dollars & Sense on 06.19.12
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I hear people say all the time that they should really start using coupons. It always baffles me that anyone wouldn't use coupons, even in this day and age when there are so many automatic discounts taken with rewards cards and store sales. I am not an extreme couponer, but I have a strong appreciation for stretching my dollars. But just the other day I arrived at the grocery store and realized I had forgot my coupons, and I turned my car around to go back the house to retrieve them because coupons rock. I won't shop without them and here's why.

1. They Don't Cost Anything

free printable coupons
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Coupons are free. You can either find them online and print them out on your home printer (ok, maybe they cost a small amount in paper and ink in that case) or open your mailbox and there are likely some sitting right there in a flyer. If you already buy the Sunday newspaper, there are certainly coupons included in there. And if you don't normally buy the paper, you'll still come out ahead if you buy it just for the coupons because you'll get more dollars off than you'll spend on buying the paper. And you'll often find coupons as part of advertisements in your newspaper for everything from your local garden center to major department stores.

2. They're Often Worth Twice Their Face Value

double coupons
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When it comes to grocery coupons, they more often than not are worth twice what is printed on the coupon because most major grocery stores will double their value if they are for less than one dollar. That means that a 75 cent off coupon is actually more valuable than a one dollar off coupon because once it is doubled you get $1.50 off the item.

3. You Can Compound Them on Store Specials

store sale
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What's better than getting money off your favorite items? Getting that money off of your favorite items that are already on sale. Take advantage of two-for-one sales or two for $4 sales by adding that dollar-off coupon and getting an even deeper discount. Using coupons on top of store sales is how all those extreme couponers get so many things for free.

4. You Can Try New Things with Less Risk

man shopping
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It's always nice to try new items, but sometimes it's hard to shell out your hard-earned money on something you aren't sure you are going to like. Coupons give you the ability to try new items without as much risk. New items are often offered on sale and coupons are put out as well to encourage shoppers to try them out, so compound those coupons on the store special to try the new item virtually risk-free.

5. You Can Find Them for Almost Anything

variety of coupons
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While coupons were once limited to mostly grocery store shopping, now you can find them for almost every item you shop for. Before you head to any store, you can log onto their website and chances are you'll find a coupon for what you need -- whether it be sporting goods, clothing, car repairs, or a night out on the town.

6. It Takes Very Little Time to Gather Them

coupon organizer
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Many people think couponing takes a lot of time, but it really doesn't unless you are an extreme couponer who dedicates your life to coupons and stockpiling your basement for the end of the world (in which case you probably aren't going to need that stockpile). As I come across coupons in my newspaper or from the grocery store I clip the ones for the items I normally buy, and file them in my accordion coupon filer that fits nicely in my purse. When I'm going to the grocery store I hop onto the computer and print out more from my favorite brands as well as sites like CouponMom.com. I spend less than an hour per month on it, and I still save a bundle.

7. It's Free Money!

money tree
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When was the last time you walked past a five or ten dollar bill on the sidewalk and left it there? Not using coupons is essentially just leaving money on the side of the road. Manufacturers and retailers are basically handing you dollars and saying, "Please, take them." Sure, you have to buy the item to save the money, but if you are buying it anyway then you might as well be throwing money away.

It doesn't take a lot of effort to make coupons work for you, and you can expect to save as much as 50 percent (or more!) off your purchase when using them right. Just remember that it's not saving money if you don't need to buy the item and are only buying it because you have a coupon.

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