Beware The Coupon
This Christmas, I got a great gift. It’s perfect for me, since I’m so frugal and always looking for deals. That gift was a coupon book. That’s right, a book filled with coupons for local retailers. This gift is perfect for me since I love to use coupons, but my laziness usually keeps me from taking the time to actually look them up, clip them, and keep them for later.
As I opened it and started flipping through the pages, I was surprised at exactly how many coupons there were for all sorts of things. From restaurants, hotels and fast food joints, to wine stores, doggy day cares and yoga studios, there were endless possibilities! I started imagining using them for all sorts of things, presenting my coupons proudly and saving oh so much money.
Immediately I started bookmarking the ones I was most excited to use, mostly ones for my favourite restaurants and a few for various shops that we were planning on visiting soon anyway.
So far we’ve used it a few times and it’s been great. The coupons have been mostly buy one get one free, which, since I’m usually out with my fiance anyway, is perfect. I also love the organization of the coupon book. When it comes to shopping, I know a lot of people have success with coupons, but I never use them. I’m just too lazy to go hunting for them. With this book, however, it’s so simple to just look up whatever restaurant or place we’re going and see if there’s a coupon available. If there is – great! If not, oh well.
Beware the Temptations of the Coupon
There’s only one down side to this coupon book and that’s temptation. I can definitely see myself spending more money on things that I wouldn’t normally buy – because it’s cheap. For example, there’s a coupon for free bowling. I actually considered planning a date night for my fiance and I until he tactfully reminded me that I hate bowling. So why was I even considering it? Because I had a coupon! I wanted to smack myself when he made this point.
This could definitely lead me to spending more money than I would ever save using the coupons, so I need to be vigilant and make sure that I’m not using the coupons for places I would never normally shop at – that’s not how to save money!
In the same vein, I need to be careful not to overindulge on coupons. We have a fairly strict entertainment budget, which doesn’t allow for many trips to restaurants or the movies in a given month. Having so many coupons at my fingertips could be a recipe for disaster if I somehow manage to justify a bunch of extra spending “because I have a coupon”. Coupons are meant to save money on purchases that are going to be occurring anyway, not justify new purchases that I wouldn’t be making anyway!
Those temptations aside, I’m really excited to get started using these coupons. I think my fiance and I are going to keep a running tally on the inside cover of the book to see how much money we end up saving over the course of the year.
Have you ever used a coupon book? What was your experience?