Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Couponing 101: Coupon with Confidence and Feel Good, Too

Look around when you are shopping and you will likely find someone hiding the fact they are using coupons. Or you may know someone who is commenting negatively about all those couponers or hoarders. So do you have some guilty feelings using coupons?

If you are feeling guilty or ashamed, DON'T and here is why.

First of all, the use of coupons WILL NOT cause a store or manufacturer to go bankrupt or unexpectedly loose money. Stores are encouraged by manufacturers to accept their coupons and are rewarded for doing so by being paid $0.08 handling fee. Plus they are repaid the face value of the coupon. Overall, accepting manufacturer coupons is a profitable practice for stores.
Secondly, manufacturers have a yearly budget for coupons. The manufacturer's know, based on historical data, how many coupons will be printed in newspapers and circulated and the percentage of those that will be redeemed. They use this information to calculate their yearly coupon budget.

The recent "Craze" in couponing over the past few years has caused manufacturers to watch the return on coupons much more closely.   The previous historical "norms" are no longer valid.  Still, manufacturers are able to fit the current use of coupons into their budget. There are several ways they do this.

1. Limited the amount  of coupons offered (through the use of regional specificity)
2. Lower coupon values
3. Increase number of items to be purchased
4. Reduce time span of validity (shorten time until expiration)
5. Increase the length of time between coupon releases

These reasons explain why sometimes you will only find a printable coupon under a specific zipcode or you may find different coupon values in your coupon fliers than those listed in an ad matchup.  To help avoid this it is a good idea to consider using a coupon service to provide you with additional coupons from other regions of the country. This is one way I am able to increase my savings. I will talk more about coupon services later in the courses but if you would like to learn more in the meantime you can check out the


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