Saturday, June 17, 2017

Are You Caught Up In This Trap?

As I was checking my e-mail on Thursday, I spotted one from Top's Market. Now mind you, I had already done my shopping for the week. But I figured why not open the e-mail and see what they have to say.

Well it told me that they had just issued a click to card store coupon and that I could get a loaf of sandwich bread for free. The offer was good from Thursday through today. It also told me they had issued the above Super Coupons. Without really looking at them, I printed them out.

If I happen to pass by the store today because of running another errand, I will get my free bread since I can just pick that up and I don't have to spend any money. However I will not drive to the market just for that especially when I can make a healthier loaf of bread in my bread maker for about $.45.

Then I looked at the Super Coupons that I had printed. The first one is for red seedless grapes for $ .99 a lb. The second one is for a 30 oz. jar of Hellmann's mayonnaise for $1.99. The third one is for a medium cheese or pepperoni pizza for $4.00. YIKES!

I just wasted my paper and ink. Note to myself: Read the coupons before you print them.

I can get red grapes at Aldi's most of the time for $.99 a lb without a coupon. The mayonnaise at $1.99 is a good deal for my area. It is usually on sale for $ 2.69 - $2.99. I can make a larger pizza that is healthier for less than $4.00.

However to use any of these coupons, I must spend $ 20. Now that makes the mayonnaise a terrible deal. They want me to spend $20. so I can buy a jar of mayonnaise for $ 1.99.

There are coupons like this every week. They are to entice you to come back to the store later in the week and spend more money.

Whenever we buy anything I try to look at how much I will be spending not how much I am saving. I have been guilty sometimes of falling into the trap of spending money because there are so many great deals out there. But most of the time, I don't.

In order to use a coupon like these, it has to be something I really need that week or something that we love that fits into my stockpile planning. Then I would have to be spending the $20. on items that we need that are on my grocery list. At the moment there is nothing on my grocery list. So needless to say I will not be getting mayo for $ 1.99. 

It's not only grocery stores that put coupons like these out but department stores like Kohl's, BonTon, Macy's etc. They lure you into their stores by giving you a $10./ 25. or $10./50. coupon. 

I am never saying don't use these types of coupons but be cautious. Only use them when you NEED to buy some clothing or other items. I use coupons like these all of time but only if I need something at that store that I would buy without a coupon. Don't take the coupon to the store, window shop, and then buy $50. worth of merchandise because you want to save $10. You just spent $ 40. on something you didn't know that you needed.

I keep a list in a little notebook that I carry in my purse of our needs. Then I look for the store with the best prices on those items. I wait for a coupon to come out in the newspaper or online. When there is a good sale and a coupon, that is when I buy.

Change your mindset to one of how much you spend, not how much you are saving. Less money will slip through your fingers and you will find your net worth getting healthier.


  1. I am not big into coupons for that exact reason. Unless I can use them without any additional purchase I dont bother with them, and even then it has to be something I really use.
    My one exception to using coupons for how much I am saving vs spending is clothing coupons. A couple of places I shop regularly have coupons based on the amount you spend, so I figure out what percentage vs.purchase amount is the best deal. I always have something on my list (especially since I do Christmas shopping year round) and stores always have clearance merchandise. I just make sure to read the fine print so I know if clearance is covered by the coupon.

    1. Hi Anne,

      That sounds like a great plan for your year round Christmas shopping. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great advice!
    Of course I just used a Hallmark coupon for buy one card get one free, and a $10 off $25 coupon at JC Penney to buy my husband a pair of shorts and shirt for Father's day. :D

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Well that is a terrific use of coupons for Father's Day gifts.

  3. I will never use a coupon to get a great deal when I have to spend so much, the coupon is NOT a great deal. If I do receive an offer of clothing coupon, I will use it if I need the item and I deem it to be a true deal.

    I think Publix has the same kind of coupons--something like buy $35 worth of groceries and get peanut butter for $1. I don't even spend $35 each week for groceries!

  4. I really only use coupons in conjunction with Plenti Points at Rite Aid. Some days, they pay me to walk out of the store with items. But, I no longer get the paper, and I don't have a laptop anymore, so I can't print coupons anymore. I just haven't broken down and bought a new laptop yet. My favorite grocery store does send me customer appreciation coupons, and I also download those to my loyalty card, but then forget them. It's great to see,say, an e coupon for .40 come off an already deep discount item from the clearance shelf!
    I generally don't use coupons for clothing. Most of my clothing comes from thrift shops, and my kids have several internet sites they prefer. But, I do get gift cards for DD from Rite Aid for Old Navy and Macy's when they are giving back Plenti Points. This DD is at the age where getting her gifts is hard.
    I never did understand people who got into the spend to save trap. The big one here is Kohl's cash.

    1. Hi Meg B.,

      Thanks for sharing. Kohl's cash is a big one.

  5. Hi AD, this is Chris. Great post. I agree about the Kohls cash. I had the 30% coupon for the Father's Day sale, but didn't use it because this time we don't need anything. Our son did go with his sister to Macy's to get a few things on their Father's Day sale, but he needed them and they found some good things. I have tried to train them well. :)