Have you ever done the following:
- Carried a coupon around for weeks, then forgot to use it when you actually purchased the item?
- Found yourself in a store in which you needed to buy something, but postponed buying it because you knew you had a coupon at home?
Yes, I know you have. Because we all have!
Have you ever gone to a store with a coupon that applies only if you spend a certain amount of money, then ran around the store trying to pick out enough stuff so that the coupon will apply to your purchase? You end up picking up things that you don’t really need – or even want – just to meet the coupon minimum. This is not a good use of your time, and these unwanted items simply become clutter once you get them home.
Coupons cause irrational behavior, because everybody wants to save money. Everyone wants to get that great feeling of having gotten away with something.
Think about this from the point of view of the manufacturers who issue the coupons. Why would they offer you an opportunity to buy their products for less money? Because they are trying to manipulate you.
They want you to buy their product, either to get you to try something you don’t usually use, or to woo you away from their competition. They are not doing it to be nice, or to reward you for buying their product — it’s sheer commercialism.
To eliminate the irrational behavior that coupons cause, use your coupons in a very deliberate way.
- If the coupon is for an item that you buy frequently, then put that coupon in your wallet and use it next time you go to the store. Do not delay or you’ll forget about it.
- If the coupon is for an item that you need and were planning to buy anyway, then put that coupon in your wallet and make a plan to go purchase that item.
- If the coupon is for an item that you rarely buy or don’t really want, then throw it away.
Do not weigh yourself down by carrying around tons of coupons (which you will forget to use), and do not waste your time making return trips to stores you’ve already visited just because you forgot to bring the coupon or didn’t realize you were going to end up at that store.
Free yourself from the tyranny of coupons!