Upon watching my local news this week, there was a teaser for "learning how to coupon." I was intrigued and continued watching. They had this lady on (I won't divulge names) who discussed couponing, rather poorly I might add. I mean really all she said is "there isn't an item I have hear that I didn't have a coupon for" (might I add there was no produce that I saw...), and then she shared her OOP, nothing about using coupons, coupon policies or anything. Then she talked about a seminar she is having at Sweetbay. Upon further research, I feel a little angered about what she is doing, which inspired this post. Here is a list of traps to avoid when looking for coupon help.
- Don't pay money for access to a website that does match-ups for you. There are a ton of websites that do this for just about every store, so there should be no reason to pay for this information. (This lady was charging for access to her website!)
- Be wary of coupon seminars and workshops. Luckily this lady wasn't charging for her workshop, but I'm fairly certain Sweetbay was paying her to get people to come into their store. Some people charge a lot of money for access to a coupon workshop, sometimes upwards of $50. While I can understand going to a seminar because someone can explain things you don't understand, there is no reason to spend a ton of money to do so. I know Southern Savers charges $10, which is fairly reasonable considering travel and time to do the seminar, but I have seen some people reporting $50 seminars where the person shares incorrect information and even gives them copied coupons. Yikes! Which leads to...
- Be aware that not everything works at every store. People are human, and sometimes they share something that isn't completely correct, or isn't correct at every store.
- Scrutinize what you learn. Similar to the previous statement, you should be diligent about scrutinizing what you hear/read. While many couponers are honest, nice people, there are people out there who are just trying to gain a profit from someone trying to learn to save money. They may show you a shopping trip where they spent only $1, but neglect to tell you they have a stockpile or that they only bought what would be free or MM. You get excited and pay money for their workshop/book/website, but then quickly get discouraged because you can't recreate their totals.
Plain and simple, the goal of couponing is to save money, so spending money to save money just doesn't make sense.