Monday, October 22, 2007

Coupons: need now vs. need later

I often hear the warning about coupons that they can make you buy things you don't really need. Well, duh...why would I buy something I don't need? It may be something I want. In that case, if it's on sale with a coupon, why not? It might be something new I want to try, or something I really like but couldn't normally afford. Case in point: my gray hair has really, really grown out. But I can't see paying $9.99 for haircolor when it goes on sale sometimes. Of course, it is just my luck the brand I like (Excellence by L'Oreal, btw) hasn't been on sale anywhere in a long, long time.
Finally, today it was! 6.99--plus I had a $2 coupon. Hooray! I'm gonna have auburn hair soon! For half price! (If I had another coupon, I'd buy another box for next time...a 'need later'.)

So that's a 'want' I waited on, although for my self-esteem it was probably a 'need now,' LOL!

Okay, so...need now vs. need later: maybe the coupon caveat should be: is it something you need now, or will need within the next (insert time frame here)?

Toothpaste seems to go on sale every week at one store or another. I've gotten some great buys. Toothpaste is certainly a 'need.' But when I did inventory, I realized I have enough toothpaste to last at least two, possibly three, months. So I will not even look at a toothpaste coupon for a while. The only exception was a recent deal at the grocery where a tube of Aquafresh turned out to be free after a coupon. Even if I had 100 tubes, I would be foolish to pass up 'free.'

So before you coupon shop, check and see how many of something you have. Is it enough to get you through the next two months or so? Then, unless you are saving a HUGE amount of money on the product, don't buy it. Put that money towards something you need now. Ha, ha, if I'd put together all the money I saved from things I didn't buy, I could have paid full price for my haircolor a week ago...


BittersweetPunkin said...

At my local Walmart they have haircolor in a 2 pack for $4.99!!I have to buy 2 boxes because my hair is almost to my waist...but I AM rather cheap....I am going there again this week to get a few more! LOL
Sometimes I use coupons to try things I wouldn't buy otherwise...its a nice break from routine!

Kathleen Marie said...

I sometimes use coupons but did find I spend more than I would otherwise. Thanks for a good post!

Debbie J. said...

We are both thinking about coupons this week!!! I need to do my gray at home, but I'm scared to try it! Would save me a bundle!

BittersweetPunkin said... answer your question...I can't remember what brand was on sale LOL...I think it was a Revlon or a Clairol brand....I use whatever is on sale and is close to my color...I have to go this week so I will check exactly...

Susie Q said...

I do use coupons to try something new...just for fun. Or if I really need something. I also will buy extras if I have a coupon and there is also a sale on an item. I can stock up the pantry or storage room!
Winter is coming after all! Gotta have that extra bag of dog food/cat food/car litter put away in case of snow days! *smile*


miranda said...

I totally agree with you. I can pretty much tell how much of what will get us through several months or even a year. With my Walgreens savings this week I really had to make myself think about what we would really "use". They had cough medicine on their RR deal and I had some good coupons, but I just bought Robitussin last week... I had to keep what I already have in mind in order to make the most of my $. It is really easy to get caught up on saving money with coupons, but it isn't really saving if you don't need it, right? I appreciate all of your wonderful comments on my site. You are so kind and it has meant a lot to me!