It seems like there has been a lot of doom and gloom lately. Mayan calendars, 2012, Extreme Couponing… *cough*
Over the past few months I’ve sensed this growing sense among the couponing community that The End is coming. So what if coupons went away altogether? I would like to address this today.
Coupons are one part of the equation
Just as you wouldn’t invest all your hard-earned savings into one stock, you shouldn’t just look to coupons for your savings. It’s all about diversification. Here are some ideas I came up, for starters.
- Learn how store sales cycles work. The majority of the money I save comes from paying attention to what goes on sale, and when.
- Learn to shop at a variety of stores. Have you ever checked out WinCo? Grocery Outlet? Have you learned how to shop at the drugstores?
- Learn how to grow your own food. I’ve enjoyed about $30 worth of produce so far this month, all picked fresh out of my garden.
- Learn how to adjust your diet. Can you make a couple dinners a night without using meat, for instance?
- Explore other ways of saving money on food. I have readers who have bartered for food, cut back in other areas to save on food, and negotiate at farmer’s markets.
The more creativity you can use in your savings strategy, the better. Don’t become too reliant on any one way to save.
Coupon Policies are ever-evolving
Do I think coupons are going away any time soon, or at all? No…I can’t say that I buy into that theory. But I do know that stores will and do change their coupon policies. This is another reason why it’s a good idea to know how to shop at a variety of stores.
Last week, I read this most interesting article about a coupon mom who was banned from shopping at WalMart for life. Surprisingly, her husband’s biggest fear? Was that he would get banned from WalMart, too. (Really?!) I think he needs to find a WinCo.
While I enjoy Albertsons double coupons, what if they went away? Yeah, I’d be bummed. I might even shed a few tears. But I wouldn’t quit clipping coupons over it. I would just find new ways to save. Remember when these went away:
- Kmart $2 doubling events?
- Albertsons accepting competitor coupons?
- Walgreens rebate program?
Guess what. I am still saving money. I am still finding freebies and great deals.
Just like I say it’s good to be brand dis-loyal to yield the biggest savings, it’s also good to be a little un-biased when it comes to where and how you get the deals. Besides that, aren’t smart thinking and flexibility hallmarks of couponers? I think so.
What would you do if coupons went away?
Photo credit Lucassen Emmanuel