Coupons have been around for decades, in paper format, and now available online. In Canada and the USA, they help draw people into stores, especially the types who look for bargains and collect coupons for an addictive-like cash-in power.
In an article from AARP, sound advice is given to coupon collectors who have gone overboard in search of better deals, many that don't even exist.
1. Coupons are often available only for brand name products, not for less expensive in store products. Companies that produce brand-name products often manufacture equivalent store brands. The packaging and the price is the only difference. Shoppers have to spend more hard-earned dollars to cash in on coupon savings.
2. At up to 80% off selected items, TV coupons seem sensational. But, many of the offered products – snack foods and highly processed convenience items – aren't very good for you. Fresh produce coupons are difficult to find.
3. Forced to stock up when prices are lowest, coupon addicts inherit storage space problems. It becomes a money waster, not a saver, for coupon fans who can't use everything they buy.
4. Coupon collectors can purchase sale items that they don’t really need. They end up with products that aren't bargains regardless the price. Smart shoppers purchase items that they need and use regularly.
5. Spending too many hours clipping coupons can be time consuming and only feeds the fanaticism for discounts.