Here are some of the things that makes Swag Bucks so addictive:. One of my pet peeves with the Extreme Couponing folks is that some of them are borderline hoarders and they are conspicuously consuming much more than they need. Large amounts of their living space is taken up in some cases. Sure they'd say it's what their family would normally consume.
But that's my point, those families are consuming too much. I mean 15 bottles of mustard?! I think one bottle lasts my family about a year. And a bottle of aspirin lasts about 5 years! That brings to mind the issue of expiration dates. Most of the extreme couponers seem pretty organized in their expiration monitoring systems. But all the organization, consolidation, checking, rotation, and worrying has to take a toll. Things have a finite lifespan of quality, so inventory is a burden and waste is more likely. That's the cost of maintaining a consumer hoard of store-bought goods.
Some extreme couponers have even taken out insurance on their stockpiles because there is so much stuff. I don't consider someone frugal if they are such gross consumers of needless crap, like all the multitudes of specific and very toxic cleaning chemicals. I use only baking soda, vinegar, bleach, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap for most all my household cleaning supplies.
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This saves my health, lots of money, and the environment. All the stuff the extreme couponers buy produces excess waste in packaging, residues, and manufacturing pollution from cradle to grave. It's always better to consume less.
Coupons are great; however, focusing on the extreme couponers' lump sums of money saved detracts from the real issue of how they appear to be consuming at such a high level the savings is a catalysts for yet more conspicuous consumption. The cameras glamorize the whole phenomenon by editing out the dark underbelly of it all. Peace of mind is worth a lot and extreme couponing has it's own significant built in costs not obvious to viewers. They are part of the reason Americans are seen as resource hobglobins who's conspicuously consumptive lifestyle on average would need 5 planet Earth's to sustain if everyone else on the planet did the same.
And extreme couponers are NOT average Americans either. And there has already been much controversy over some of thier couponing tactics. Many of them suspected of allegedly cheating by using coupons for items they were not intended for The Coupon Information Center has drawn attention to other unethical and possibly illegal practices featured on episodes of TLC's Extreme Couponing series. Coupon fraud also hurts other frugal folks because those product deals will likely be dropped by companies hurt by misuse of coupons.
So we all lose out in the long-run. But new coupon technologies are on the horizon which may curb Extreme Couponing tactics and coupon counterfeiting. Overall, to me Extreme Couponing looks unethical and socially irresponcible in many cases. Comp Shopping for Bargains It Pays to Run the Numbers As I continue my online bargain hunting I make a list of the codes and the deals they correspond to. Then I shop around for codes that will beat those first deals.
Most coupon codes will offer a percentage off, but to know how much money you will save off your total or off of the price of a specific item, you have to know how to calculate how many dollars the percentage will result in.
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Here's how: To calculate any percentage of any amount, simply move the percent number's decimal two places to the left and multiply that number by the total price. This will be the total dollars you will save. For example, if you find a coupon code from Overstock. This will give you 0. A culculator is a must-have for effective bargain shopping. So if your purchase total at Overstock. But what if Overstock. Most retailers allow you to use only one promotion code at checkout so you often have to figure which code will give you the most bang for your buck.
So you will learn that you often have to proceed through the checkout process but NOT complete the final process of placing your order so that you can find out what your total is, plus other fees like shipping. Then use your back button if you have to return and enter a different coupon code. Just DON'T complete the order until you have decided which promo combination or code will give you the best deal. You will also want to make sure to verify that the deal has been applied to your total. Then and only then should you complete your transaction at checkout.
However, sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too, especially around the holidays when site-wide free shipping becomes a common "built-in" promotion, which will then allow you to use a discount code at checkout too. Being "Penny Wise and Pound Stupid" With Coupon Code Analysis Paralysis The hunt for the best coupon codes can be very addictive, especially when you learn just how much money you can save instantly Time is money afterall and with coupons you can be "penny wise and pound stupid", as the oldtimers used to say.
So try not to get Obscessive Compulsive Disorder for saving money with coupons. I know many over zealous coupon clippers who seem to be suffering from coupon clipping OCD, or the online version of it which I guess you could call "coupon clicking OCD". The higher the price tag of the item you want, the easier it is to obscess over finding the best online deal code.
But if you want to leverage your time most wisely it's better to invest more of your time in finding savings on the large ticket items, than to waste too much time on the miniscule purchases. It's like paying off credit card debt Just think about how much of a directly valuable "homeschooling lesson" this could be.
They'll have to learn how to use their deductive reasoning skills and how to creatively "think outside of the box" "big box retailer" that is. They'll also learn the above outlined valuable lesson of how to calculate percentages to find the best deals. Learning to calculate percentages is a key concept that will help them manage money for the rest of their lives - from chosing the best credit card offers and managing debt, to being able to understand the power of compounding interest on the money they will save.
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And save money they will thanks to their newly learned good habit of religiously using coupon codes for the rest of their online shopping lives. So if you finally cave in on taking that once-in-a-lifetime family vacation to Disney World, renting that luxery beachfront home on Anguilla, taking a family cruise around the world, or you just want to order some groceries from Amazon. Incentivize the lesson by making it clear that the more money they help the family save with coupon codes and deals, the more perks the trip will afford for them.
Give them a vested interest in the family's finances and teach them the upside to being money wise and frugal.
Instead of an allowance, develop a "profit sharing program" for the kids and share with them the savings and perks they will reap as they become increasingly savvy coupon code hunters and budding personal finance prodigies. In the process they will learn how to live life on their terms rather than those of others. Put them on track to a life of being financially independant Get them started early and the good habits will multiply like the dollars they will continue to save. Persistence and Redundancy Often Pays Off With Coupon Codes Be aware that each store often has multiple promo codes floating around which will get you the same percentage off deal, free shipping deals, ect.
So make note of the various sales codes even if they are for the same deal, just in case you need a back-up code at checkout. Somtimes certain promo codes will be expired or just won't work at checkout for whatever reason, so always have some of those other codes written down so you can try them as back-up codes for the same deal. Persistence and redundancy often pays off.
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If there is an online store you frequently shop at, don't hesitate to take advantage of any of these automatic coupon and bargain delivery systems, because that is exactly what they are. Some of the best deals ever are delivered exclusively through these channels.
You can even set up a "watchlist" for certain items you are interested in so that the store will notify you by email or RSS if the price drops below a certain level you specify. And by being a member of their newsletter or valued customer programs they often will sweeten the deal on the items you show interest in, particularly during the big shopping days such as Black Friday.
Coupon Code Breaking and Prognostication Many of the below listed online retailers have coupon codes that are very predictable and self-evident for what you'll save. You might be surprised how often you can luck out with this technique. But be aware that most online stores allow only one coupon code to be applied at checkout, so if you want to try a different code you may have to use your back button to return to the proper screen.
Then sometimes you must find and click a button that says something like "Remove this Coupon from Your Total", otherwise you may not be able to apply an alternate code. Have Your Cake and Eat it Too You will often find free shipping coupon codes along side percentage off coupon codes. Get out your calculator and see which will save the most money. But if you search around you can often find an online store that offers both free shipping in addition to allowing you to redeem a coupon code at checkout.
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