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Dave Says: Are Coupons a Waste of Time?

Dave Ramsey - August 21, 2012

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Is it worth the time and effort to use coupons? Any websites you suggest for finding coupons?

Dear Dave,

Is it worth the time and effort to use coupons, or are they just a waste of time and a ploy to get you to buy things?

Tammy

Dear Tammy,

Coupons are definitely a ploy to entice you to buy something you may not have purchased otherwise. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad things. The practical and sensible application of coupons can definitely help you save money.

The main things to watch out for when using coupons are overbuying and spending your money on things you don’t really need. Seriously, you don’t need to hit Sam’s or Costco and walk out with nine gallons of mustard. I’ve even heard of people buying things they know they don’t like just because it was on sale or they had a coupon. I mean, how dumb is that?

I guess there is a time factor involved in collecting coupons, especially if you still like to clip them from the newspapers or flyers that come in the mail. Plenty of folks still do that every week. I think online coupons are a lot easier to search for and save though. There’s a company I love called eMeals that will work with you to plan recipes and also give you information on coupons and sales in your area to make the meals.

I’m definitely not anti-coupon, but at the same time couponing alone won’t change your family tree. It’s like any other tool. If used in a smart way, it can help you save money. And that’s not a bad thing!

—Dave

For more financial advice, please visit daveramsey.com.

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