What are good and bad ways to use coupons to save money?

Personal Finance April 23, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Coupons are used widely today at supermarkets, restaurants, department stores, entertainment venues, and other locations. There are three good ways to use coupons if they are used in moderation. Using a baseball analogy, a "single play" is the use of a coupon alone to lower the price of an item. A "double play" is the use of a sale or markdown price plus a coupon. A "triple play" is a sale or markdown price, plus a coupon, plus a product rebate or other reward. All of these strategies are good ways to use coupons to save money. A bad way to use coupons would be so-called "extreme couponing" that emphasizes accumulating large quantities of items as well as saving money. Disadvantages of extreme couponing can include wastefulness if stored products go bad, overspending (i.e., spending money to save money), clutter, and possible hoarding.

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