Teri Goult, a shopping expert and the CEO of Grocery Game (a popular grocery savings website), despite being a strong proponent of coupons as a means of saving money, warns the advocates of frugal way of life that there are times when coupons not only don’t save you money but, in fact, can cost you extra.
According to her, if you really want to benefit from using coupons, their application should be always carefully timed: it they are used at the wrong time, at the wrong place, on the wrong brand or if you prefer digital coupons to paper ones, it may cost you. Teri Goult created an almost scientific system of coupon use which allows to maximize their effect: her idea is to save coupons in order to later stack them up on top of large store sales, thus complementing two discounts.
Ms. Goult believes that the most important thing here is to keep track of sale cycles, which are usually about 12 weeks, patiently clip and save coupons while trying not to be tempted to use them. Coupons are usually good for 9-10 weeks, so there is a bit of luck is involved, but there is a pretty big chance that they will coincide with the sale you need.
Some people would, however, say that coupons are just a clever trick invented by grocery chains to drain you out of your hard-earned money by encouraging you to buy things you don’t necessarily need. Nevertheless, both Tery Goult and other shopping experts agree that when used scientifically, they can save you unbelievably large amounts of money – up to $5,000 per year in some cases.
Interestingly, the tradition of clipping coupons is not dying out, despite the fact that a number of shopping gurus are inclined to think that their time is running out and they are soon to be completely replaced with smartphone apps like Grocery IQ. Although they consider such apps to be much more convenient and time-efficient, statistics show that both distributors and customers are still quite enthusiastic about coupons. Walmart, for example, had an 18% increase in digital coupon events over the last year, while its FSI pages grew 16%. So it seems that people are not only willing to use digital coupons, but haven’t yet got tired of clipping them out of newspapers and magazines.