Yes, Kind of.
This is a question that does not have a black or white answer. If I were asked, “Can coupons sway my decision?” the answer is yes. If I were asked, “Do coupons make me buy stuff I don’t use?” the answer is no. But coupons do influence me to choose which brand of a product that I might buy.
Let’s say I need for ream of printer paper today. I know I need white paper, size 8 ½ X 11, and I want it as cheap as possible. If I were to walk into a local retailer and see the paper I need, I will probably just pick it up and buy it. I might look around for a minute to see if there is some on sale, but I am probably just going to buy what is convenient.
Now, let’s say I am in need of some paper later on this week. I am sitting at home reading the newspaper and there is a flyer for a store that we have that is not out of my way. I see that I can save $1 per ream. There is a good chance that I will stop in to that store, if I am close or going there for something else. I will try to remember to use the coupon, though I have forgotten in the past.
Now, let’s say I see a coupon at a store that I don’t usually go to. I will probably pass that coupon up for the convenience factor of going to a store that I normally visit. I will pay a little extra for something that is right in front of me instead of driving to another store.
These scenarios are all based on my life experiences. But there are lots of parts and pieces in the coupon game. Understanding that I am not an extreme coupon user, I don’t spend much time looking through the sales ads. I have to have something pop for me to see it and take notice. Usually flyers are so busy that I just pass over them. It is like listening to a commercial where the car guys is saying “BUY BUY BUY, SALE SALE SALE”. I will change the channel because of annoying ads like those. I will do the same thing for sales ads.
On the other hand, if they are like the coupons that I receive from Kroger’s, I will usually take time and look through them. Kroger’s mines the data from my Kroger’s card and sends me coupons based on my buying habits. They are sent to us through the mail and are in a very neat and clean package. They are not too busy and they are not trying to catch my attention. I will look through them and usually put them next to our grocery list. We use 75% of the coupons that we receive.
So far I have talked about small ticket items, under $10. On the other end of the spectrum, High End, $100 plus, I will shop and use coupons more regularly. Big ticket items are something that I will go store to store and compare online before I ever buy. I will check online for coupons, check the manufacture’s website, and look in ads to see if I can save a buck or two.
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The problem with high end items and coupons is they very rarely line up in time. I may need a new set of tires for my car, but the coupon that I saw a while back has expired. Or I look around for a coupon and don’t find one. I finally break down and buy the item, only to see a coupon later that week.
As you can see there is a lot of issues that go into something as simple as saving money. In today’s world, I am more concerned with convenience that I am price.