Coupons play a pretty significant role in products and/or services that I buy. I like to use manufacturer coupons for everyday purchases, restaurant coupons, and coupons for services, like those offered through websites such as Groupon and Living Social.
Coupons are like money that comes in the mail, and I love that! Manufacturers, restaurants, and business big and small, are among those who I receive weekly to monthly coupons from. I will continue to clip coupons as long as these companies keep mailing them to me. I am not a shopper who watches weekly ads, then goes from store to store for the best deals- I have better things to do. This can be a good practice if you have a big meal coming up, for example Easter or Thanksgiving, because you can get everything you need and potentially save a lot of money. But on a daily or weekly basis, this does not seem very time effective, especially if you already juggle working full time and a family. I will, however, clip all of the coupons that come my way for the necessities. The major items I keep an eye out for coupons from manufacturers on are razor blades, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, and cat food. Razor blades are number one because they are so expensive. My husband and I both use name brand disposable razors and through using coupons, we save around fourteen dollars every time we purchase them. This to me is a huge savings. All of the above items I mentioned are items that we are going to buy anyways, and if we are being offered a free chance to save money, why would we not take advantage of this? There are not too many things in this world that are free, so it is nice to have something that is.
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In addition to coupons saving the customer money, it also helps out the manufacturer and stores. In some instances, you may purchase something that you normally would not, but because you have a coupon you are willing to try it. And if you like the product, you may continue to purchase it even without future coupons.
In regards to restaurants sending out coupons, not only does it get customers in the door, but there is a chance these customers will return, thus bringing in more business. And in my case, I will give a bigger tip, knowing that they have allowed me to save money.
When it comes to events or getaways, I love to check out Groupon and Living Social. My husband and I have gone on numerous weekend trips using Groupon. They offer you a deal that saves you money, and again, gets you, the customer in the door. We have gone to some random places, having never heard of them before, saved money on the trip through Groupon, and had the best time. These deals allow us to get out of our comfort zones, give the participating company business, and in most cases, has us telling friends and family about our visit, possibly generating a future visit from one of them.
Although I am someone who loves coupons, there are other views. There are customers who do not take the time to clip coupons, and those who, in my opinion, take advantage of these deals. People who do not take time to clip coupons probably make more money, and are not quite as frugal as I would consider myself. They may or may not be the folks who watch the weekly ads, but in general they go into a store and purchase what they need without worrying about how much things cost- they need it, so they are going to buy it. The customers who take advantage of coupons are the folks who go to the stores that have offers such as double couponing, etc. On the show, Extreme Couponing, they have shown instances in which the store has actually paid the customer money because they used coupons in such a manner that they save so much money, it’s a negative sale for the store. The store, however, and possibly the manufacturer, are not benefiting from this use of coupons. These seem to be the customers too, who have hoards of products, and for what reason? I feel that if they choose to shop like this, they can donate some of these goods to homeless shelters, community cupboards, etc. Then it would feel like the store is not selling (or giving away) these products just to be taking up space in someones closet. In going to help those less fortunate out, it has not been a purchase for waste.
In closing, whether you are a customer who uses coupons or not, I think they are a nice way for businesses and customers to save money. By using coupons, the customer is benefiting as well as the manufacturer and this is a win-win for everybody.