The dollars & ‘sense’ of coupon books

Courtesy: MGN Online

Courtesy: MGN Online

With the start of the school year, many students will be out selling coupons books to friends, neighbors, and family members to help raise fund for school programs. Discount coupon books can contain discounts from local businesses, including up to 50% off coupons for numerous restaurants, fast food chains, theaters, sporting events, hotels, airlines, and other retail establishments.

All together a coupon book can potentially save consumers a lot of money. While coupon books can certainly be a money-saver for families, it’s important to do your homework first, before purchasing it. Carefully consider the value of any coupon book as it relates to your spending habits.

  • Calculate the actual cost of the book, including shipping and handling fees, and determine how many coupons you would have to use to recoup the cost.
  • Consider your own habits and lifestyle. Does the book offer products and services you plan to buy anyway or are interested in trying? Or will it persuade you to spend money on an item you would not typically purchase?
  • Consider the type of discounts offered. Remember that 2-for-1 deals are not necessarily the equivalent of a 50% discount. If the coupon book contains mostly 2-for-1 savings, take account of whether you would actually need or want two products or meals.
  • Use coupons at your earliest possible convenience. Participating merchants may go out of business before the coupon expires. Others may choose to withdraw from the program.
  • Read the fine print. Some coupons may restrict the days or hours when they may be used or the locations where they are accepted. In addition, some coupons may not be applied in combination with other discounts, such as daily specials.

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