Couponing can be an exciting practice, especially for shoppers new at it. You’ve seen episodes of Extreme Couponing on the television, you were amazed by the massive savings they get from discount coupons, and you’re excited to have your share of discounts, too.

Because the mere thought of saving money from couponing can be thrilling, it can also make some shoppers overlook some important factors that should be considered in couponing. Some of these important factors, when ignored, may not make your couponing as helpful as it should be.

There are several mistakes those new to couponing commit; and, if you’re just about to try to use discount vouchers to get to experience discounts first hand, you might want to learn about some of the common mistakes made when couponing.

Not calculating the potential savings that might be earned with the use of the coupon

Manufacturer coupons offer discounts for a specific brand. This is to drive shoppers to purchase their items instead of other ones; however, just because you have a discount voucher for a particular brand doesn’t mean that you’re getting the best deal. Even though you already have a discount voucher for an item from the leading brand, still check the price of the generic brand. There are some instances when you would be able to save more buying the generic brand as compared to the purchasing the leading brand at a discounted price. Do the math and perform simple calculation to make sure you save as much as you can.

Buying items you don’t need

While discount coupons and vouchers were made to be taken advantage of, it does not necessarily mean that you have to take advantage of every coupon you come across.  Keep in mind that buying things that you won’t use is equivalent to money wasted.

Not preparing a suitable storage place for your stockpile

The idea of stockpiling is to store the items you would buy so you can use them at a later time. So, you have to make sure that you have a room or storage that can accommodate all the items that you will stockpile, and will keep them in good condition. Otherwise, you could just be throwing away your hard earned money if you’re unable to use or consume items you’ve saved because of incorrect or improper storage.

Not using your stockpile

Some people are so consumed with the idea of storing goods or stockpiling that they forget what the stockpile is actually for. Use your stockpile. Additionally, be mindful of the expiration dates of the goods you’ve stored so as to ensure that they won’t go bad even before you have enjoyed them.

Having unrealistic expectations

Yes, the discounts enjoyed by people on Extreme Couponing are incredible; but bear in mind that aside from Extreme Couponing being a show, it’s not every day that everyone can collect hundreds of coupons and just opt to shop on the day of big sale. Stop comparing the discounts you receive from the enormous, unrealistic discounts from various shows. Comparisons like these will just lead to disappointment which may just make you lose interest in couponing altogether.

Not setting a budget for shopping just because you have discount vouchers

Whenever you’re shopping, with or without vouchers, you should always, always have a list of what you should buy and an allocated budget for these items. Even when you have discount vouchers, you may not be able to save as much if you don’t have a budget plan to stick to, because the absence of it exposes you to do some impulse buying — buying items you don’t really need.

Using a debit or credit card instead of cash for payment

Using credit or debit card for your shopping can be really convenient, but can be risky as well. When you have your card prepared it’s possible for you to exceed your set budget for shopping. Prepare to pay by cash instead so you can manage your spending more efficiently.

Remember that your aim for using discount vouchers or coupons is to save some cash and not overspend. If you’re still unfamiliar with couponing, chances are, you might just commit some of these mistakes. Avoiding them can help you maximise your savings even more.