Why I Am Not The Least Bit Embarrassed to Use Coupons

old coupons

Some people think using a coupon in public is even more embarrassing than, say, accidentally walking into the wrong restroom. I have done both, and I assure you — the latter is far more embarrassing! Here’s why I am not the least bit embarrassed by coupons:

Companies make coupons available; why shouldn’t we use them? When you use a coupon, you are not cheating anyone. It’s no different from accepting an offered sale price. I suppose some people may be embarrassed to be seen digging through bargain bins at sales, but I doubt anyone has ever gone into a store to buy jeans and said, “I see you’re offering 30% off my favorite brand today, but I insist on paying full price.”

Sometimes, coupons make the difference between buying or not buying. I hate to cook, but I know that eating out is hard on the pocketbook. Sometimes a coupon is enough incentive for me to patronize a restaurant. The same goes for things I might want but don’t consider worth the retail prices — if I have a coupon, I might buy them. If I didn’t use those coupons, the store or restaurant wouldn’t be getting my business at all on that particular day.

The money is worth more to me than to the store. I don’t mean, of course, that the value of a dollar changes based on who holds it, but I do mean that (in most cases) the value of a coupon accounts for a greater percentage of my income than the income of the issuing company. I save about $1,000 a year using coupons. To a large company, that’s chump change; to me, it’s a pretty good amount.

Some see using coupons as a sign that you’re cheap, but some of the most generous people I know use coupons — often to buy dinner for an entire party. Others keep track of what they’ve saved in coupons and donate that amount to charity. Someone who is truly cheap wouldn’t use coupons. Instead, that person would always expect someone else to pay or, worse yet, complain about the food, service, or product just to get it for free.

Descriptions of lousy first dates often mention a guy who uses a coupon at a restaurant. Though it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a date with anyone but my husband (the only man I remember using coupons on our dates), I would think more highly of a guy who used a coupon while we were out. Once again, if he were truly cheap, he would find an excuse to make me pay or would never take me out at all. A man who saves money on dates could be building his savings to retire early and travel the world with the right woman. (Plus, I would have much more in common with the guy who used the coupon than the guy who was too embarrassed to!)

If I made spending decisions based on how I look to others, especially strangers, my life and my bank accounts would be a wreck. I learned long ago that if I spend my time trying to gain status in the eyes of others, I don’t get anything else done. Plus I enjoy life much more when I do what’s best for my family (using coupons for things I would normally buy so that we can save money) rather than worrying about what others think I should do.

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17 Responses to Why I Am Not The Least Bit Embarrassed to Use Coupons

  1. debra says:

    Sorry for this mini rant – I don’t care if people use coupons, but I can’t stand people who use a lot of coupons that aren’t organized. If you are going to use them, at least have them out and organized when you get tot the cash register. Nobody likes waiting at the register, especially when somebody is fumbling to find coupons in a huge stack. That drives me crazy!

  2. justme says:

    I would never be embarrased to use coupons I could care less if the person behind me was irritated,

    who cares ? the people in front of me are alway using food stamps ,and then their wic has to be wrung up seperatly then they have to wip out the debit card to pay for the beer and they do not bother to prepare anything ahead of time as they are too busy talking on their cell phone

    then when its my turn I have 3 coupons and use cash , I could care less about what random people in a line think of me

  3. Jay Gatsby says:

    I agree with the first comment that coupon use is acceptable, even laudable, except where the person is disorganized and inconveniences the other people in line. The same criticism applies to people who insist on using the self-checkout lanes, but scrounge for change or use wrinkled bills that they should know the machine won’t accept.

    My wife uses coupons when she goes to the grocery store and invariably saves 33-50+ percent! Now that’s what I call being frugal.

  4. princess says:

    I can’t believe the way that I get treated by the cashiers sometimes when I use coupons. It’s like I’m the most annoying person in the world for using coupons. That’s the only thing that bothers me so I try and avoid those stores.

  5. parker says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t just digitalize coupons. It would save everyone a bunch of money and time.

  6. td says:

    When I am dating, I usually do not use coupons on the first few dates. I do ask if the other person would take offense to coupon usage. To me, it’s funny and quite petty when women think it is cheap… heck if I have a coupon and we are going anyway… what’s the big deal? Assumption I believe they make is I don’t want to pay for them. For me, it’s about spending time with the other person. I’ve gotten free tickets (won or been given) to events and such in the past. If I disclosed they were free doesn’t that make me cheap?

  7. EvieD says:

    I remember when my brother went to his high school prom, my parents gave him a coupon they had for the “high falutin'” restaurant he and his date plus another couple were going to dine at. He had a fit, said no way was he going to use a coupon!

    Flash forward 10-15 years, and now that he is/was on his own and paying his own bills, he’d stop by my parent’s house to ask them if they had any coupons for products he used.


  8. Lisa says:

    Using coupons with preparation is just as important as not talking on the cell phone during a transaction, having your checkbook out and start writing the check before the total and having your license, credit/debit card out and ready. Waiting until the the clerk asks for your coupons/payment ect. is rude to others. I’ve watched people fumble around in there wallet for a license and credit card for minutes on end. It is annoying.
    My ex used to get annoyed with his mother who would use coupons at restaurants. But, that was because she would wave it around and talk loudly about having one making a spectacle of us. It was weird.
    I admit I prefer to use gift cards over coupons at restaurants but have no problem using coupns anywhere else.

  9. Robyn says:

    Coupons are fun and many people really enjoy looking for them. I think it is just fine to use them. There is a reason that companies put them out there.

  10. deanna says:

    I think that some stores do really well with coupons while others make the experience dreadful. My take is that a coupon is free money. If it is something that I was going to buy anyway and I can get it for less money, that money can then be used for other things. Why give it away if there is no need to?

  11. Pingback: Monroe on a Budget » Are coupons embarassing?

  12. I use coupons every chance I get too. I use them for restaurants. Every single time I’ve used one at a restaurant, the management makes the same type of comment “Great to see our advertising dollars at work”.

    Every time a coupon is presented and used, the higher ups at the company smile because they know that they got your money and their next best competitor didn’t.

  13. Tiffany says:

    I’m never embarrassed to use coupons, especially when I get to watch as money comes off my total bill at the grocery store or in a department store. It’s the next best thing to money in the bank!

  14. Migs says:

    I am not embarrassed to use them at all. In these times of economic difficulty, every cent counts. 🙂

  15. kerry says:

    I use coupons whenever I can, although not being American, we don’t get the same crazy doubling and things that happen south of the border… I can’t imagine being embarrassed to use coupons, but I think that the next time I meet someone who is, I’ll invite them to use the coupons, and donate what they save to me, since they clearly don’t want/need it anyhow. 🙂

    The learning curve for me was not buying things just because I have a coupon (that is, spending more by buying stuff I don’t normally use, just because I can save $0.25… took me a while to break the whole “going broke by saving money” habit 🙂 )

  16. Katie says:

    I am a retail cashier, and I don’t mind people using coupons at all if they do it in the right way. Respectable, rule abiding, coupon users would be surprised to know the amount of people that try to scam cashiers with coupons, use expired coupons, use more than one coupon for the same item. Also, Coupon users need to understand that cashiers are trying to do their job, that we are trying to get customers out of the store quickly, and that WE are the ones that have to deal with the irritated people that are in line behind you. Also, most coupon users take personal offense when some of their items do not ring up the sale price, I hear the phrase “you overcharged me” way too many times. I personally did not maliciously and purposely overcharge you, the computer did, and I am incredibly sorry for your inconvenience, but most of the time, it is not my fault. A cashier can not possibly remember everything that is on sale in the store every week, and exactly how much it is on sale for, but some (not all) sale shoppers expect us too. I am sure that if many of the devout coupon users took a cashiers position, just for one day, they would understand the frustration that is associated with coupons. It is not a personal frustration, coupons just many times bring out the worst mood in shoppers, they encourage them to get more items than the limit allows, (which it turn, means we run out faster and makes customers angry at us when we run out), and, if used wrongly, are just another way for people to attempt scams.

  17. Nikki says:

    I went out on a date once, and the guy (subtly) used a coupon when paying the bill. I thought it was amusing, but awesome!

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