A few months ago I was in the paper talking about the benefits of fantastic voucher code websites. But, since I created this blog to help my readers save money, I decided to write a post about the importance of maintaining a sense of self control when using such websites and looking for a great deal.
Voucher codes, coupons, and deals are great tools for anyone on a money-saving mission. If you use them wisely they can save you tons of money. However, something that I think far too many people overlook is the fact that if you’re going to use a coupon or voucher code to purchase something that you don’t need, don’t actually want, or weren’t really thinking of buying anyway, you have not saved money. Instead, you have spent money and the brand has made money.
That is why coupons and voucher codes exist.
Coupons and voucher codes were not invented to save consumers money. They were invented to increase sales and make brands richer.
Basically, coupons and voucher codes ONLY help you save money if you are buying something that you were going to buy full price for anyway.
Let’s think about it a bit more…
Don’t get carried away on voucher code websites
Let’s imagine you stumble across a new voucher code website which is constantly updated with offers from brands across the globe. You’re amazed at the discounts available and before you know it you’ve bought yourself some sandals, a handbag and a weekend away in a lavish hotel. After all, let’s imagine on this particular site everything is half its usual price.
If you needed sandals, a handbag and a weekend away then congratulations on such a great saving! But if you probably wouldn’t have bought those things without the code then I hate to say it…you’ve spent more money than you would have done if you had not been on that voucher code website in the first place.
It’s not a great deal if it makes you consume more than usual
Now let’s look at it from a food point of view. Let’s imagine you usually eat one chocolate bar a day and it costs you 70p a bar. But one day you see that a certain supermarket (which, incidentally, recently removed chocolate bars from it’s checkouts in a bid to help its customers be more healthy) is constantly offering 3 chocolate bars for £1.20. So now you can get 3 chocolate bars for the price of 2!
This might sound like a great deal, but it’s only a great deal if you continue to eat one chocolate bar a day. If, however, you find yourself devouring all 3 chocolate bars in one day, you’re spending twice as much money on chocolate than you used to. Not to mention the fact that your waistline is probably showing the signs of a few too many Twirls. (Based on a true story and that true story is my own)
Is that really the best offer?
Most of us have a favourite toothpaste brand that we turn to time and time again.
Let’s imagine you find a coupon that gives you 2 tubes of your favourite toothpaste for the price of one. Since you use this toothpaste every day, this is a great saving and, if you can, I’d recommend stocking up.
However, one thing I’ve learnt during my money saving mission is that if one company has a certain product on offer, chances are others will too. So, although we’re all busy people, and we don’t necessarily have time to spend ages comparing prices online, if you have a spare few minutes, do see if it’s even cheaper elsewhere.
Also, although the 2 for 1 may seem like a fantastic offer, if you REALLY want to save money, why not see if you can get a tube of toothpaste for even less by buying a cheaper brand? You might be able to get 5 tubes of really basic toothpaste for the price of one of your favourite brand’s toothpaste.
Before I make a purchase whether that’s online or in store I ALWAYS have a look to see if I can find a coupon, code or deal before I part with the cash.
Ever since I was a child my mum has always emphasised the importance of shopping around for a good deal.
In fact, I’d go as far as saying that vouchers and coupons have helped me to treat myself during my money saving journey. For example, now and again Jake and I will treat ourselves to a meal in one of our favourite Manchester restaurants. But before we do, we always visit their websites to see if there are any ways for us to save money.
Sometimes an offer will influence our decision in some way and sway us to a new restaurant we wouldn’t have visited otherwise.
I even look for money-off vouchers before going to a restaurant with a friend.
However, it’s important to maintain a sense of balance and self control. If I was to start going out for a meal every week, or even every month, I’d be taking on habits that I didn’t have previously and I’d be spending more money than I would have if I had never discovered vouchers in the first place.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you use voucher code websites or cut coupons? If so, are you good at having self control or do you sometimes get carried away?