Are you hitting your Mark?

10:35 PM

I bet you are wondering, what do you mean ,am I hitting my Mark? I want to take a few minutes and talk about coupons and how you can hit your mark, and if you are hitting your mark, how are you doing it? Below you will find some helpful information as well as a couple of links to even more information you might enjoy added in with a few of my personal experiences and how the inforgraphic below was actually calculated. I can't wait to hear what you all have to say!

How often as a consumer do you use coupons? Personally, I try to never shop without them, yes, even when on Vacation.

As most of you know, I have a rather large family and even though the older kids are growing up and moving out, I now have grand kids and even more growing hungry teenagers. Although my family size has shrunk in essence, I still try to find the best deals I can. We, as a nation, are coming out of a major recession, where many consumers such as myself, and you, my readers, turned to coupons just to survive on a daily basis. Now, even though the economy is turning around, it has not stopped me from keeping stocked on coupons and looking for coupons every  time  we choose to eat out, deals on vacations from sites such as Groupon, Deal Chicken, Living Social and more. You even find Airlines now days offering deals and coupons and more frequent flyer miles and discount products.

As the above infographic shows, an average of 79.8 percent of consumers used coupons on a regular basis. Now we can attribute this to possibly the T.V. shows which showed consumers getting so much food for free, cheap or even getting paid to shop, but in reality if you look at the statistics, you will find that more 30% of those consumers were regular coupon users in the prior year as well . After doing some extensive research, I found that although coupons have been around for several decades, mostly the older generation or elderly were using coupons until around 2007 when the job market started failing and more people started using coupons as a way to make things work for themselves and their families. Today you will even find college kids, even High School kids, using coupons for everything from a Buy One Get One Free Hamburger to a $4.00 off a haircut to spending less at the grocery store and being able to eat more than Ramen Noodles.

I found a very interesting article on how to start saving money using coupons and I think many of you would benefit from reading this Article, especially those of you who are just getting started or those who have fallen off the coupon wagon.

Here are a couple of pictures of some savings I have been fortunate enough to have using coupons and one picture of the products below, including the newspapers cost me only $5.35 out of Pocket

Now, we all love to be able to take vacations, and the infographic shows that 52 % of people searched for coupons while on vacation. I am one of those. Last year when we took the family to Myrtle Beach, every place we visited, I had a coupon for. I did my research before hand, and when we found places when wanted to eat at or visit when we got to Myrtle Beach, I took out my laptop or my cell and searched for coupons or deals, and even made sure to stop at Visitors Centers for those handy coupon and deal books you can always find. Out of those 52 % of people who searched for coupons while on Vacation, I was unable to find any actual precise information as to the percentage that actually used those coupons or found coupons for the places they were looking for. However, more than ever, brands are making coupons a daily thing on their social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their own websites. So finding a coupon for a restaurant or event is usually a sure thing if you take the time to look.

Most of you also know that I recently took a trip to Columbus/Fort Benning, GA to have the opportunity to see my son earn his Beret and spend family weekend with all of us. Dustin is currently in the U.S. Army and about to finish his training at Fort Benning. We had a total of 11 people going with us to visit Dustin, and it was left up to me to find the hotel and coupons and such for places we wanted to visit while in the area as well as restaurants the kids and adults had shown an interest in eating at. Although I could not find an actual coupon for our Hotel, I signed up for the brands reward program, ask for a Military family rate and also got an additional discount for paying in full when we booked. We ended up paying $72 per suite per night at a very nice Hotel where we had Free Breakfast, Internet, Kitchens , and plenty of sleeping space for everyone and the rooms were large enough for us to all gather in and connect with at the same time.

I had also used coupons prior to leaving for our trip and stocked up on staples for the trip for the kids and adults such as snacks and drinks and even food to cook one night during our visit. Those coupons saved me a total of 67% or $197.16.

Which brings us to the last of the infographic above, Do you feel smarter when you use coupons? If not, why? I would personally say that as an individual, I do feel smarter using coupons. Saving money is smart, correct? Making purchases based on what you can afford is smart, as is teaching your kids to use coupons and deals to save money. So if it does not make you feel smart, how does it make you feel?

I used to be embarrassed when I used coupons until I found out just how much I could save our family and how much farther a dollar will stretch with a coupon in hand.

A great place to find out about who uses coupons is a very interesting article I read on Valpak, I think that all of my readers would find some helpful information there as well as surprising facts about coupons.

I love the fact that my Husband now uses coupons for everything from tools and welding wire to dog food and candy bars. He can even now see the benefit and how much more we are able to save and afford in life just by using coupons.

How have you used coupons to save money? When did you start using coupons? What prompted you to start using coupons? I am actually very interested to hear your answers for future blog post. Until reading and seeing the above infographic and actually doing a bit of research on my own, I never really considered how many people actually use coupons for everyday things now.

So tell me your story and it may be featured on the blog soon, I love hearing how my readers spend their money using coupons. I am especially interested to hear how you have found and used coupons while making vacation or travel plans and while on vacation. How do you go about searching for those coupons? Do you clip them, print them, download to your phone? Let's hear it!

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