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Does it sometimes feel like couponing is a gamble?  It can definitely seem that way; maybe that’s why it gives me such a rush time after time.  I love to see if a deal will work out the way it's supposed to.  I often find myself holding my breath just waiting to see if my rewards will really print like the way they were outlined on this site.   But my favorite: I love to see how much merchandise I can get for free or cheap. It feels like I just won the lottery when I leave the store with several bags in tow and didn’t spend a dime!

Conversely, I hate it when I realize my rewards didn't print or the deal that I planned to do didn't work. So here are some ideas to make sure your deals are less of a gamble and a more of a sure thing.

  1. Double check that you’ve gathered all your coupons you plan to use before you even leave the house. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the store and realizing you left your coupon, unclipped, on the kitchen table, or on the printer. (Yes, it's happened to all of us!)
  2. Make sure you grab the right product.  It drives me crazy when I've paid and then realize the deal didn't work because I grabbed the wrong size or the wrong product.  Taking a few extra minutes to make sure you have the right product is worth your time and money.
  3. Take time before you leave the store to make sure you received all the rewards you should have.  It is much harder and takes too much time to go back later.
  4. Keep your rewards organized so that you don't lose any or forget to use them by their expiration date.
  5. If a deal doesn't work for you, return it.  Another good deal will come along.
  6. Remember: You don't have to do every single good deal.  It's easy to get addicted to couponing and let it take over your life, just like a gambler does to gambling.  You can still set a limit on how many deals you'll do each week. And if you’re a consistent couponer,  you'll have a great stockpile in no time without driving yourself — or your family — KRAZY!
This has been a guest post by Pam from McKinleyville, CA
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