The stores know how to get you. Spend $50 and get $25 storebucks to spend on your next purchase between these dates. However, you must spend $50 on your next purchase to redeem the $25. If you order online you get free shipping if you spend over $100. Use the storebucks and you’re stuck with paying the shipping fee because now your subtotal is under $100. It’s even worse when you have to find merchandise to buy in order to fulfill the amount you need to redeem the storebucks. Sound familiar? Do you see how they get you? You get disappointed if you don’t spend enough to get the storebucks, or you force yourself to buy more to get the storebucks. It’s fine when you see a ton of stuff that is on super sale, but when you go back to redeem the coupon during the restricted time period, not much is on sale that appeals to you. But what a waste of the storebucks! In reality, you’re spending $25-50 more than you need or want to sometimes. I’ve forfeited my storebucks many times because I didn’t want to pay shipping (it’s the principle) or I didn’t see anything worth getting or I simply forgot about them. Nowadays, they send you email reminders to spend your money.
Having said all that, I am a fan of CVS pharmacy coupons that offer $5 off $25, or something like that, because I can always find essential items to purchase. It’s even better when I have “extrabucks”and manufacturer’s coupons. Sometimes I make out like a bandit on items I need.
The best, though, are storebucks that have no strings attached. That is, you spent $50 at Kohl’s today? Well, here’s a coupon for $10 that you can redeem without making a minimum purchase. The only catch is that you must use it during a certain time period. I’m fine with that and will make the extra trip because there’s always a birthday gift to buy or the clearance racks always have something cute for the kids I can stow away for next summer. The real downfall is that I always end up spending more than $10. I’m actually better off not going back. If I don’t, it’s ok, because I didn’t go nuts trying to earn the storebucks to begin with (it’s a different story if the original purchases were forced in order to earn the storebucks). They’ll get you no matter what, but at least let me be the judge of how much I need to spend.
So next time you get giddy about storebucks, think hard about how you’re going to spend them. You want to come out ahead, not in debt. Just sayin’!