I love “buying” free items using coupons. It is such fun to come home and say – “Hey, hon, guess how much this was!”
But, I was reminded recently, that although the prices are definitely close to free, they aren’t actually $0 out of pocket. Why not?
You have to pay taxes on the items.
If you read the fine print of most coupons, they say:
..customer must pay sales tax…
This means they aren’t 100% free – even when your receipt says you saved 100%.
For example, I included my receipt from buying two free Got2B products last week. As shown, although they were on sale for $3 and I used a $3 coupon, I still paid $0.48.
Is paying $0.48 a big deal? Of course not. But there is a reason I’m bringing this up.
IF you are buying items you will use and would normally buy, then paying only the tax on those items is a huge discount over what you would have spent.
However, I find myself – and I know I’m not alone – buying things just because they are free.
Although my pantry is pretty well stocked, I am not a hoarder like the people you see on Extreme Couponing. Rather, I give my “free” products – the ones we won’t use – to charity and to friends.
I love sending friends home with goodie bags of hygiene products (tons of toothpaste and deodorant) and showing them how to buy free items. I love being able to donate loads of food and hygiene items to charity every year. However, there is a cost to these free items – albeit a small cost – there is still a cost.
For every free tube of toothpaste I donate to charity or give away to friends, I spend $0.09. The free Got2B hair products I gave away? I spent $0.24 on each of them.
That means I can give away 12 tubes of toothpaste for $1.08 versus buying one tube for $1.09 and giving it away – but it is still $1 out of my pocket.
I am OK with this expense and will continue to buy the freebies and give them away.
But, if you are on a super tight budget, I want you to be aware that there is a cost to these free products.
If you won’t use it, then don’t buy it.