I'll be the first to admit it. In the past I did not really like using coupons because I thought they were more of a hassle than they were worth. However, I've come around and use coupons and shop sales regularly now, but I do so the smart way. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to use coupons if you're trying to truly save money, stick to a budget, and get out of debt.

Here's an example of the wrong way:

My old college roommate and I were at the bar having a drink and he was telling me about how his wife had decided she loved using coupons and would come home and tell him how much money she was saving on the stuff she bought.

As it can be in many cases with coupons, in this instance it was not so much her saving money as it was her getting good deals but spending money on items they never use.

So when she came home and told him how she had spent $ 35 and gotten $ 100 worth of stuff from the store, she had not actually saved the $ 65 she thought she did not actually buy what they actually needed.

And that's where coupons can easily get a person into trouble. They give you a good deal and you think you have to take advantage of it because it's such a good deal but later on you get it home and it ends up being something you never use or eat and six months to a year later you throw it Away. When that happens, all the coupon did waste your money and waste your time.

Here's an example or the right way to use coupons. I went to the grocery store last week and grabbed the in store coupons. There were plenty of things that were on sale and good deals, but at the grocery store there are things on sale all the time. I only saw one that applied to me – it was for a dollar off any item in the bulk natural foods section. I was not initially going to buy anything in that section, but I did have plans to get some dried cherries. So instead of buying a package Elsewhere in the store, I went to the bulk foods section and got the cherries and actually saved a little money on something I was going to buy anyway – I actually saved money and here's the biggie – SPENT less money that I otherwise would have.

That's how you use coupons the right way.