I have heard over and over from my friends about how couponing isn’t worth their time. I have heard that couponing is too time consuming. My friends complain, I don’t have time to organize a coupon binder or sort 10 different circulars. I have also heard that its hard to coupon if you have a fulltime job and children!
The biggest complaint I have heard is:
It’s to hard to coupon if you have a fulltime job and children.
What isn’t harder when you are out of your house for 60+ hours doing something other than errands and taking care of the kids. Everything is harder when you don’t have time, whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom. You figure out a way to get things done. I truly believe that the less time you have, the more efficient you become. This holds true whether you work 60 hours or you have two toddlers that you stay at home with. When you were single or in college, you had more time and probably accomplished less. Ok, so maybe your bathroom was clean on a regular basis, but lets face it cleaning the bathroom is the LAST thing on my list. So you have to make the time if you want to reap the benefits. I am not going to lie and tell you that you can save 75% on your grocery bill if you spend 10 minutes a week with your coupons. However, you could save $5 a week on your toiletries and groceries if you spend 10 minutes a week with your coupons. So $5.00 a week x 52 = $260.00 a year. That is close to $30.25 per hour for your time spent.
So how do you start by saving $5.00 a week with coupons?
One key program I would look at is CVS Extra Care Bucks, known as ECBs. Deal Seeking Mom has a great explanation here.Both of these programs allow you to save significant dollars on your drug store purchases. You can save a ton of money at CVS. Another great program is Rite Aid Single Check Rebates. Single Check Rebates offers a rebate back for certain purchases, which can be combined with coupons. More to come on these great programs!
Another thing I suggest doing is checking online for printable coupons for items you know you are going to purchase. This allows you to only print the coupons you know you will use. There is also no upfront investment in a newspaper, just ink and paper. One caveat is to check that your store accepts Internet Printables (IP). More and more stores are realizing the IP’s are the way of the future. You can find a database of the printable coupons at Hot Coupon World. You can also visit www.coupons.com and www.smartsource.com to find ever changing IP.
You simply enter the item in the search field and select printable for your source. It will give you a listing of any coupons that are currently available. Start small, print one or two coupons out for your shopping trip.
You should also make sure you signed up for your grocery’s store Customer Loyalty Club, Club Card, Savings Pass, they all have different names but mean the same thing! This card gets you instant savings at the store which are great. However, even better is many stores offer a dollar off a purchase amount coupon. For example, my grocery store, Giant of PA, typically sends out a mailer or post an IP coupon, for $5.00 off $50.00 purchase or $3.00 off $30.00. This is an easy way to save a nice percentage right off the top. Make sure you sign up to get home mailers if you store has that option. I would check the website to see what requirements they have.
So you know you have achieved this small step when either your key chain looks like a janitors key ring because you have shopper cards for every store in a 25 mile radius or your wallet is going to explode!
So is a small amount of couponing time worth it to you?