Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm A Lazy Couponer

Almost everyone wants to save some money, but the reason most people don't use coupons is that they are under the assumption that it requires a lot of time, a common misconception. It was the main reason I waited to begin learning, but now I am proud to say that I'm a lazy couponer!

By this I mean that I do my best to maximize my "couponing" time and make it as effecient as possible, and as quick as possible! I have toddlers who demand my attention and a husband who frequently travels out-of-state, so extra time is not something we have in abundance in our household. Learning the methods in the beginning will take you more time, think about it as an investment, but once you find the system that works best for you and practice using it, you can literally save hundreds of dollars a month in just an hour a week. On average, I spend 1-2 hours per week making my lists and matching up coupons (sometimes less if it's a slow week or I'm too busy, and sometimes more if there are a lot of great deals at several stores). Thankfully I don't spend any time organizing my coupons-or more accurately maybe 3-5 minutes a week, since I use a system where I don't have to cut my coupons out until I know I'm going to use them. But more on organization systems in a future post.

With couponing the more time you spend the more money you can save, but there is definitely a law of diminishing returns. I could spend several hours more each week clipping every coupon, organizing them and bringing them to the store with me (in case something is on sale/clearance that I didn't know about) but in the end it would only save me a little bit more and cost me a lot more time-and so I have decided it's not worth it. Don't get me wrong, I know many people who use their binder system to separate every coupon they find and they love it, it's just not for me. I also know others who have to use a binder system since they don't have a reliable website for the grocery stores in their area to match up the sales. But the bottom line is, you don't have to be a type A personality and coupon queen to save money!

When looking at deals online, I don't even bother with free samples--filling out a 2-5 minute form and survey for a sample of a product that I will only be able to use once just doesn't seem worth it to me when I can spend the same amount of time finding a coupon and getting a full-sized version for pennies or free. I'm also careful about giving out my information and receiving more junk mail, and I always use a separate email address for this purpose.

If you follow my facebook page, I frequently post online deals and freebies in my status. For every one deal you see posted, there are probably 50 that I see and do not repost. I try to only include things I buy myself or would buy if they were applicable to me. I don't enjoy scrolling through 15 posts of $0.30 coupons for strange products, and I'm assuming you don't either--so I hope you find as much value in the deals I share as I do!

Keep collecting those coupons and storing them together, pretty soon we'll talk about how to organize them so your house doesn't look like a grocery store and you can actually find what you need. If you think you don't have enough time to give couponing a try, consider how many hours you spend watching tv each week--if you can use a pair of scissors at the same time (and no offense men, but I know many of you can't) then you can be a lazy couponer too!

1 comment:

  1. I am so lazy- I'm still not sure how much couponing I can do... But I am trying more and more, thanks to you!