But Couponing Takes Too Much Time
Many people have quit couponing or have been intimidated by it because couponing takes too much time. You see these people on tv who have dedicated their lives to saving practically making it a full time job. Frankly, most people just don’t have time for that. And if you are truly spending that much time on it, you probably aren’t saving enough money to make your time worth it.
Fortunately, there is good news. In reality you don’t have to spend as much time as you think to save a reasonable amount of money with coupons. In fact, my mantra is you only need to spend about 2 hours a week. That’s why it’s called Two Hour Couponing after all, right? Here are 7 tips to follow to help minimize your time couponing and maximize your savings.
1. Don’t Clip Coupons
Forget the clipping method. Let’s face it, it just takes WAY too much time for my liking. Instead switch to the insert method. This will significantly cut down on the time you spend couponing. When I first started couponing I would spend about 2-3 hours just clipping and organizing all the coupons each week. Even the most efficient clippers spend a significant amount of their time on organization. Since changing to the insert method I spend about 15 minutes or less organizing each week. That’s a 90 percent savings on time. And once I’ve made my list, I spend less than 10 minutes clipping the coupons I need for my trip.
“But what if something is on clearance, and then I don’t have my coupons?” Is that clearance item really worth the time you took away from yourself and your family? Probably not. But if this part really concerns you, then you have to be comfortable bringing all your inserts with you to the store and using a website like below to look up if there is a coupon available.
2. Focus On One Store
I talked about this in a previous post, but this really is an important time saving tip. Think about it. Do you really have time to run around to every store trying to score every deal? Not me that’s for sure. Besides that you have to take into account the gas you are using to get to all these stores. In the end it just isn’t worth it to run around all over town all the time just because 1 item at each store is on sale. Talk about exhausting. That’s why I always suggest to focus on one store or possibly two, perhaps a grocery store and a pharmacy. Not only is it less stressful, but you are spending less time running around.
3. Rely On A Good Couponing Website
Don’t waste your time sitting down with the ad and your coupons and trying to make all the match ups. There are reliable couponing sites out there that will do that for you. And I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of other people doing all the work for me. My favorite couponing site is The Krazy Coupon Lady which I talk about more here. Using a site like this will greatly reduce your time in researching deals and planning your shopping trips. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t browse the ads. It’s always helpful to have somewhat of an idea of the sales for that week. For more information about choosing a good website, read this post.
4. Only Shop One Day Out of The Week
Again, this goes along with only focusing on one couponing store. Why would you want to be running around all the time trying to get all the deals? It’s just too much of a chunk out of your life. But what day is best to go? Honestly, this can depend on a lot of factors, but mostly on your own schedule. For tips about choosing a good couponing day, read this post.
5. Don’t Skimp On Organization
If you don’t invest at least a little bit of time organizing your coupons on the front end, it will take you longer to plan your trip on the back end. Choosing some sort of an organization method and actually obtaining the materials to make it happen is important. You have to have a way to find your coupons that is efficient and makes sense otherwise trying to plan your shopping trip will be a disaster. Again, let a couponing website help you. They generally will tell you which insert or website to go to. And if your coupons are organized neatly, you should be able to go right there and clip it out within a matter of seconds.
6. Refrain From Buying THings You Don’t Need
Try to only focus on couponing for those items that you need and actually use. By doing so you can easily skip over deals that don’t apply to you. This also means your shopping list will be shorter, you will spend less time planning, and also less time shopping in the store. This can make for a relatively quick in and out at the store and a much less complicated transaction at the register.
7. Limit Your Purchase Quantity
Along with only buying things you need, try to only purchase between 2-4 of each item. Again this will make your in store experience shorter and a quicker transaction time at the register. Plus instead of having to clip your coupons out from 10 different inserts for the same item, you only have to clip 2-4 or only have to print from 1-2 computers instead of 5. This will also help you save time planning your trip.
You can control the amount of couponing in your life instead of it controlling you.