Couponing is a great way to save money on your grocery budget, but many of us struggle to fit sorting, clipping, and filing into our already busy lives. So how do "extreme couponers" do it? Is it possible to fit couponing into your busy schedule? Yes, it is! With a little planning, some great ideas on how to juggle couponing, and just an hour or two set aside on a weekend, you can learn to coupon even if you think you're too busy.
Sit down and write out your daily schedule (even for your weekend). Once you have it jotted down, look for where you have extra time (even just thirty minutes or an hour) where you can plan to do your couponing and schedule it in. It could be on a Tuesday night after the kids are in bed, on a Saturday morning between basketball games, or Sunday evening after you've finished getting everything done for the coming week. It doesn't matter when the time is—just make sure you schedule it in so you have a planned time for your new couponing endeavor.
2. Try the "No-Clip Coupon Method"
Instead of spending all your valuable time clipping coupons, try using the "No-Clip Coupon Method." This simple and easy approach involves filing away the whole insert sheet when you find a coupon you want to use, instead of clipping them all at once. Have a file system for the inserts (for example, you could label your files as "RedPlum," "Smart Source," "P&G" and various others like pharmacies and the names of grocery stores). Before a shopping trip, take out the inserts and cut out only the coupons you need for that particular shopping trip. This saves a ton of time during your scheduled couponing hour (or whatever time you have).
3. Coupon at just one store (at most, two)
This might not save much time during your planned couponing time, but it definitely saves a lot during your shopping trip. If you tend to shop at Walmart or Kroger mostly, then make sure your coupons are matched up to those particular sales and just use them at those specific stores.
4. Let someone else do the work for you
If you just don't have even an hour to spare for your couponing endeavors, then visit the KCL website and check out the "Coupons" and "Deals" tabs. These areas of the site will help you match up your coupons to store deals so you can save the most money (and precious time since you won’t have to match prices yourself!). You can even search by store, or look up specific coupons that are listed under the "Coupons" tab—it will definitely cut your work time in half!
5. Subscribe to your local Sunday newspaper
If you don't already, invest in two copies of your local Sunday paper so you don't have to go out to a store and purchase one every week; subscribing to two copies means you'll have double the coupon inserts each week.
6. Decide what you want to save on and only keep those coupons
For example, if your family eats a lot of meals from scratch, then look for coupons on items like flour, baking mixes (like Bisquick), sugar or sugar substitutes (especially if you bake a lot) and other products that you use a lot in scratch cooking. Or if you’re like me, and use a lot of cleaning products, keep an eye out for those coupons in the newspaper coupon inserts and be sure to stock up when they go on sale at your local grocery store.
This is a guest post by Kristy from Catawba, Virginia.