We get it — couponing can take a ton of time and energy. And who has time and energy when you have young kids and a full-time job? #Momlife, am I right?
But you don’t have to be jealous of your BFF’s coupon shopping haul; I promise you can still make couponing work for you. All you have to do is change it up a bit to fit your working schedule.
By sticking to this list for two weeks, I have a six-month supply of laundry detergent that I paid under $6 for, a three-month supply of fancy razors that I paid $10 for, a three-month supply of body wash that I paid $8 for, and a three-month supply of men’s deodorant that I paid $3 for.
And I did it while working a full-time job and being a full-time mom. If I can do it, you know you can too!
Here are my six recommendations:
1. I only use newspaper coupons. Trust me, I’ll explain.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to juggle both newspaper inserts and printable coupons. Just don’t.
Totally pretend that printable coupons don’t even exist. The idea is to make your life as hassle-free as possible and keep your coupons easy to shuffle through while you’re planning a shopping trip.
And unless you have tons of friends who are dying to print coupons for you, the best way to stock up might be to buy multiple newspaper inserts. Coupons.com recently made it so you can only print two coupons per mobile phone number.
I buy my Sunday newspapers every week at the Dollar Tree for $1. It’s a quick in-and-out trip that saves me money on newspapers and time printing coupons at home.
2. I only clip coupons for products I know my family will actually use.
The rest go straight into the recycling bin.
I know, I know. That high value coupon for fish sticks might look tempting. But if your kids hate fish sticks and you’re busy but still want to coupon, it’s not worth keeping that coupon around cluttering up your life. Just let it go.
Even free fish sticks cost you time, energy, and space if no one eats them. Speaking of which…
3. I only coupon for household items, paper goods, and non-perishable food.
Planning your weekly meals around your couponing stockpile and shopping only for supplemental items during your weekly grocery trip is definitely the way to go. But if you simply can’t swing it because you’re getting home at 5:30 every night and often need to do quick meals, don’t give up on couponing completely.
Focus on things like laundry detergent, razors, diapers, toilet paper, cereal, and canned goods. These are all easily stored, get used daily, and everyone needs them. Plus household items are some of the most expensive things to buy full-price!
4. I only do six-month (sometimes three-month) stock-up deals.
Check your KCL app for the latest deals, but totally ignore the ones that aren’t priced low enough for a six-month stock-up shopping trip. I’ll fudge sometimes when we are getting low on an item and do a three-month stock-up deal.
For example, the stock-up price for All Free and Clear laundry detergent is $1.99 for a 46-50oz bottle. Unless you are desperate and every single one of your son’s socks are crusty and gross, don’t stock up unless the price is $1.99 or under. Not $2.16, not $2…$1.99.
Stocking up only when prices drop to stock-up levels saves you a ton of energy.
5. I only do one or two deals per week. No more.
Let’s be real, if you only have time for a quick trip to the store on your commute between work and home, a three-hour couponing trip just isn’t going to happen. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Instead, when you’re checking your KCL app, choose up to two weekly deals to slay. If you choose different items every week, you’ll see your stockpile grow like crazy with minimal effort.
6. I always check Ibotta when I do my “regular” non-coupon shopping trip.
This step takes almost no time and saves you those few extra dollars. It goes like this: Just shop like you normally would for whatever your family needs.
And when you’re unloading your groceries, double-check the Ibotta app for extra savings. Don’t do this step when you’re in the store or you’ll just be tempted by things you don’t need.
Check afterward and scan your barcodes if you have items with rebates. I’ve racked up $28.75 in the last month just doing this simple step.