I love getting thank you’s like this one from Kolette (I granted her coupon wishes as part of a giveaway for HoustonSAHM.com): “I can not believe you were able to find all of those coupons for stuff I actually use. That is amazing to me. I used to clip coupons, but it seemed like the coupons were for items that were brand new, and not things I would necessarily buy on a regular basis. I can’t believe you took the time to find and clip those for me.”

Of course I was thrilled to be able to provide the coupons to Kolette, and it was well worth my time to do so. I emphasized the word TIME because I want to give you some food for thought. The last of my Coupon Tips for January is that you need to evaluate the time you are spending on your coupon collecting, clipping, sorting, filing, matching, planning, listing, and shopping. Even if you do not work, TIME IS MONEY! I love using coupons, but I do not like spending a lot of time on them.

So, I looked at my weekly grocery receipts to identify how much money that coupon clipping is really saving me? Typically I save about $10 to $20 a week using coupons (that includes savings for doubling and tripling). I am ignoring my coupon savings at CVS and Walgreens because shopping at those stores is such an anomaly. And how much time am I spending collecting, clipping, sorting, filing, matching, planning, listing, and shopping with those coupons? More than an hour a week, maybe up to five hours a week. I’ve decided I want to reclaim that time back, and go ahead and spend that extra $10 to $20 a week on my groceries.

Why am I making such drastic changes to my couponing methods? My time is now actually worth money. Freebies 4 Mom is my hobby and I love it. Editing is my part-time job and I love it. But my coupon time and my work time coexist within the same time slots of my day. Something has to change so that I can focus on how the use of my time can yield the greatest return for my family.

Don’t worry about me, I haven’t gone off the deep end! I’m just experimenting, and will be declaring February a “Non-Coupon” month for me. I will still be using coupons, but I will not be dedicating large chunks of time to them. I’ll still be posting great coupons I find, but I won’t be spending time planning complicated shopping trips around those great coupons.

I wanted to share this with you to encourage you to ask yourself:
What is my time worth?
Am I spending my time on the things that I love?”