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Coupon Tip #31 – Time to Stop Clipping

by Freebies4Mom on January 31, 2008 9:30 am

I love getting thank you’s like this one from Kolette (I granted her coupon wishes as part of a giveaway for “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?”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather January 31, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Thanks for sharing, Carrie! Kids come first – saving money comes second! And keeping my sanity is up there on the list, too.


Carrie @ January 31, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I loved this article, and I TOTALLY agree. Everything I do to save money, I always calculate what I made an hour to figure out if it is worth it or not. If I spend more than my kids naptime on something, then I figure…I would be better off going back into my professional career and making a lot more money, since I am taking time away from my kids anyway.For example, there was this great Walgreens $5 off coupon for ONLY today. But, I refused to go to the store to buy a few things with it. My Walgreens day is when my daughter is at preschool for a few hours and I have that time. So, instead…we had a playdate with some friends ( beach day themed ), and then met the grandparents for a fun evening. So, the $5 was NOT worth the time away from my kids. Now, if it would have been on Tues while she was at school…I would have been all over that coupon.


Heather January 31, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Amy! I’m hoping to make some good changes in February, and will be finding the right balance for me. It definitely makes it easier when your store doesn’t even accept coupons!


Amy January 31, 2008 at 1:04 pm

I will admit it, I don’t clip coupons. I shop at Aldi and while I might miss out on a deal once in awhile, I still feel like we are doing really well and staying within our grocery budget. Since Aldi doesn’t take coupons, I have less guilt associated with not bringing coupons with me.You have to do what is best for your family! I have found there are just things that are not worth my time, even if I save a few bucks here and there. I am proud of you for prioritizing 🙂


Heather January 31, 2008 at 9:34 am

Thanks for sharing what works for you, Megan! I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot in February (and sharing what I learn with my readers). It’s going to be hard to restrain myself, because I usually clip every single coupon and buy 3 Sunday papers.


Megan January 31, 2008 at 9:30 am

I don’t clip on a weekly basis. I only get 1 copy of the Sunday paper. If there are sales I read about, then I will go hunt down my inserts and find the coupon(s) I need. Or I will go order some on ebay if I can get multiples for free. Then I take the coupons I’m going to use in an envelope. And that’s it! But I too was spending a ton of time clipping and not getting the return in savings (in my opinion). Maybe I didn’t have a good system, but what I’m doing now works for me.


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