Feb 10 2008

How much time do you spend couponing?


I don’t use coupons as much as I have in the past. My main reasons were: I shop at Aldi (which doesn’t accept coupons) and I have a well-stocked supply of toiletries and other products thanks to doing the drugstore deals.

For the last three weekends, I didn’t even buy a newspaper, because I didn’t want to bother with coupons. However, my husband bought a newspaper for me today, so I’ll be clipping those.

Some people have absolutely no interest in using coupons. Others swear by them, and get several newspapers each week and trade coupons, and more. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

Where do you fit in?

When I do go through the inserts, I cut out all coupons I might use, since I know that some items will be free or almost free if I combine them with awesome store deals.

I put them in a little accordian-style filer, which I carry with me pretty much as often as I can (You just never know when you’ll want to dart into a CVS when you’re out and about!).

I use my coupons primarily at the drugstores, but if a deal is extra special at a grocery, I’ll use them there.

Overall, I’d estimate I spend no more than a half an hour cutting and filing coupons. I’m usually watching TV or chatting with my husband while I cut and organize, too.

As far as Internet coupons go, I print them only if it’s a fantastic coupon (usually $2 or more) AND I really want the product. Otherwise, I save my printer the trouble.

So, how about you? How much time do you spend couponing? Do your couponing efforts come and go in cycles?

Posted under Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “How much time do you spend couponing?”

  1. Hi Kacie,

    I did find you via the PG article which I read after unloading my groceries. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I love coupons and am intrigued by your references to drug store deals being a better way to go.

    I have a red coupon sorter that I carry in my purse at all times. It was a present from my State Farm agent and it has been well used. I flipped the cardboard tags over to make my own categories and I religiously go through the coupons in the Sunday papers. I also visit websites for products I use often. I am a believer in sending in praise to corporations who return the gesture with lots of coupons. It takes me about 15 minutes to clip coupons. I tend to take only those that I know I will use — I examine the expiration dates for once in awhile purchases. If I get three months or more to use a coupon, I’ll clip it. If it expires in six weeks, I don’t bother.

    I’ve looked for online sources, but the websites confuse me :-) So I’d love to get some tips.

    I’ve been to Aldi’s and its not the store for me. I prefer Giant Eagle, but I do shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods once in awhile.

    Looking forward to reading more.


  2. No I don’t: I just don’t think it would be worthwhile for me.

  3. I usually spend an hour each week clipping and sorting. This time also includes making out the list and checking what we have at home to use up. If we had better stores in our area I might try to do all the drugstore deals, but with them being an hour away it reall isn’t feasible for our family right now.

  4. I usually spend about a half hour clipping, printing, sorting, and making my lists. I have been doing it for so long, it is just like watching TV or any other such thing…I just do it, without much effort.

    Take Care


  5. It’s sad to admit that I have a few hours worth of clipping and sorting to do. If I was all caught up, it’d be an hour every Sunday, for three inserts. I’d definitely say it’s worthwhile, just because it’s more of a hobby than anything. It also allows me to buy stuff I wouldn’t normally purchase, which is fun to try the new products. I also like having the excess to give to people at work.

  6. I spend about an hour a week planning deals and then about a 1/2 hour clipping coupons. I use a simple method to sort them – just a few categories into manilla envelopes.

    It does change though – I do need to spend more time every few weeks when I need to sort through and pull the expired ones.

  7. I spend about an hour clipping, sorting, and shopping the loss leaders. I use a index card box – here’s my entire couponing system here:
    How to Save on Food
    I stopped couponing for a year because I was mad at the paper and refused to buy it, and we lived in a different town where no one did double coupons.

    Now I’ve moved, and there is a Publix where I go shopping. They double coupons 50 cents or less, and they have awesome BOGO deals (and each item rings up half price, so you can only buy ONE item and still get the sale.) I’m in coupon heaven! Friday I got two boxes of Uncle Ben’s Rice Pilaf mix for 30 cents, total. I got two bottles of Juicy Juice for 45 cents, total.

    I started CVS’ing right after Christmas, so I use coupons for that too. I buy one paper off the shelf after church for the coupons and ads.

  8. I use to be like those that didn’t really bother with coupons because I would rarely find coupons for things I used on a regular basis and didn’t want to spend money on items I don’t normally buy just because I had a coupon. Then I somehow stumbled upon CouponMom and TheGroceryGame and realized just how much I could save using TheGroceryGame’s system. And I just recently learned of drugstore bargain shopping through MoneySavingMom a few months ago. I now keep all the inserts and clip the coupons I need for the current weeks sales unless it’s a coupon for an item I use on a regular basis.
    I’m not completely stocked up on toiletries and such, but for the things I do have an abundance on (like toothpaste) I donate and give to others that need it and plan on doing the same for all other items.

  9. I’ve been getting a little more into drug store shopping, so I’ve paid more attention when I get coupons. I get the insert from a friend who doesn’t use them so they’re FREE for me. Occasionally I look at the box in the library, but rarely find anything there. Another friend shares all her magazines with me. I enjoy them FREE, then give her back the few coupons she will actually use. Win-win! So, I don’t spend much time on this. Like you, we hit Aldia or Sav-a-Lot and I plan my shopping around sales. I also use generics unless I actually have a coupon that works out less [I don’t waste much time on this]. We don’t buy convenience junk food either so that cuts out a whole mass of coupons! Pet food, kitty litter, body wash, shampoo, dish soap. Those are the main ones.

  10. I spend about an hour or so cutting coupons, organizing (I too have a little accordian organizer) and making my lists. I spend a LOT of time at the grocery store matching coupons and price comparison shopping because allergen safe food “ain’t cheap”

    So far I have consistantly saved about 50 dollars combining coupons and store deals every two weeks. Even with the extra time I spend, it makes it worth it. My grocery budget is one of our largest expenses and I am trying desperately to cut it down.

    I don’t have as many options to shop as the rest of you do in the lower 48. I am limited to Walmart, Fred Meyer and “Carrs” our local grocery store in Anchorage, Alaska. Specialty Allergen Free foods are found at the Natural Pantry which requires you to give them your right arm, your first born and the title to your vehicle to shop there!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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