Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it sure does come in the Sunday paper, in the form of coupons. Many people don’t clip coupons prior to grocery shopping, most common reasons:
- Takes too much time
- Don’t buy the Sunday paper
- Feel embarrassed giving coupons to cashier
- Forget to take them to the store
Not very often can you have an opportunity to save money on items you are going to buy anyway, for almost no time out of your schedule. Most coupons are good for 25 cents to $1.00 off an item, in some cases that could be as much as 50% off retail. Moreover, if you’re local grocery story doubles coupons (most do up to 50c), you could save even more. One of the local chains in my neighborhood does a coupon tripler every five weeks or so, it works in conjunction with any manufactures coupon up to 50c, making a grand total of $1.50 off that item. Why wouldn’t you do this? I’ll address some of the issues.
Takes too much time. If I spend 5 minutes a week clipping coupons, that is a stretch. I do it while sitting in front of the TV relaxing, flip through the ads, cut out what I need and move on. On average, I’ll clip out between $4 and $10 worth of coupons. Five minutes of time in front of the television for a $10 savings is not a bad result.
Don’t buy the Sunday paper. I just mentioned I will clip an average of $7 worth of coupons out of a Sunday paper, which alone justifies the price of the paper, which is under $2.00 in most communities. If there for some reason there isn’t a gas station or convenience store that you drive past, look into getting home delivery. My local paper does a Saturday and Sunday package that works out to be $1.75 per week, or around 88c per day for weekend delivery. Again, the pros outweigh the cons and you don’t have to leave the house.
Feel embarrassed giving coupons to a cashier. Who cares? Enough said.
Forget to take them to the store. We all forget to take them at one time or another; it is not the end of the world. Slowly work it into your routine, grab your jacket, keys and coupons. Repetition will help with this and there are numerous ways to organize your coupons to take them to the store. Personally, a binder clip works great for me and fits in my pocket, but an index card box can work really well to.
So you clip coupons from your Sunday paper and you are now saving some money at the grocery store, feeling good and less then 5 minutes invested. Let’s take this one step further too really maximize the amount of money you can save. Get more coupons!
Most papers have several editions, mine covers about 5 counties and there are just as many editions of it. They all have the same major headlines but the local sections are more catered to events that are specific within their communities, same with local sports and the classifieds. They also sell ad space to local stores and often times advertisers will put certain coupons in different editions based on how well they do. There are also a few smaller community papers that are in my area, which I don’t purchase, but do have a few limited coupons in.
The coupons are out there, but who wants to drive around and pick them all up, much less subscribe to more then one paper, especially if it won’t have local information to where you live in it. You don’t have to. Chances are you work with a few people, depending what you do, this could be several hundred people. More then likely they will live in various parts of town and could be receiving a different edition of the same paper as you are getting or one of the other papers in the area. Now you can have access to more coupons. Talk to them and see if they will trade coupons with you after they cut out what they don’t want or need.
Go through your coupon fliers on Sunday when you get your paper. Monday morning take them to work, I find that a binder clip on the left side can help hold them together. Gather everyone else’s packs of coupons and bind them together. On the front page, put a sticky note with everyone who has brought coupons in and start passing it around. When your turn comes, go through and get what you need then cross your name off and give it to the next person. Ask that each person takes no more then a day with them to keep it flowing, especially if more then 5 or 6 are doing this. A dozen or more people could accomplish this on their lunch hour if you happen to share or have overlapping breaks.
When your turn comes, clip out what you need. Don’t get super greedy with the coupons though, if you already have three coupons for 30-packs of soda that expire in 2 days, do you really need four more of them? Plan out what you are going to use but try to leave some for the others. After a few weeks of this, you’ll start to notice trends of who likes what brand and can start watching out for other special deals to pass along to friends.
After trading coupons with friends, I have been able to go from an average of $7 worth of coupons from a single Sunday paper to as high as $30 worth of coupons, all with less then 15 minutes of total work.