Mo' money, Mo' problems

15 mins can save you $100….

…or more on car insurance.  (According to Geico)

15 mins can also save you $100 or more on groceries.  Every week!!!!  Just by clipping coupons.

That’s how much I save on food and household items every single week (sometimes the savings are even greater) by doing nothing more than clipping coupons out of my Sunday news paper.  15mins a week  for $100.  Thats over $400 a month extra in your pocket for less than an hour of your time.  $400…when’s the last time you made $400 an hour?

(picture from orangejuiceblog.com)

I talk to a lot of people who tell me “I wish I could get great savings like you, but I just don’t have the time to coupon.”  I know couponing may appear daunting and look extremely time-consuming with all those little pieces of paper and store ads, but its really very simple and  15mins is all it takes.

Easy steps to your 15mins of savings:

Step #1: Allocate 15mins a week to clip and organize your coupons.

  • I can hear the rebuttals all ready “but that’s just the issue, I don’t have 15mins.”  If getting up 15mins earlier on a Sunday morning is simply not an option, how about clipping during commercial breaks of your favorite television program? Did you know the average American TV show is comprised of 41% commercial time?  Meaning that one hour episode of  America’s Got Talent you just watched was actually only 35mins of programing?  The other 24mins was commercials (marketingcharts.com)?!?!  That 24mins of down time during your favorite show that could be used to save you and your family $400 a month! 

Step #2: Pull the coupon inserts from your local paper. 

  • There should always be two inserts (smartsource and redplum).  The first Sunday of the month will have three inserts (smartsource, redplum and a P&G savor).  If you do not have your newspaper delivered to your house, always check the middle of the paper before buying it at the store to ensure you have all your coupon inserts.

Step #3: Clip and Sort Coupons

  • I like to sort my coupons as I clip (and I clip every coupon.  If it’s a product that my family won’t use I mail some to friends that I know regularly buy that item or I hold on to it in case a fantastic sale comes along making that item a ‘money maker’)  As I cut the coupons I separate them out on the table into groups: yogurt, cheese, cereal, canned items, frozen food etc.  This makes putting the coupons away much quicker.
  • Divide coupons as you clip.

     

Step #4: Organize your coupons for quick reference while shopping

  • The key to saving money  is to be organized.  It doesn’t help to have a coupon for $2 off if you can’t find it when it comes time to shop.  They sell plenty of “coupon organizers” at the dollar store or on line (below picture), but I prefer the basic binder system I made (you can see it in my lap in the above picture).  I took an old binder and labeled paper protectors with grocery store categories.  I like having the clear plastic to easily see through, and I prefer the slim binder for carrying as opposed to a bulky coupon organizer.    Here is my coupon divder breakdown (in the order I shop through the store)
  1.  -Produce (very rarely have coupons here)
  2. -Dairy (sub divided into milk, cheese, yogurt with paper clips)
  3.  -Meat (sub divided into fresh, frozen and deli)
  4. -Canned and jarred food
  5. -Breakfast items (sub divided into cereal and granola bars)
  6.  -Household Paper items and Cleaning products
  7. -Beauty items (divided into shampoo, body wash, tooth paste etc with paper clips)
  8.  -Pet products
  9.   -Beverages and produce

 * this is just a system that works well for me, that I find easy to locate my coupons. You can certainly devise your own

My Store bought binder

Step #5: Create your shopping game plan

Now that your coupons are all organized you can create your shopping game plan.  Look at your local supermaket’s weekly sales inserts.  Circle the items your family uses and then look in your coupon binder to see if you have any matching coupons.  It’s really that simple 🙂 

Just remember the key is to stay organized in your coupon book and pantry.  You need to be able to quickly identify what types of items you need and then if you have a coupon for it.  Last month I was lazy and just put my Sunday inserts into a pile each week, only clipping out what coupons I needed.  It made shopping so much more difficult because I couldn’t look and see if I had a needed coupon  and then I had to spend an hour all together last week getting caught up with clipping and organizing coupons.  It’s so much easier to just invest 15 mins  each week.

15mins a week will save you $100 or more…. (according to Diana) 🙂

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