My very last post was about how I save more than I spend on groceries. Seems sort of weird to follow that up with a post about my couponing dilemma – but, this is my real life and maybe others are going through the same challenges.
I avoiding couponing for a long time because of the time I assumed was involved in getting everything done. But, we came to a point in our lives that I really had no choice but to start looking a little harder for deals and steals.
Once I got going, it felt like the time versus the savings was well worth it. In fact, on that last article about saving on groceries, I noted that I paid myself $25 per hour in grocery savings! Not bad!
But, I’m sort of hitting a wall in the process and wondered what all you other frugal shoppers are doing.
Right now, I have a really easy coupon system going. I don’t clip every coupon and I don’t file them by grocery category which saves me literally hours! I put the whole coupon insert into a folder and organize my folders by week. So, I have all the coupon inserts that I received on June 6th in one folder (2 RedPlum, 2 SmartSource, 2 P&G) and so on.
When all those awesome blogging ladies get the sales matched up to the coupons for the week, I pull out my coupons and only clip the ones that I need. They’ve done all the work and I get the deals! Seems like a perfect world, no?
No! Unfortunately, I end up wasting tons of time searching for coupons that I don’t have for sales that aren’t in my area. Since sales and coupons are put out on a regional basis, I don’t get some coupons that shoppers in Texas get and I get some that they don’t get. In fact, it even varies by the paper I buy in my own area! Not to mention that by the time I get my coupons (I get my paper at a discount on Tuesday) and my emails from the frugal bloggers together, lots of the products have already flown off the shelves.
So, I thought maybe I would start to do the matchups for my area and post them here on the blog for others in my area to take advantage of as well. Oh but the TIME involved!!!!! I’d have a ton of work to catch up on and then a lot of work each week to make that happen.
Here are my choices:
#1. Stick with the current system.
- Pros – not an overwhelming amount of prep time involved, still save money on groceries
- Cons – wasting some time in research, not getting all the deals because products are gone, might be missing some deals specific to my area
#2. Move into a new system.
- Pros – take advantage of coupons and deals in my area, get to be of service to my readers that are in my area, possibly save more money
- Cons – lots of time involved
What would you do?