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I hear so many people tell me that they just don’t have the time to coupon. Really this is just an excuse for folks that are trying to justify why they are paying too much for groceries. Personally I can’t imagine choosing to spend more than you have to, but I know that learning a new habit and skill can seem daunting.
To help take away your time excuse here are some easy ways to decrease the time couponing has to take and the stress:
Stick with the accordion system. Only sit down and cut the coupons that you need for this current trip and don’t cut or organize coupons you don’t need.
Set a Timer
Grab a kitchen timer and set it for 45 minutes. Give yourself this much time and no more to gather your deals and coupons. When the timer goes off, head to the store. At first you may not be truly finished but as you get more comfortable you’ll get faster and many times be done long before it goes off.
Don’t Load Up on Papers
The more Sunday papers you get the more stressful you are making this. Stick to two sets of Sunday inserts. With all the printable coupons that are out, you’ll have plenty of coupons. The more papers you get, the more time this takes!
Print Only what You Need
I follow four rules with printable coupons. First , don’t print everything! Then only print early any coupon that falls into three categories: high value coupons, produce coupons (canned, fresh or frozen) and products that we always use. If it isn’t one of those three categories then leave the printable coupons there. You may miss some, but they will be back. Coupon bloggers love the word “Hot!” but in all honesty coupons come and go and return again and again and again…
Make One Trip Per Week
Don’t be enticed to head to every store for every deal. Pick one grocery store and one drugstore and shop the deals at those stores once a week. Everything will come on sale at the stores that you pick. It may not be same week as another store, but it will happen within the next 2-3 weeks. If a deal comes out after your shopping day… just let it lie. It’s about grabbing the deals you know about and saving what you can quickly and not about running to the store every single day!
Buy Enough for 6 weeks
And only 6 weeks. To save the most money we want to buy things when they are on sale and get enough of them to last until they are on sale again. We don’t need to get enough to last until the end of time though… just six weeks. The more you have the focus of buying everything the more you are making this insane. Trying to get too much also adds to the problems with #3, you’ll need more papers and thus more time.
Keep it simple: you’ll be able to prevent burn-out while feeling happy and frugal at the same time.