June 30, 2017 BY COSMO MORABBI, THE GF PEACH GUY
Coupons... You've seen them, used them from time to time, and know someone that only purchases things when they have one (we try our best with exception to fresh organic produce). There is over 470 billion dollars worth of coupons distributed in the U.S., so why is it that the average person only saves approximately $11.60 a year from couponing?
It's because most people don't treat it like like the job that it is.
You are here because, like us, you are deciding to take couponing a little more seriously. Realizing that you can save 20%, 33%, 50%, even 75% as an average on everything you buy sounds nice.
And it is nice....
But it takes a lot of work. And you, nor we, have the time to spend 20 hours a week couponing. As a matter of fact, taking the time to coupon like you see in "extreme couponing," simply lacks the benefits some believe it has. Don't take our words for it, take an extreme couponer's words saying "couponing is a complete waste of time."
Now that we have steered you away from couponing, let's explain the easy (or lazy) way to coupon, that will give you some good cash back, more time to do things that matter, and limit the stress and confusion that comes with scouring for the best deals.
Initially, doing these may take some time, but once you have a great system in place for yourself, get ready to have that extra $100, $200, $500 dollars a month with little effort.
Then celebrate your savings with money towards your leisure activities, health, retirement account, student loans, debt, mortgage, car payment, children, etc.
So here are the ways to easily save some money through coupons and not the ways to get 80 cans of tomato sauce for $3.
By a little time, you're are going to need anywhere from an hour to 4 hours (this depends how organized you already are with your weekly groceries/buying lists and your smartphone/computer skills). This will give you enough time to get acquainted with your tools and needs. If you want to get this done easily and efficiently, you will need a few things.
If you don't already use it, we suggest using the Google Chrome browser for making purchases. Then go and download these two Chrome extensions:
Now when I go shopping online I try to get the maximum discount before using my cash back deal. I will start by declining the Ebates cashback until I am able to see the maximum discount Honey finds for me. Afterwards with the founded coupon code, I add the cashback deal getting me the maximum discount and maximum cash back deal possible.
The key to great couponing with little time is utilizing a few great apps. Here's the list
Coupons.com (App) (Website)
Krazy coupon lady (App) (Website)
If you don't have a smartphone or access to apps, you should be able to complete this all online.
Download these apps, get the introduction, and decide which ones work for you. We have used all of these at some point and are pretty quick the the four main ones we use now. So anytime we have downtime we pop these open and get our couponing done for the week!
When we first started out couponing, we went app crazy and downloaded 30 different apps to try and figure out what worked best for us. We tried going to different grocery stores just so we could get the cheapest price for a few items.
This took a lot of time, traveling to each store and even led to some arguments from being exhausted and stressed over finding the best price. So we stopped and decided to do all of our shopping at primarily two grocery stores, VONS and Whole Foods. Since Dallas has Celiac Disease and other conditions we must eat gluten-free and organic, which increases our grocery bill, but doesn't mean we can't coupon just as much as if we weren't.
If you have a certain store you primarily shop at, check to see if they have an app (almost all do), After that set up your account and store card, then get scroll away to save!
Some Nationwide stores with apps include Walmart's App and Target's Cartwheel App
Many of the local grocery stores have points that can be redeemed at the gas pump. We always try to get extra points whether that is bringing in your own bag or checking of a 2X points coupon in the store's app. We usually save a minimum of 20 cents every time we are filling up.
The answer is, of course, yes and no. This is completely up to you. We don't really believe it's worth the time to manually clip coupons, but when we grab the mail, we sometimes flip through them and find a few useful ones to clip. In the end the one's we found useful in the past were the restaurant coupon's, but now we just find deals through the Coupon App
New Glasses - Just the other day I bought new glasses online. This was my first pair since 2007. My vision has since changed, there were several scratches on the frames and lens, and the frames would no longer fit even after some adjustment. It was time to move on.
Couponing does not have to be a daunting experience, nor does it need to require a ton of your time on a weekly basis. by utilizing some easy to use Apps during your downtime, you can quickly save money that can drastically improve and surpass you ability to meet financial goals.
With these methods mentioned above Dallas and I end up easily saving $400+ a month. And while much of our savings comes couponing, we also get a heap of cash back through our credit cards. Some of these include our 6% back at grocery stores, 5% back at the pump, 5% at Amazon, etc. We will address these and some other money saving tips in a later post.
If you don't have a budget that you consistently meet, we suggest you do not use credit cards until your budget is clear. You can start getting things organized with our easy monthly budgeting worksheet.
As an example, here is one of our recent grocery trips where we stock up for the month. We pretty much spend $60 a week for the other 3 weeks of the month. Remember, we eat a ton of organic and gluten free foods, so we think we are doing pretty well with our couponing. Especially since we only spend about an hour a week doing it.
side note: This does not include the 6% back (extra $12.08) from out credit card and the $4.25 we got back from our favorite cashback apps. With that, our total is $185.03 or nearly %40 off. Not bad for a little couponing.