Hurricane Irma just blew through my home town and most of the West Coast of Florida. People were without power for many days. My parents were without power for 5 days and they lost everything inside their refrigerator.
Many people posted images of their refrigerators completely empty due to Irma. This picture was posted to my Facebook Community:
Last week I discussed how to rebuild your stockpile without spending a lot of money. One obvious way to do that is by using coupons and when I gave that suggestion to several of my friends, I received some push back from my friends and family because they have the preconceived notion that couponing takes a ton of time.
And while that can be true, I’d like to give you my best tips for ways to coupon that should save you around $100 per week in less than 2 hours time.
Do you have 2 hours you can carve out if broken up into small segments? What if I told you it could save you upwards of $100 each week?
I say… how can you afford NOT to?!
Well let’s get to it!
I also spoke about this topic on on Fox TV on 9/24/17. Please watch the replay video here:
Before you begin using coupons at all, you need to realize that the majority of the items you will be purchasing are going to be on sale, that’s how you save so much money… you buy the items when they are on sale AND then add in coupons on top to further discount the product.
Next Important: Buy Enough
When the item is at that Stock Up Price you have to “stock up” and buy enough to last for your family until it would be back at that Stock Up Price again. When you go to buy something, think about how much you will use over the following 3 months. Becuase if you use the gauge of stocking up with what your family will use in 3 months (12 weeks) then that will ensure you don’t pay full price the next time you need that product. That means for laundry detergent you might need to buy 6 of them to last your family 3 months.
1. The Obvious Time Saver
The most obvious way to save time when you coupon is to skip the Newspaper and use only Printable Coupons. Because with Printable coupons you are not having to look through multiple file folders to find and cut out coupons. You can even simply print and not cut them out until you get to the store.
2. Stop Chasing Deals
This could also be called “STAY FOCUSED” because, in order to maximize your time to save, you have to realize that there are a LOT of deals available. There are freebies at almost every store that pop up every day. You can’t possibly get them all if you want to limit your time to only 2 hours per week. You do this by focusing on shopping at only ONE store.
I know it can get temping to want to run over to Target for free pens and then head to Walmart for the free coffee or to stop at Walgreens for the free mouthwash. But going to multiple stores will only run you ragged and waste your precious time. Instead, pick your favorite store and stick with it. All those deals will eventually pop up at your one favorite store as well I promise.
3. Meal Plan Then Coupon Plan
So if you are an avid meal planner, then when you meal plan, your next step should be the coupon database so that you can see what deals are available for the meals you are planning. Then only look for printable coupons for those ingredients (in other words I would skip using the newspaper for lack of time to dig and cut them out of your coupon box).
Note: This is opposite of regular couponing because you’re picking coupons based on what’s on your list instead of planning your meals around coupons.
4. Skip The Groceries
Couponing for groceries is what will take a longer time to process. Instead, while you are short on time, make your couponing list only for basics that you or your family go through frequently.
Stock up on shaving products, hair products, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies or other household items. By saving money on the non-groceries you’ll still save plenty of money.
5. Coupon By Area
Another way to save time is to choose one “section” each week and only use coupons for them when you go shopping each week. One-week coupon for paper products, the next only for laundry detergent, the next for only dry items (snacks, cereal & baking etc.).
6. Never Pre-Cut Coupons
One of the first strategies I teach my friends is not to cut any coupons when you get the inserts in your newspaper on Sunday.
Simply file them by the Sunday date they arrive in your newspaper and then the coupons are listed with that date on them to make it easy to find them later.
Cutting them now will not save you any time later, it will only waste your time right now. Instead, once you figure out what you are shopping for, THEN find the file and cut the coupons… be laser focused so you don’t spend any unnecessary time cutting coupons you won’t use.
7. Laser Focus In On Certain Types Of Deals
Did you know that you can use my Custom Source Search feature to find ONLY printable deals or Ibotta deals or search for deals in ONLY one coupon insert so you can simply grab that coupon insert and bring it with you to cut once you are in the aisle in front of the item.
I know this sounds kinda crazy because you would be missing other deals happening at the store. But sometimes our worst critic can be ourself, so give yourself grace and instead focus on how much you will save in money AND in time.
**NOTE: When you use the search, be careful to notice the dates of the sales and don’t forget to ONLY look for the items that have a Shopping Cart or True Deal Button on them.
Go ahead, try it out right now! Just type “ibotta” into this search and see what stores have the best Ibotta Deals you can get this week:
Provide search term and click 'Search'
I know you might think there is no way to add even one more thing to your week, but if you think of the potential it has for saving you so much money, I mean think about what you could do with an extra $100 per week?! Those savings make it worth it!
Fellow Expert Couponers: Comment below with other ways YOU save time when you coupon!