Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Don’t Have Time (Long post)

As I have gone about explaining my Couponing World to others, I find people to be very excited but I hear the phrase “That is so great, I wish I had time to do that, but…”
My friends, I understand completely. We all have obstacles in our way. I do not have children, but some of you do. My sister does, and she is able to accomplish many of these tips and tricks we give you.

Here is what I want to say to you: Evaluate your time, what it is worth, where you need to have savings, and then figure out how much time you can devote to saving money. For example, we all have rising food budgets because of rising prices. Well, can you take one hour a week to organize coupons from the Sunday paper and print them online? Can you take ten minutes to make a grocery list and pull coupons from your organizer to take the store? Most of us grocery shop every week or so already, so I would rather not include the time spent shopping as part of the time spent organizing and preparing to shop. My point here is that my average savings after 7 months of couponing is $50.00 per trip- and I grocery shop every 3 weeks. This means I am averaging $50.00 per hour for organizing and preparing for my shopping trip. That is more than my day job!

When I first found the blogs I read about saving money I was overwhelmed as I am sure you are. I started by only going to CVS and accumulating Extra Bucks (ECB). It took me a long time to plan what I was going to buy, how many ECB’s I would get, and how I would use them. Now, I can do CVS with my eyes closed, and you will be able to as well.

Also, I started only by couponing (don’t you love how this has become a verb?) and nothing else. I saved my receipts and slowly worked in rebates. After I was comfortable with rebates I began using coupons for my all of my grocery shopping, and then I added online surveys and communities as ways to further increase my savings.

The two things I hope you take away from this are 1) You can specialize these methods to the area(s) that work best for you and 2) To remember that old saying about eating an elephant one bite at a time.

posted by Stephanie

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