Every day, I hear people say that they don’t use coupons because they don’t have the time to go through the papers and mailers and clip the coupons. “It just takes too much time” they say. Those same people, will spend hours budgeting and finding ways to save themselves money, but they don’t see couponing as a viable use of their time and efforts. While coupons may not be as important to your financial health as a budget, they can be just as good as many of the other saving methods that you will employ.
With the popularity of extreme couponing, it’s no wonder that people feel that they need to spend hours each week pouring over newspaper inserts, clipping coupons, then sorting them all into categories and then making plans for where they’ll shop and what they’ll buy. In their mind, they see piles and piles of inserts, and closets full of extra supplies that they’ll need years to use up.
Couponing doesn’t need to be extreme, though. If skipping your daily latte can be a good strategy for saving a few dollars a day, so can clipping a few coupons. Taking a few minutes each week to flip through the inserts in your paper and clipping the few coupons that you find for the things that you buy regularly can easily save you a few dollars a week. Signing up for manufacturer email newsletters can often result in an electronic coupon to print out once or twice a month. A few extra emails a month is a small price to pay to save a dollar or two.
Now, the thing to remember here is that you aren’t going to retire off of the money you’ll save. And, you certainly won’t be sending your kids to college with it either. But, saving money is saving money. A few dollars here, and a few dollars there all adds up in the grand scheme of things. Heck, maybe you clip coupons so that you can treat yourself once a week to that latte that you’re currently skipping.
Anything that can be done, has been done to an extreme. But, just because the extreme version of something is popular, doesn’t mean that it has to be the only way. Just like there are people who run extreme marathons of 100 miles or more, doesn’t mean that you can’t be a runner. Just because there are hyper-milers who squeeze every extra bit of MPG out of their cars, doesn’t mean that you can’t employ a few of the same methods to save a bit on gas. And, just because there are people who spend hours each week clipping, sorting, and analyzing coupons, doesn’t mean that you can’t spend a few minutes each Sunday to save a few bucks.