This series is for all those myths and comments many of us couponers get from the non-coupon users out there. If you missed the first two posts of this series you can read it still.
- Myth #1: Couponing is a Waste of Time
- Myth #2: I Wouldn’t Benefit from Using Coupons, Because I like to cook from Scratch
Coupon Myth #3: “Time Vs. Money: Couponing Not Worth The Time.”
Guest series of posts by Bonnie H.
I will skip the priority speech that I gave when I talked about Myth #1: Couponing is a Waste of Time. But I will say this: If you want to spend say, 10 minutes a week looking for a few coupons or sales, and maybe just stick with CostCo or WinCo then you CAN save a little bit! If you’re willing to put in more time and energy, you will save A LOT MORE.
Using Happy Money Saver’s My Spending & Shopping Tracker excel program, I tracked my spending and savings last year. My total amount spent on everything—groceries, diapers, wipes, pull-ups, laundry soaps, toiletries, cleaning supplies—was $3900.96. The total saved with sales and coupons? $6943.48. I saved almost $7000! For a stay-at-home mom who works part time, I feel great knowing that I made a $6943 dent in our family’s finances. We all have to buy groceries anyway, so why not save money on it?
Have you been keeping track of how much you save by using coupons? Please share your numbers!
Comments & Reviews
Oh my that is so sweet Christa!! Thanks for the compliments. So glad you are saving so much money!
My husband and I also decided I would be a stay at home mom once we discovered we were pregnant. I was in nursing school but decided that being home with my babies would be best. Of course, this left us with half the income but with twice the expenses (due to a little one). Now that we have two babies we were finding it hard to NOT pull money out of our savings every month to help our checking account out. We were in a sinking boat with no paddle! That is until I discvered this wonderful world of couponing!
I’m a baby couponer..only started a few months ago. Right away, I started making a meal planner and comparing prices with stores. Albertsons & Rite Aid are the two stores where I score BIG TIME! I’ve cut my shopping budget in more than half. Last month I had a budget of $200 (cut in half from $400-$500) and using the excel program here are my numbers:
Spent: $146.93! So I’m $53 bucks UNDER budget!!!!!!!!
Total amount saved: $589.28!
That means I purchased $736 worth of groceries but only paid $146 bucks on all of it! PLUS, my stockpile is overflowing and my pantry is still full of at least 2 weeks worth of meals! Oh, and I’m UNDER budget for the first time EVER!
I am so thankful to you amazing ladies who make it easy for us! You do the hard work for us and my family is finally able to start putting money INTO savings, not pulling it out! You are awesome Karrie and you do a huge service to your followers! Thanks to you I can still be a stay at home mom! I see couponing as my part time job!
Karrie, I definitely agree that Albie’s sale prices (even w/o coupons) can be a lot less than Walmart or Winco! When doublers are out, Albie’s is definitely the place to get a deal on some specific items. But if you’re not a price-watcher (i.e. not a regular coupon shopper), shopping regular price at Albie’s is a quick way to rack up a big bill.
I totally agree with you, Juli, I don’t think the “I saved X” comparisons are really valid!
I do a lot of price-matching and couponing at Walmart. Although I don’t have a “you saved Y today” number on the bottom of my receipt, I know that I’m definitely still saving over & above the regular Walmart price. And to me, the Walmart price is a much more legitimate “starting point” cost than Albertson’s regular high price.
I will tell you that when you are shopping the sale prices at Albertsons often times that Albertsons sale price beats the tar off of Walmart or Winco prices. I am often able to get FREE items using coupons at Albertsons, however at Winco and Walmart – it is much more of a rarity.
A lot of people think – oh Albertsons is Expensive, and while yes everything that is not on sale is more expensive than almost anywhere, when they have sales they are so HOT! (of course not so much this week…but that happens everyone in awhile.)
I do understand that those of us who shop at Albertsons the savings price is a bit inflated on the reciept compared to Walmart or Winco, However, I LOVE that it is a higher number too, because that just makes us shoppers feel even better.
KOMO News in Seattle had a blurb on about coupons last month. In 2010, US residents saved $3.7 billion using coupons. That’s a lot of money! Last Feb. I linked to an article from the Wall Street Journal where they figured out the hourly rate of clipping coupons (this was based on 2009 data). Know what it was? Over $80 an hour…& that’s tax free!
So when I hear “I don’t have enough time to clip coupons” I always counter with “What would you do with an extra 50% of your grocery budget? Go on a trip, pay off debt, save for a house? Because you can save that much by spending 10 hrs or less a month clipping coupons.” That usually gets their attention. 🙂
my first full year of couponing was 2010…i do keep track and here are my numbers, WELL worth the time..i am a single mom of two 17 year old teenaged boys and am living on social security disability, on a fixed income, we have to stretch every pennie…
would have cost:
For me and my family it’s a no brainer that it is worth it. When we decided to have children we also decided that I would stay at home with them which at that time cut our income in half (yikes). For years we struggled to make ends meet and I made it work on his income, but since I learned how to coupon and found resources for “deals” besides grocery couponing it has given us some wiggle room for other things – vacations, college…..
I used to spend $800 for groceries and household for our family of 5, now it’s down between $250 to $300 (and that counts newspapers). That is $500 tax free money in our pocket. AND not to mention the restaurant, movie, clothing deals that can be found on blogs which I never used before which enable us to go to more movies as a family, go out to dinner on dates, etc…
It does take time to learn the trade but once you do you can jump on some blogs for 10 minutes per day, print out what’s needed and move on to other things.
Life is all about choices and I would rather put my money towards other things.
Well said, Susan!
I don’t know why people always forget to do this, but you also need to subtract how much you spent on newspapers from your savings. Some people spend $50 a month on newspapers. Multiply that by 12, and that’s $600!!! That’s a lot of money. You can save even more money by trading coupons instead of wasting money on that many papers.
Juli Russell says
I absolutely believe that couponing is worth the time and energy. I also believe in true data and comparison though. I think the savings are over stated because I would never go to Albertson’s and pay full price for an item. I would go to Winco and pay full price for the same item, but it is normally a lot less money. My point is when I buy an item at Albertson’s that is normally $4, then it is on sale for $2.59 and I use a coupon and double it and spend only $0.59, I don’t look at this as a $3.41 savings. I think it is more realistic to compare it to what the full price cost would have been at Winco. There have been several times where I have put in the time for couponing at Albertson’s, only to realize I really only saved $0.50 off the regular price at Winco. Does this make sense?
With that said, I still think couponing is extremely worth it and I am using the excel worksheet this year. I absolutely love excel (I even teach it), so this spreadsheet is perfect for me.
Thank you for all your hard work Karrie.