I’ve said before that couponing takes TIME. There are so many weeks that I just don’t have time for it. I am busy!
Sometimes I can’t sit and clip coupons for hours. And most of the time, I can’t visit 3-4 stores in one week. And when I do, I have limited time because now I have 3 kids in tow, and their attention spans and patience are very short-lived, meaning I have to be quick and efficient so that one of them doesn’t flip out on me! So here are some tips for how to do the job as quickly as possible.
On those weeks when you just have too little time, I’ve found these things to be the quickest and easiest for me:
- First of all (and my favorite strategy) is this: If I’ve got time, I use the weekly grocery and drug store deals posts to pre-plan my trip. I browse the lists to pick out the items I want, then go through my folders of inserts and my coupon folder to find the matching coupons, then I go to the store and completely rack up on steals and great deals. This is my preferable thing to do, but I don’t always have time every week to do this. In other words, it’s my ideal, but I must be honest and tell you, it rarely happens here. (That’s why I’m really big on meal-planning as well… but that’s another post!)
- If I don’t have time to search through my stacks of inserts to find the random coupons, then I simply take the weekly ad of the store of my choice, circle the things I know I’ve got coupons for in my little pink coupon folder, and head straight to the store. I carry the ad and my coupon folder with me, and simply search for the coupons for the things I’ve circled as I go down the aisles. This is my reality – my most often used method for shopping. It’s awkward and messy, but I’ve done this for so long that I can usually make out pretty well this way LOL. However, I do miss/forget some deals.
- Other times, if I have no time to prepare for my shopping trip ahead of time, I simply pick a random store that I feel like visiting at the moment, go in with my little pink coupon folder, grab a weekly ad at the front of the store, and browse the ad as I shop. This is the hardest thing to do, especially if you have no self control and start buying other things you see on a whim that aren’t on sale. You’ll end up spending more money than you meant to. These kinds of trips take a little bit longer too, because you are in fact, unprepared. This is also very hard to do with small children by your side, so I’d highly suggest options 1 or 2 above, LOL. Trust me, this method is chaotic. But it still saves your family some money, and every little bit of effort is worth it!