Cut. It. Out.

March 15, 2010 at 8:07 am (Uncategorized)

Cutting out coupons is one of those activities that will just never be sexy.  Something about pouring over the sales papers just to save $.10 when you buy three packages of sugar-frosted corn dogs seems like way more trouble than it’s worth.  Wouldn’t we all be better off if we just took the coupon inserts from the paper, and just dumped them straight in the recycling bin?

No!

If done right, coupon cutting can be quite rewarding.  There are plenty of sites dedicated to hardcore couponing methods that require a lot of time and energy, but I want using coupons to be something that any time-crunched young adult could mange.

The Basic Tenets of Couponing

  • Only cut coupons for things you actually consume.  If you’ve never eaten a Pop Tart in your life, don’t bother cutting out the Pop Tart coupons that you might find.  It doesn’t matter if you save a dollar on them, if you never intend to actually eat them.
  • Compare the coupons you’ve cut out to the sales circulars.  Combining coupons with sales will yield the most savings.  If a product is not on sale this week, you may want to consider holding on to the coupon until it does go on sale.
  • Keep your coupons with you! If you leave your coupons on the living room table, they will not do you any good when you stop at the grocery store after work.

An Example of Coupon Cutting Done Right- Herbal Essences shampoo typically sells for $3.99, but our Jewel-Osco had it on sale for $2.99 this week.  In addition, the Jewel-Osco circular had a store coupon for one dollar off.  I recalled cutting out an Herbal Essences coupon a few weeks back, and indeed, I had a manufacturer’s coupon for one dollar off as well.  Between the store sale and my coupons, I saved a total of three dollars, paying only $.99 for a $3.99 bottle of shampoo.

The amount of time that I had to put into this transaction was neglible, and though it’s not enough to pay off my student loans, three dollars is a pretty decent chunk of change.  If you find yourself spending lots of time cutting out coupons, but consistently only getting small amounts of money off of your purchases, then it’s time to evaluate whether or not the savings are worth the time invested.

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