Monday, May 9, 2011

STEP 12: Saving Money Without Sacrificing Time

If you're new to couponing than you've undoubtedly realized it can easily consume all of your free time. And at first, I'm sorry to say, this is true. But only until your fully set up. After that, maybe 5-10 hours a week will easily save you thousands of dollars per year.

So how do we accomplish such savings on such little time? It's easier than you think!

First things first though. You must be set up and ready to go. Take the initial time investment and get things the way you like them and make sure your comfortable with them. Coupon organization is not something you want to do over and over again so make sure you get it right the first time.

Second, last lesson we talked about getting your resources together and in the very first "Pre-Couponing" step, you were to decide on one drug store and one grocery store to put forth your efforts. If you've done that GREAT! If not, shame shame! To save the most time, you are only going to worry about your primary stores for a majority of your shopping. Then you are going to find your online ad matchup resource to rely on all the good deals.

So you have your coupons organized to a T. You have your primary grocery store selected. And you have your online ad matchup site at your deposal. Right? OK.

Search through your site and find what day they usually post the match up for your store and memorize it. So on the day your ad breaks on your site, I want you to highlight, copy, and paste the matchup post into a Word document. (Don't worry, this will make sense.)

Next, your going to skim the ad and immediately delete the sales that don't have any coupons attached (excluding meat and produce).

Hopefully your site also marks the best of the best deals by some how distinguishing the stock up prices from the other prices. And hopefully it will note any overage deals as well. So in this list you've made in Word, I want you to go through and simply delete any sales that are not that great on products you wouldn't use and I want you to move any sales items that are overages up to the top.

Next, skim through and delete any items you're not interested in and you should have a hit list of sale items, with coupons. Before you hit print though, you need to next go through the list and see what coupons you have vs. what is listed. If you don't have the coupon required to make a good deal, best skip it for now unless it's a necessity.

Once you do THAT, you should have a list of products on sale, with a coupon list, that you can now turn into your shopping list. I know this sounds like a long process but I promise you that it took me longer to write this post than it does do filter a sales ad! :)

Once you have your list, go ahead and begin your coupons. Cross check your coupon amounts to the ad matchup and notate any differences off to the side along with the number of coupons you have for that item. This whole process should take you about 2-3 hours and you should have coupons and list in hand and ready for shopping! An hour to get the add filtered to a list, an hour to pull coupons, and a final hour to cross check, total, and budget.