Monday, November 14, 2011

Saving Money with little Time

One of the biggest challenges that comes with using coupons and shopping the deals is finding the time to do all this in a real world time frame. I don't have 2 plus hours a day to spend on the Internet looking up deals or hand matching coupons and ads. I also live in a very small town with only Food Lion and Walmart as far as grocery stores go.  But I do LOVE a good bargain so I thought I would share some of the ideas/thoughts/secrets I have figured out over the past year for finding time to coupon.

1. You don't have to be at the store first thing when the ad starts to get the good deals. The one exception for this rule is probably Black Friday. So since in the case of CVS, I am not going to the store prior to church on Sunday, I have discovered that the store restocks on Thursday am. So I usually try to hit the store after the restocking if I really really really want a certain deal. Rain checks are awesome so most of the time if the store doesn't have a deal, I simply get a rain check. Usually in 2-3 weeks the deal is back in place and I can use both the rain check and the expired coupon.  I ended up at CVS last night at 8:15pm after the kids were all in bed. I was pleasantly surprised that they had everything in stock.

2. Combined trips with other activities whenever possible. For example, last Thursday I was at a workshop in Winston. So I decided to use the express Lane at Harris Teeter for groceries as well as a quick trip into the CVS in the same parking lot after my class had finished.

3. Spending 5 minutes on Sundays to sort and file coupons saves hours when I am matching up the coupons with sale items.

4. Decide on what you are going to buy prior to going to the store. Stick to the plan.  I could never just take my binder to the store and shop.  On average I spend about 30 minutes a week planning shopping trips. But this allows me to spend less than 30 minutes in the store at a time.

5. Set a goal for where you are going to spend the money you are saving. This way you know that  you are making progress.

Finally, if you miss a sale or need to buy an item. So what?  The world will not end nor will your couponing license be revoked.

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