Sunday, March 27, 2011

Being Frugal: The Coupon Train

It's no secret that saving money is on just about everyone's radar these days. It's a necessity, but something that can be really difficult to do, unless you know a few secrets, and have a little time.

I can't keep secrets, and my time is precious. So, I'm excited to share with you the tricks I've been learning to save a buck or two, and also how I fit it into my already packed schedule.

Couponing is complicated. I've always really avoided it because it seemed like just too much work. But a few months ago, I decided to give it a shot. There are two ways you can coupon: you can go the quick and easy route to save a few bucks, or you can go the intense "it's a big part of my life" and save a lot of bucks. Right now, I go the quick and easy route, because that's what works for me.

The key to couponing is really only using coupons for things you'd buy anyway. If a you have a "save $1.00 on three boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios" coupon, and they aren't already on your grocery list for the next three weeks, then it's actually extra money that you don't necessarily need to spend. Look for coupons that are relevant to you. For example, I like granola bars. I buy them every week. If there is a coupon for my granola bars, I'll snag it up, because it really is saving me money. Buying a package of Kit-Kats because I have a coupon is wasting money, because I would not have bought them without the coupon. Get it?

So, given that information, I wanted to share with you a neat couponing thing that I do with some girlfriends. We've created a coupon train. The first person on the list, "the conductor," (yes, we really are that cool), takes any coupons from the Sunday paper that she feels may be relevant to the girls in the group, and sends them along to the next person in the list. Person #2, takes what she needs, removes any coupons that have expired, replenishes from her Sunday paper, and passes it along to Person #3. Yesterday, I got the train, and here's what my stash looks like. I particularly like how this train is makes it so much easier to go through!

As I went through the stash, I took out the expired coupons, and then took the ones I need.

(I have over $10.00 of savings here!)

Then I cut out any relevant coupons for the girls in my group, and off it will go to the next person on the list!

Now, you ask, how do I have time to do this?? The whole process took me about 30 minutes. I've made couponing part of my Sunday morning routine. When I don't have a train to go through, sorting through the Sunday paper and clipping coupons takes me about 5 minutes. Some weeks I save $10-$15 in one shopping trip. To me, that's worth 5 minutes of my Sunday morning.

If you have a group of friends who are interested in saving money, I recommend this. Once you get going, you build a great stash of savings, and it's something to look forward to in the mail!

1 comment:

  1. I am a little more into it, I check blogs, print internet coupons and buy 3 copies of the paper and have a binder lol...yesterday I saved 35 dollars on 5 packs of Huggies diapers with pairing coupons with a sale and UP rewards and also 11 dollars off our lobster/mussel dinner at hannafords with coupons! It is VERY addicting! BUT there are weeks that I just dont do it because of time.....LOVE the coupon train idea!