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Save Time: Know Your Savings

By Margaret Combs

When it comes to saving money on food, restaurants, and occasionally even catering staples you are more than likely pinching your pennies with clipped coupons or e-coupons from your favorite internet saving sites. Coupons can equal a hefty savings when used in the right context and at the right times. If you plan your weekly grocery outings with folders full of money-saving coupons, (sectioned and organized accordingly) a solid and unchangeable grocery list, and an unparalleled ability to find every double-coupon event within fifty miles, then you are probably one in a million. Most of us use one to five coupons per week, at the most, and generally don't spend more than ten minutes searching through the weekly circulars for specials on meat and laundry detergent.

This is life. We see interviews on our local news stations relating to coupon-savings; this generally entails a middle-aged woman who spends three to four hours a week clipping and printing online coupons, (not to mention sorting them all) seeking out the double-coupon events, rallying the similar coupons, BOGO clippings, and buy-something-get-something-free coupons and in one fair swoop this amazing lady saves 52.00$ on a 109.00$ grocery bill. This is an example of living the coupon-life. It is all well-and-good for the handful of women who have five hours a week to spend on clipping and sorting. But what about those of us who have full-time careers, families, and just have no possibilities of living such a coupon-life?

This is when the rest of us learn how to save money without all of the hassles of coupon-clipping and printing. When you delve into the world of coupons you may see that the hassles involved may not truly be worth the energy it takes to keep up with all of it. Some people say that the coupons themselves are not the effort of seeking them out, cutting them out, organizing them, and then remembering to use them at the appropriate time. The fact that you have to pay for the newspaper in which they are placed is a major hindrance to most of the non-coupon clipping community. In order to save an average of three dollars from the coupons found in your weekly paper you have to pay the 1.75$ asking price for the paper itself. Some say that the internet is the way to go since all you have to do is scout-out the right coupons and hit the print button. But once again this boils down to the time issue. I recently went searching for a coupon (online) for Purina Dog Chow; after twenty minutes of searching without any luck I realized that it is basically the luck of the draw when it comes to an online coupon search. You have to determine your need in comparison to the actual savings that you will receive.

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