Back when I first started couponing it was just starting to get more popular. I was in my early 20’s, living with my parents, sister and boyfriend (now husband) and had plenty of debt. Because I loved shopping so much I spent my free time looking up great deals and couponing for items for the family. Though I tried a few times to revive my passion and excitement for couponing, it’s just not happening and here’s why.
LACK OF TIME
I just cannot find the time to keep all of the coupons straight and, even more so, to keep up with all the deals! Between working from home AND being a stay at home mom to my son I can hardly find time to wash my hair let alone spend an hour everyday finding deals and planning the shopping trips.
WE HARDLY USE ANYTHING WITH COUPONS
I would estimate that close to 70% of our grocery budget goes to produce. We don’t eat a lot of prepackaged food and focus on whole, natural food so the coupons that we actually use are pretty minimal. Even with health, beauty and home items, I do my best to go natural and cruelty free which greatly limits the coupons that are useful to me since most don’t qualify. I used to get inserts and would end up keeping 1 or 2 coupons and giving the rest away!
We moved to a small town back in 2011 and our store options are severely limited. We are without a Walmart or a Target which, in my opinion, are two of the best places to coupon! I used to make a special trip to coupon in a bigger city, but since it’s almost an hour away, after factoring in gas my savings weren’t as great.
OUT OF STOCK
The few stores we do have to coupon at run out of items so quickly! Unless you make sure to be there the very first day of a great coupon deal, chances are you won’t be getting it. And even then, I’ve encountered plenty of items sold out the first day.
TIME IS MONEY
Because I work from home and I’m also a stay at home mom, my time is worth more than I would be saving by spending even an extra 3-4 hours a week couponing. And realistically I spent probably closer to 8-10 hours a week between clipping, deal finding and shopping. Say I’m charging clients $40/hr and I can work an extra 3 hours that I’d spend couponing. That’s $120/week and there’s no way I’m saving that much each week! Even if I don’t get to use those extra 3 hours of time to work, that’s one less thing on my plate to worry about!
COUPONING ISN’T THE ONLY WAY TO SAVE
While couponing is a lot of fun, it’s not the only way to save! Because I don’t coupon, I find plenty of other ways to save. I still now what a good deal is and jump on those when I can.
Other ways we save without couponing
- Weekly Meal Plans
- Shopping Weekly Ads
- Shopping Our Pantry
- Stocking up at good prices
I am not against couponing in the least bit and I do occasionally use a coupon here and there, but not at the capacity I once did nor do I even try to. I think we all need to do what works for us. Maybe if I had more children, wasn’t working and used more products that coupons are offered for I would get back into it, but for now it just doesn’t make sense for my life.