At the beginning of this year I took my husband’s challenge to keep track of how much money we saved this year by using coupons. It was hard at times, especially towards the end. But I did it!
I kept track of any savings from using manufacturer’s coupons, extra care bucks, register rewards, catalinas and rebates. I did not include savings from taking advantage of a store discount or sale prices. In total my savings to date were : $6,471.80. I also kept track of the cost I incurred in getting coupons when I purchased the newspaper or traded for coupons. That total is: $172.93 for the year. That’s less than 3% of the total savings I enjoyed.
For 2009 I will keep using coupons of course. Since I have a nice stockpile of things I will be cherry picking deals. As a matter of fact I “burnt” all of the extra care bucks I had this weekend. I used it to buy the clearance wrapping paper I needed. I don’t feel bad though. Shopping at CVS is not easy for me because there is not a local store so I will stick to Walgreens. I do very well there anyways.
There was a time when I thought using coupons was a waste of time. A year of couponing has changed my mind. I learned that there are coupons for the things that I need if I look for them. There are winetags to save on meat or produce. There are catalinas to help me save on my whole order. There is also just plain overage to use to pay for my groceries. This guest post by Beeb is one of my favorite posts that explains this well.
I won’t lie to you, couponing does take some time. Let’s say that I spent 10 hours a week clipping coupons and getting deals. My hourly wage was $11 an hour. For a stay at home like me that’s money easily earned from the comfort of my home. If I was working I would consider this the wage earned from a second job, except that this one you can do from home and while you take care of your shopping. That makes couponing worth it for me.