Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Adventures in Couponing: Is it right for me?

Before you ever clip a single coupon, there's an important decision to be made. How much can I devote to saving money?

My story:
I'm a stay at home mother with a nursing baby. I have a nice recliner and a nice laptop. These are all important facts to keep in mind, as serious couponing takes time--lots of time. Like, several hours a week. Most of that time needs to be spent on the computer. So this works well for me, as I can take care of my baby and do my couponing simultaneously. However, if you're a working mom or dad, or are already viciously busy, then this might not be the most viable idea for you. Just look at the math. A good couponing run typically gets you about 50-75% savings. For my family of 5, with a grocery budget of about $450 a month, I can hope to (hope is the key word) save about $225 a month with coupons. That's good. And that's devoting about 10 hours a week or more to couponing. That's like working for less than minimum wage. So make sure this is something you want to do before going all crazy.

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